Playing with Words

April is national poetry month and I just got back from giving a poetry reading and teaching a workshop at Riverwinds Gallery in Beacon, NY. I read from my new chapbook “Nine for Odin” and taught three forms of poetry: the cento, the word sonnet, and free verse. We had a lot of fun playing with words and I discovered that all my participants were damned fine poets in their own rights.

To encourage folks to write (and not just to write, but to do so in the middle of a workshop, with strangers around) I threw together a few word sonnets off the cuff as a demo. Since two of them are about Mani, our moon God, I wanted to share them here. A word sonnet is a form of poetry first developed in the 1980s. Unlike a traditional sonnet which has fourteen lines in iambic pentameter with a specific rhyming schema, word sonnets are fourteen word poems, wherein each word forms one of the traditional fourteen lines.

Mani I

The
Scarlet
Moon
Whispers
Kisses
On
Mad
Minds
Intoxicated
By
His
Hungry
Glow.
Seduction.

 

Mani II

Our
Moon
God
Is
A
Hunter.
He’s
Always
Capturing
Hearts
Unawares,
A
Perfect
Honey-trap.

 

Worm-words

Poetry’s
A
Worm
In
The
Mind,
Licking
Lapping
Loosening
Words.
The
Pen
Spits
Fire.

Since I also taught them how to write a cento, I whipped off one very brief one to demo that as well:

Rage, rage, let thy flames feed on me.
The earth is a mistake and a rifle butt.
You will fill the frail shell’s rooms
To a pyre’s golden blaze.
Dark night renders.
Deep in my soul there lies a treasure,
Like the roar of thunder after lightening.
It is the soul I fling.
It is the foul I fling,
Enthroned by storms,
With pleasure that shivers:
The hermit’s carnal ecstasy.

[With respect to Andrew Bely/C. Bowra, Osip Mandelstam/R. Tracy and E. McKane, Marina Tsvetayeva/D. McDuff, Aleksandr Blok/J. Stallworthy and P. France, Aleksandr Pushkin/D.M. Thomas, Fyodor Tyutchev/C. Tomlinson, Velimir Khlebnikov/P. Schmidt, Catherine Tufariello, W. H. Auden.]

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Posted on April 30, 2016, in Poetry, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. isaacunleasehed

    This is a very great piece. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

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