Poetry is the evidence of life. If your life is burning well, poetry is just the ash. So says Leonard Cohen.

Leonard Cohen says if he knew where the good songs came from he’d go there more often. All the poets and writers I know are on the hunt for that elusive place.

cohen2

The Poet-turned-Pop Star says that poetry comes from a place that no one commands, that no one conquers. And yet, the poems come.

APRIL IS NATIONAL POETRY MONTH

AND NATIONAL POETRY WRITING MONTH.

napofeature4

NAPOWRIMO FOR SHORT.
AND IT’S A CROWD-PLEASER.

Poet Maureen Thorson decided to take up the challenge (modeled after National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo) and invited other poets to join her. Since then, the number of participants has grown larger every year, and many writers’ organizations ~ local, national and even international ~ host NaPoWriMo activities.

original

I’m celebrating here ~ at Poetic Asides, a website hosted by Robert Lee Brewer, senior editor at Writer’s Digest. It’s the 2015 April PAD Challenge, a poetic bacchanal. BYOP, of course.

11055586_881212461936332_312083681_n

The “PAD” stands for “poem-a-day.” So each and every morning, there’s a new poetry prompt. Brewer throws out a life preserver along with it ~ his own attempt at the prompt (wished for and welcome), then it’s my turn. And yours. There are plenty of poemming days left. Post as few or as many times as you like.

mick-stevens-i-write-e-poetry-cartoon

You can read the poetry, wallow in it, share it with your writing group, spread it across your social network. There are so many doors to open ~ start anywhere, walk ‘write’ in.

imagesBut if you want to be considered by a ream of genuine poet-judges for publication in the Poem Your Heart Out anthology, you need to post your poem in the comments. It’s free and easy ~ the prompts (open to space-warpingly vast interpretations) magically appear each morning.

bullwinkle-poetry

Click here to join the fun.

Modern Poetry: Text Message Haiku

So, it’s now Day 12 of the April PAD Challenge and it’s been downright envibing so far. I am inspired by the poets, a neighborly, infectiously upbeat bunch. Last year, they gave me the idea to put some rocking’ glad rags on my iambs and start a brand new blog. Mental Crumbs~ in love with carbs and poetry gives my poems some stylin’ and profilin’ in honor of National Poetry Month.

arts-graphics-2006_1173562a

I wonder if Leonard Cohen is appearing anywhere during National Poetry Month. His poetry is awe-inspiring, his words steady and lyrical. Cohen’s life is burning well. Everybody knows.

Toni 4/12/15

POEM FOR A SUNDAY

Mary Oliver’s divine whisper  ~ it is no small gift.

white_feather_widescreen


Today
by Mary Oliver

Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.

The world goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.

But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.

Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.

… from A Thousand Mornings. © The Penguin Press, 2012.

ca-mary-oliver3 

Here’s an interview with Mary Oliver, my favorite poet.

Who’s yours?

Toni 4/27/14

POETS @ PLAY

april-national-poetry-month-monet-claude-water-lillies

 April is National Poetry Month ~ and National Poetry Writing Month.  

images

NaPoWriMo for short.

And it’s a crowd-pleaser.

images NaPoWriMo began in 2003. Poet Maureen Thorson decided to take up the challenge (modeled after National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo) and invited other poets to join her. Since then, the number of participants has grown larger every year, and many writers’ organizations ~ local, national and even international ~ host NaPoWriMo activities. robert_lee_brewer_hs I’m celebrating here ~  at Poetic Asides, a website hosted by Robert Lee Brewer, senior editor at Writer’s Digest. It’s the 2014 April PAD Challenge, a poetic bacchanal. BYOP, of course. The “PAD” stands for “poem-a-day.” So each and every morning, there’s a new poetry prompt. Brewer throws out a life preserver along with it ~ his own attempt at the prompt (wished for and welcome), then it’s my turn. And yours. There are plenty of poemming days left. Post as few or as many times as you like. logo-napowrimo You can read the poetry, wallow in it, share it with your writing group, spread it across your social network. There are so many doors to open ~ start anywhere, walk ‘write’ in. images But if you want to be considered by a ream of genuine poet-judges for publication in the Poem Your Heart Out anthology, you need to post your poem in the comments. It’s free and easy ~ the prompts (open to space-warpingly vast interpretations) magically appear each morning.

Click here~   http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides.

…. imagesSo, it’s now Day 16 of the April PAD Challenge and it’s been downright envibing so far.  I am inspired by the poets, a neighborly, infectiously upbeat bunch. They gave me the idea to put some rocking’ glad rags on my iambs and start a brand new blog.  mental crumbs gives my poems some stylin’ and profilin’ in honor of National Poetry Month.

images

So, add some poetry to your site (or create a new one right here at WordPress), tag your post with NaPoWriMo, and have some sure-fire fun.

 

 

Toni 4/16/14

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: MONUMENT

It’s National Poetry Month.

Thanks, WP blogger Ben, for this monumental opportunity to introduce…

CIMG3020

“If Goethe had had to prepare supper, salt the dumplings;

If Schiller had had to wash the dishes;

If Heine had had to mend what he had torn, to clean the rooms, kill the bugs –

Oh, the menfolk, none of them would have become great poets.”  

  ~Eremenz Meier

I saw this bronze on the bank of the Danube in the city of

Passau ~

 Eremenz Mierer , innkeeper’s daughter and poet.

 

buch

Emerenz Meier was born in Schiefweg, a town in the Bavarian Forest. She became well-known through her stories and poems of village life. Meier rebelled against tradition and convention to become a successful writer in spite of difficult economic conditions. The family emigrated to America to make a fresh start in Chicago. There, Meier wrote mainly for her enjoyment, but she also waged verbal war against political, economic and social conditions in Europe and America. 

 

In today’s Sunday Review, op-ed columnist Frank Bruni reminds us in his singular style (almost as poetically as Eremenz Meier) that the conversation isn’t over yet.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/13/opinion/sunday/bruni-womens-unequal-lot.html?hp&rref=opinion&_r=0

 

Toni  4/13/14

DAILY PROMPT: UNLEASH YOUR EMILY DICKINSON

MICHELLE AT WORDPRESS PUT OUT THE CALL ~

National Poetry Writing Month is nearly at at end. To celebrate it, try your hand at some verse.

top_banana

Ronnie, the top banana in our bunch, is a fan of The Form. She posted this a while back. …………………………………………. /////////////////// ///////////////////

“The sonnet’s origins are on the small, sunlit courts of Sicily. It lingered there for two hundred years before it made the trip to into English poetry.” Don’t you love that line? If you love poetry in all its new and ancient forms, get the book “The Making of a Poem” by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. It is a Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. The grand Francine Prose calls this book “A generous selective anthology of poetry in forms that may make you decide to give up e-mails and start writing sestinas and villanelles.” I’ve taken her comment to heart. Though I’ve not given up e-mails, I am on a mission to write in some of the classic forms. So far, I’ve done a villanelle and a sonnet. The sestina is next on the radar screen. Wish me luck.

By the way, here are some basics about the sonnet from Strand and Boland. 1.) It is a poem of fourteen lines, usually iambic. 2.) There are two types with very different histories behind their forms: the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean. 3.) The Petrarchan sonnet is Italian in origin, has an octave of eight lines and a sestet of six. The rhyme scheme of the octave is ababcdcd and of the sestet cdecde. 4.) The Shakespearean sonnet was developed in England and has far more than just surface differences from the Petrachan. 5.) The rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean sonnet is ababcdcdefefgg. There is no octave/sestet structure to it. The final couplet is a defining feature. Give it try…. What have you got to lose?

OK, Ronnie, I’m in.

Hiss Off! : A Sonnet

Rows of tomatoes planted on hillsides

remind me now of the boy who threw snakes.

He made the cats howl, he riled up the drakes

and spooked the old nag that took me for rides.

He made it a sport; he tormented me

by tossing a snake headfirst at my face

and shoving one in my collar of lace,

making me scream when it tried to get free.

…..

This cruel vicious boy who inflicted pain

his treatment of creatures was inhumane.

It was always my wish for that pervert

that he could feel how much it hurt and

that just one snake he pulled from its lair

would be a constrictor and him ensnare.

Toni 4/29/13