3/14-/15–Creative Writing

Let’s write a sonnet! But first!


Let’s look at Nemerov’s “A Primer for the Daily Round”

A peels an apple, while B kneels to God,
C telephones to D, who has a hand
On E’s knee, F coughs, G turns up the sod
For H’s grave, I do not understand
But J is bringing one clay pigeon down
While K brings down a nightstick on L’s head,
And M takes mustard, N drives into town,
O goes to bed with P, and Q drops dead,
R lies to S, but happens to be heard
By T, who tells U not to fire V
For having to give W the word
That X is now deceiving Y with Z,
Who happens just now to remember A
Peeling an apple somewhere far away.

Then, let’s look at a few more sonnets to inspire us.

Time to write.

Then, our last poem assignment: the ode, the elegy, the ghazal, or the pantoum.

The ode is, simply, a poem of praise for something. Take, for example, Ode to Chocolate by Barbara Crooker or Ode to a Dressmaker’s Dummy by Donald Justice.

An elegy is similar but the thing you’re praising needs to be dead. So, we get To My Brother Miguel in Memoriaum by Cesar Valejo. Also, Captain! My Captain!by Walt Whitman. You can even get elegies for things such as Elegy for the Personal Letter by Allison Joseph.

That brings us to the pantoum. It’s an interesting form where we write in 4 line stanzas but repeat the 2nd and 4th lines in the next stanza as the 1st and 3rd lines. The last line is supposed to be the same as the first line. See Parent’s Pantoum by Carolyn Kizer. Also, Stillbirth by Laure-Anne Bosselar.

Are we still doing this? OK, the ghazal. These are, honestly, not as hard as they look. The idea is that they are a series of couplets where a refrain (a repeated phrase in the 2nd line of the couplet gets repeated in all of the 2nd phrases of the couplets to follow). The last line traditionally refers to the poet either in 1st or 3rd person and relates his/her philosophy. See The Ghazal of What Hurt and Rain by Kazim Ali.

HW: Choose one form and sketch out some ideas for it.

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