Poetry Writing tips and Challenge for April

A and I Poetry Challenge

The A and I Poetry challenge is jointly hosted by Amanda and Ineke and is open to everyone, from complete beginners to advanced writers or aspiring poets. The challenge will run from March to October, 2018.  We will share tips, offer a monthly prompt and post link backs to your published Poetry posts.

Please scroll down to see April’s poetry writing tips.

Instructions for joining are on the Poetry Challenge Page. You are very welcome to enter.

You can write any kind of poem that you like, as the prompt is merely a suggestion. Write in any language you like; it certainly doesn’t have to be in English. As this is a joint challenge with Ineke, she will also post the challenge in Afrikaans on her blog, so if that language suits you better, visit her here.

N.B. Please leave a comment here if you wish to be included in the Ping backs for this month.

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Poetry Challenge – April Prompt:

Write a poem that begins with the last thing you can remember someone saying to you yesterday. So if you can use that line two to three times throughout your poem.

 

Here is my Poem for April, inspired by Anie, who is one of my lovely readers: –

raindrops

 

Anie’s Rain

Like raindrops falling on to glass, I can not fight this force

that propels me forward to the end.

Like raindrops falling on to glass, it is fruitless to fight

what I cannot control.

Like raindrops falling on to glass, each journey individual, different from another.

Some hurry, sliding past, more sort of slow and steady,

one might falter at the start, coalesce or lose identity in groups,

Softly seductive, their lifetime short, imprint merely temporary,

All one substance.

One end.

~ Amanda

 

I can’t wait to read what you come up with this month. Don’t forget to link back to this post, on your poetry submission post, and leave a link and comment here so Ineke, Amanda and others can find your post.

 

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Poetry Tips

  • Write poetry as often as you can.
  • Designate a special notebook (or space in your notebook) for poetry writing.
  • Embrace metaphors but stay away from clichés ( I find this especially difficult!)
  • Don’t be afraid to write a bad poem. You can write a better one later.
  • Don’t back away from your thoughts or feelings. Express them!

 

Poetry Techniques –  Metaphor and Simile

Whilst there are many different styles for writing poetry, you may find one or more works for you. No matter what style or techniques you use, a poem can reach people in ways that other text can’t. It might be abstract or concrete but often it conveys strong emotions. Some common techniques used in poetry are onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, rhyming, simile and metaphor. Using metaphor and similes will bring imagery and concrete words into your writing.

The difference between simile and metaphor is explained here:

A metaphor is a statement that pretends one thing is really something else:

Example: “The lead singer is an elusive salamander.”

This phrase does not mean that the lead singer is literally a salamander. Rather, it takes an abstract characteristic of a salamander (elusiveness) and projects it onto the person. By using metaphor to describe the lead singer, the poet creates a much more vivid picture of him/her than if the poet had simply said “The lead singer’s voice is hard to pick out.”

Simile

A simile is a statement where you say one object is similar to another object. Similes use the words “like” or “as.”

Example: “He was curious as a caterpillar” or “He was curious, like a caterpillar”

This phrase takes one quality of a caterpillar and projects it onto a person. It is an easy way to attach concrete images to feelings and character traits that might usually be described with abstract words.

[Credit: Relo Pakistan]

Note: A simile is not any better or worse than a metaphor. The point to remember is that comparison, inference, and suggestion are all important tools of poetry; similes and metaphors are merely one of the tools in your poetry writing toolbox that will help.

Somethingto PonderAbout

Amanda ~

Something to Ponder About

 

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67 thoughts on “Poetry Writing tips and Challenge for April

  1. the long night in turmoil
    restless, tossing and turning
    echos and voices from angels
    it was not to endure
    But joy is given back
    those stars twinkling, and
    chasing clouds overhead
    dawn is coming, always
    growing grasses are so free
    reflect on what is coming
    do not hold the past
    it was not to endure

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Gerard! An interesting poem and one I am sure you could incorporate into one of your wonderfully provocative and humourous blog posts. Then I could send a few more readers your way. Perhaps a poetry book featuring topics of social justice is your next project?

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  2. I lay in my bed,
    Listening to the rain.
    Last thing they said,
    Whilst tapping on my pane,
    Was a song for sleep,
    Gently tapping away.
    Bringing dreams to reap,
    To warmly close my day.
    Whispering sweet nothing,
    In a language unknown.
    The rain fall keeps rushing,
    In a calm friendly tone.
    It plays sleeps tune,
    Each note running away,
    Down the glass so soon,
    My eyes fade from the day.
    The last thing they said,
    As my day found its end,
    Tucking me in my bed,
    Was dream sweet my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Monk3yDavid, Cool words and I like the ABAB alternate rhyme you used in your poem. It also connects nicely with my poem about raindrops! You should write a post with this poem on your blog and then I can link the monthly challenge to your blog! It is kind of hidden in the comments section! Unless you want it to be hidden???? I will not it down to add it to my list of blog entries for April, nevertheless. Cheers, Amanda

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello NottheDane,
      Tusind tak! – Thanks ever so much for posting the link in the comments.That is what we need to find you. If you wish you can also add a linkback or pingback to the bottom of the post by editing your published post featuring the I don’t know How Poem.
      To do this, you just need to copy the url for my blog’s latest Poetry Challenge post – that is, this one https://wordpress.com/view/forestwoodfolkart.wordpress.com and then paste it into your post, then click the link icon in your editing toolbar. Paste the url again there and it will automatically link to my blog when people click on it. It seems complicated but isn't really. It is just a means for me to get a notification of when you are linking to my blog and for others to visit my blog to get more info or find the challenge. I hope this helps. Let me know if I can help.

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    2. Ok. I can see it now on your post and when I or someone else clicks in it they will be taken to my blog. Great work! That is it. You’ve created the pingback and I should get a notification for it soon You can adjust the text to say whatever you like eg. Amanda Poetry challenge or preface it with words Join in with the challenge here. Highlight the word here and link that with a pingback url to my blog. Her is a demo on YouTube: https://youtu.be/Qp2hyNDowrI

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  3. Oh, how wonderful! The mysterious forces that drive us, sometimes tormenting but sitting deep inside us. Individually and yet they have to be the same, because they dress, unite and are uncontrollable….maybe we can call that power passion. I like this word very much in the German language, because it contains the word “suffering” ( “leiden”) and I think something that works with very great feelings and powers in us will always cause also pain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes there is that potential for great pain in anything we feel strongly about. It torments us and is felt deep within our ‘guts’ – little wonder we might lose our appetite or have digestive upsets alongside times of high emotions. Thank you again for your beautiful words that I used in the poem, Anie. You are inspirational!!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. ohhh many thanks it honors me that you take up thoughts of me …. even if I would wish so much that I would be spared many of these thoughts. With the strong feelings, also the thoughts come automatically,…why we feel the way we feel. Questions, that we can not answer. And inexplicable things bring doubt, fear and distrust …

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    3. Yet it is interesting that strong feelings are preceded by thoughts. The feelings might follow very quickly but it is the thought that initiates the feelings. So if we wish to change the feeling we must change the initial thought. Sometimes it is hard to identify the thought itself as the feelings are overwhelming.

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    4. oh yes you explained it very well and that makes sense.
      It is unbelievable that our own thoughts can torment and betray us and that it is so hard to control them. Because if it were easy, there would not be so much pain and suffering. So what is the thought which initiate the feelings?
      What if it is again the big questions on which we seek answers and we get none? The insecurity that arises creates again the fear and mistrust and already we have the strong feelings again.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. That is right, Anie. It is incredible that our minds can torment us so but often we think in the same way that we heard or saw growing up. But we can change that style of thinking to be more realistic. Easier said than done. It takes practise to change negative thoughts to a more positive or realistic ones.

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    6. oh yes! We are shaped by the way we grew up. If it was a harmonious family home with love and care and there were no major differences, many attitudes and behaviors are certainly taken over by the children. If this is not the case, the children will orient and align themselves with other people. But I think it is always necessary to have caregivers, so that at all a change in thinking style can be stimulated. The question of whether these new thoughts are realistic, I dare to doubt. Because how do we estimate “realistic”? Maybe there are benchmarks for special situations, but still situations are always subjective … how many times have I thought something is not working and then it worked …

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    7. In principle, “realistic” does not exist, because even if you can pull the statistics, there will always be unpredictable sizes. Just because something has not been achieved in the past does not mean that it will not be achieved in the future. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who are too focused on the problems and failures and they are destroying their own plans with this.

      Liked by 1 person

    8. This thought of the meaning of realism runs through my mind, at times. “Be real”, is something that is often given as sage-ful advice. But what does it really mean? Not much. “Keeping it real might be honest, hard working or truthful, or visible?

      Liked by 1 person

    9. ohh, this is a difficult area … the advice to be “real” for me is more like being natural. You should never pretend to be someone you are not, just because you think you are better respected, if you pretend. For one thing is clear, if I present myself in public with photoshopped photos and sly sayings from others, then the following will happen. There may be thousands of people who adore me when I market myself well, but I know that it is not me who is loved, but only the image that I have sold of myself …. in the end, I can not take it seriously because it is not addressed to me.
      If, on the other hand, I am the way nature has made me, there will be people who love me with all my mistakes, and that will also help me to love myself.

      Honesty is also important, but also an objective thing … some people manage to lie to themselves until they believe their wrong truth. But even this statement of mine is wrong, because as soon as they believe something, it is their truth …. but of course, there are certain moral things that can basically be taken as a clue to honesty … do not lie, do not steal, do not cheat …..

      hard work creates satisfaction and is always to be striven for if you are healthy enough to work hard!

      and what do you mean with visible?

      Liked by 1 person

    10. Agree that we shouldn’t pretend to be something that we are not. No matter who we are, who we really are, there are people for us out there in the universe, for us. Friends, and romantic interests, it is our job to find them and let them into our lives.
      Good point to note that as soon as people believe something, it becomes their truth. No wonder there are so many people believing things that we might find strange, or at least unbelievable!!!
      Absolutely agree on basic morals. Lying, cheating and stealing is not at all real. It is inherently wrong and will come back on the person if they knowingly took this course of action, especially if it hurts others.
      Hard work might ‘keep it real’ hard work, in that it creates satisfaction and supporting oneself and contributing to society, as contemporary life intends. When I wrote visible, I am unsure what my line of thinking was, right at that moment, but perhaps I meant – to see the real “you” – ie. the real person with all one’s fears, insecurities. Essentially, I think keeping it real, or thinking realistically, might mean not to over-think a situation, and not to listen to the negative self-talk that might play around in our heads and make us doubt ourselves. If I am thinking – “oh I can’t do that,’ – “that” being some task that I would like to do but don’t believe I can accomplish, it is not really helping the situation if I think, “I am nervous, and don’t have experience, so people might view me as a fraud or a fool for trying,” Compare this to thinking realistic thoughts, in which I could say to myself, ” I feel uncertain about whether I can do this particular task, and that makes me feel a tad uncomfortable, but I can handle those feelings for a short time, so I will just give it a go anyway. And even if I fail, I can use it as an opportunity to learn.

      Liked by 1 person

    11. that’s interesting. I’ve never looked for people in the universe. But probably because I’ve been busy with the people around me with my family and children. But singles may use this more often. Because of the social media, such communities of interest are very easy to reach these days and of course practical. I am just skeptical here, because many people are naturally egoistic and act only in their interests, without really caring about others ( because in fact you do not know them). I find it much easier to know my work and personal contacts personally.
      “visible” made me feel uncomfortable when I read it, because what we see these days (mainly on the internet) is not real … I do not mind people looking cute and showing off their best side. But I like to see friends when they wake up next to me in the morning and are unkempt and sleepy …;)
      To be truly “real” as you say, not to let his doubts prevent you from your goal can be very difficult. Negative thoughts and fears are always disturbing. I think it depends a lot on your own claim and the claim that society has brought us.
      When I know that performance is expected or I really want to do that, it’s all the more difficult than trying 100% but not putting pressure on performance the personal environment is made by expectations, or this pressure arises because a lot is at stake. You will also learn to fail, but if you lose a lot in the case of failure, the fear is of course higher!

      Liked by 1 person

    12. Yes, I see what you mean about being real and performance pressure. In time, we learn to adapt to this pressure. It is harder when we are younger to cope with performance anxiety. That is a good thing about ageing. Less worrying and more acceptance of the self as it is. We just swallow hard and get on with it
      Being visible is not about showing off to the internet in a pretentious or false way but rather, perhaps it is not being afraid to show that unkempt side of us to others outside of our trusted circle. The ‘warts and all’ side of our persona. We all act in a certain way in public. Compare this to how we act when we are relaxed and at home with loved ones. Sometimes it can be good to show that side ‘the real you’ is visible. Exactly what you were saying prefer to know about others. I am a person who guards her private life and being a quieter person, it can be easier to become invisible in a larger workplace. I think this is whatI was originally referring to. Being real might mean not to hide too much (not be too shy) but find a happy balance between visibility and invisibility that is a right fit for you. Does that makes sense?

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    13. yeah! That makes sense. This balance of showing and not showing your real person will turn out to be very individual. Because it asks me a question. Why should someone who is professionally not dependent on social networks and leads a happy family life, has a lot of friends and anyway hardly manages to do everything that is important to him … why should this person reveal anything at all? So the balance depends on the needs … do I need it professionally or for my ego to represent myself? And then the next question arises: If it is necessary for me or my ego to present myself to the public, can I afford to show my mistakes and bad sides? No, of course everyone looks that he presents himself well and makes himself more beautiful.
      The real person we love and appreciate is not on the net, but on the street and in personal contact!

      And here you are absolutely right. Let’s forget the internet … in everyday life we ​​need this balance of course also. We should not be omnipresent and loud but not too shy, otherwise we will not be noticed.
      I think it’s about letting the spark jump on the other people. Once it has sparked, love for this person is there, even if this person is quiet.

      The pressure to perform decreases in old age. That’s probably true! Also the serenity. I can see that very much in my father, who in the meantime does not look at many things as important as he used to. Although I have to say personally that I have never felt pressure to perform … somehow it never felt any pressure….

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    14. Just now I remembered something my grandma told me a long time ago: Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, Die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft. It might be everyday saying for you, but I’m really glad you reminded me of it. 🙂 Thank you!

      Liked by 2 people

    15. This is excellent! I never heard of this, but it is so true!!!! And Eifersucht is not only a Leidenschaft. It is also something what creates big bad feelings. Jealousy, I think, comes from bad experiences. Or perhaps a lack of self-love, because you can not believe that someone loves you. Or simply because you can not trust this partner. Jealousy can be so destructive.

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    16. Oh, the idea of comparing people is absurd. I know that people are constantly being compared and competing in e.g. jobs. I would never compare because each person has their own special abilities that are incomparable. And jealousy is indeed something very overflowing and destructive. However, I can understand jealous people. Unfortunately, there are too many dishonest people who cheat and even people who deliberately hurt other people. Many people do not know the partners so well that the trust is already enough … these are hard moments for these people!

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    17. Hmmmm. Jealousy. Why do we have those feelings? That is worse thinking a little about. We should be happy when others do well, or receive things we don’t, but often people find they resent the other and think, why not me? Then we have to ask, “Who says it should be you?” The Universe does not pick and choose, it just happens to come down to luck or some perceived edge the other person has over another. We are not all equal, but I have found comfort in these words when discovering I am feeling a little bit jealous. “The race is long, but in the end it is only with yourself.” Many seem to be determined that the playing field should be level, in the short term and cannot wait for long to get their chance to have an equal bite of the financial or emotional cherry, or similar opportunities or benefits as their neighbour, especially so if the neighbour has cheated or been dishonest. These feelings translate to feeling less worthy than our neighbour, when it has nothing to do with your worth as a person. We might also feel hurt and rejected along with jealousy. This compounds into fracturing of relationships and at its worst, revenge.

      Liked by 1 person

    18. Jealousy brings only negative. When I have been a child I was very jealous, and suffered a lot, but when I grow up this stopped completely, because I’ve always been very happy when things I tackle work out somehow. I do not have to be the best and am happy when I can look at others who do things better than me. In the relationship, it is the death of the relationship. I am convinced of that. If there is a reason that this feeling is spreading – whether it is justified or not – the relationship is doomed to fail!

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    19. oh, I just think my childrenhood was a lucky one with no familyproblems and I grow up very sheltered.
      Nevertheless, I always felt disadvantaged, yes I even thought I was adopted (;))
      I was not particularly pretty or popular, was also a problem in the school, but had a good friend on which I could count.
      With puberty, that has changed, my performance has improved and I have had much success in my sports teams and have also noticed how I’ve become more popular … I never doubted that I could not manage something, I wanted to manage, even if my parents always smiled at me because they said i would never grow up and would always dream that way.
      But in the end, at least I have achieved my profession what I wanted, I have two healthy and great kids and everything else that is currently not correct will eventually become well again.
      So what was it….I think just the will to be lucky….and so for knowing that beeing jalous is not something what I can avoid if this feeling is coming, but I know, that I have to react in a way, that these feelings are going away…..

      Liked by 1 person

    20. How wonderful that you blossomed in puberty, Anie! That sounds lovely that you had success with sports and friends. It almost sounds like you rose to the challenge that your parents inadvertantly set by saying that you would never grow up. And so you did!
      “just the will to be lucky” – interesting take on luck. You suggest that there is a will involved in luck, and that is something I have not thus far considered! Luck seems out of my control, and that I can exert some level of will against luck is a new thought for me!
      Finally regarding jealousy, it seems like you are suggesting that we may recognize that jealous feeling and that it will pass in time. Have I interpreted that right?

      Liked by 1 person

    21. ohh, hahaha, no i think it’s rather the opposite. In fact, I never grew up. It never bothered me until today that my parents say that.
      It just worked somehow. I was lucky that my parents financed my university. But I also always enjoyed working for money in vacation and on the weekend I always worked in pubs and earned enough money for my vacations or clothes. Even in my current job, I could try out without pressure, if I can get started. That’s a big advantage. But in principle, everything has always worked (even if it often took several attempts, as at the art academy …. but persistence has paid off in most cases) …
      For me, the will to be happy is indeed very important, or in other words, the awareness that I can not bear sadness or pain. Every person has a different sensation of pain. I can not stand any pain. I rarely have any pain and when it hits me, I almost die even if the doctor says it is impossible that the pain is that strong… the births of my childrens have been a disaster despite good preparation and I can not bear to see other people or animals suffer … so my way is for me clearly …. I can not last long suffer and will do everything to be joyful and happy.
      Jealousy is a difficult thing. In a partnership, it is deadly … you have to be 100% confident and aware, because the other one loves and appreciates you, then there is no jealousy. When jealousy is specially created to demonstrate power, the relationship is already dead. In jealousy of other people who achieve something, it is certainly good to be aware that you are jealous. I have a friend who can show me 10 people in the street on which she is jealous within half an hour. This is bad and then it probably only helps to work on yourself, that one loves oneself more in these areas (unfortunately it is often optical things) and improves his own performance (or appearance).

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    22. You sound pretty grown up to me!! Lol! You also sound like a good friend to the one neighbour in your street who is a bit busy looking at everyone else to see and appreciate what she already has.

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    23. Oh yes, of course I am already very grown up and old at years, but we know that the head has its own age. This may be a bit unfortunate, but in fact the thoughts we have have nothing to do with age. If my mind is free of prejudice and also partially free of knowledge and prior knowledge, I can have the same thoughts as a child who has just as few of knowledge and prejudices.
      I hope that I am a good friend for my friends. I’m struggling. And yes, we all have our problems and pain and we should actually pay more attention to what we have, rather than what we lack. And you are very right, I think it is not good at all to look at the others. It always ends in jealousy and gossip, which is neither good for others nor for oneself. How can a life be fulfilled when we forget to look at ourself and care, because we only looks at the others?
      This is really a very interesting point that I want to keep in mind, thanks for that!

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  4. Hi Amanda… Just a note to let you know I loved “Anie’s Rain”. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    I’ve been lingering in your words this morning and have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Thanks for brightening my day.
    Hope your day is most beautiful…
    Michael

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    1. Thank you so much, Michael for taking the time to leave such a lovely comment! It is very humbling to think that my words are appreciated and mean something to others.

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