A and I Poetry Challenge Roundup

We are almost half way through our Poetry Challenge and extending our skills in effective Poetry writing.A and I Poetry Challenge

The Prompt for June was to write a poem about something small that is only 5 lines long. And then: to write the same poem again using concrete words.

Penpunt’s excellent Afrikaans poem was incisive and succinct and yet the melancholy tone echoed loudly throughout the first, (abstract), versions. I have reproduced it in the google translation, here. I hope I have done it justice, as sometimes it is ‘lost’ in translation.

If you wish to read the concrete version, and the hope written there, visit Amanda here

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Featured Poet for June – Amanda at Penpunt

 

There is a truth

In every variety of lies

Too busy, too sick ...

Perhaps just too uninspired

to meet me halfway
Amanda at Penpunt

 

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Please take the time to visit the other participants in this challenge:

Fantastic effort everyone.

Good luck with this month’s prompt, or with whatever poem you would like to link up to our challenge. Remember to include a linkback, tag A and I Poetry Challenge and to leave a comment here and on some of the other contributions. That way we will build a poetic forum to share our work.

 

A and I Poetry Challenge Prompt for July

Here is a little reminder of the prompt for July, (if you need one):

sound speaker radio microphone
Photo by Gratisography on Pexels.com

Turn on the radio to any channel.

Write a poem inspired by the first thing you hear

(lyrics to a song, a commercial, etc.)

 

 

A reminder post will go up in the last week of July and the new prompt and round up post will publish the first week in August. Have a great month. I will be Pondering About your poems all July.

 

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July Poetry Challenge and tips for Writing

vintage music antique radio
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

During the month of July:

Turn on the radio to any channel.

Write a poem inspired by the first thing you hear (lyrics to a song, a commercial, etc.)

Post it to your blog, prior to July 26, and include the Tag A and I Poetry Challenge, so that Ineke and I, (the hosts) can find your poem and comment.

Leave a comment on this post to indicate your interest in participation.

The A and I Poetry Writing Challenge has been running for several months and the poetic community grows each month.

(Click Here for a sample) 

When formulating your poem, please keep in Mind:

The prompt is merely a suggestion if you need help getting started with ideas.

You may of course, write about whatever you choose and still tag our A and I Poetry Challenge, so that other readers can find your poetry post.

 

A and I Poetry Challenge

 

A and I Poetry Challenge Instructions  HERE

 

Read my Submission in my follow up post, tomorrow, together with links to the Poetry participants from the month of June, but first here are some Poetry Writing Tips:

Poetry Writing Tips from Allison

  •  Don’t overdo prepositions, adjectives, and adverbs.
  •  Use action verbs, not “to be” verbs
  •  Help the reader interact with the poem.
  •  Help the reader relate by focusing on particular objects, not generalizing a type of object (whether the object is physical, mental, or spiritual).
  •  Find unusual subject matter — a teapot, a shelf, a wall
  •   Keep a notebook with you at all times so you can write whenever (and wherever) inspiration strikes.
  • Sometimes it is a scratching secret, wanting out, wanting to be in the world but held back by fear. Either way there is something about the act of sharing with the world, however big or small that world might be, that completes the creative process.
  • If you want to capture a feeling that you experienced, then you don’t need these tips. Just write whatever feels right. Only you experienced the feeling that you want to express, so only you will know whether your poem succeeds.

amandaSomething Poetic to Ponder About

Poetry Challenge Entries for June Closing Soon

It is the final week of the Monthly Poetry Challenge for June.

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Write a poem based on your own theme or the prompt given below, and post using the tag A and I Poetry Challenge.  You have until Friday to be included in this months round up of entries.

The prompt is outlined below but perhaps you have another theme to present?

Leave a comment here so that Ineke and I can easily find your poem for this month.

Find instructions for joining in HERE


June Prompt

Write a poem about something small that is only 5 lines long. Write the same poem again and try to use concrete words.

Discuss which version you like best and why.

The prompt is merely a suggestion if you need help getting started with ideas.

You may of course, write about whatever you choose and still tag our A and I Poetry Challenge so that other readers can find your poetry post.

If you have the skill to read or write in Afrikaans, you can find Ineke’s contribution here:

https://scrapydo2.wordpress.com/2018/06/04/a-i-poesie-uitdaging-junie/A and I Poetry Challenge

 

Amanda and Ineke  – A and I Poetry Challenge

 

Poetry Challenge Monthly Prompt and Poetry Writing Tips

 

The A and I Poetry Writing Challenge has been running for several months and our poetic community grows each month. (Click Here for a sample)

Those who have never taken up the pen before, are writing fantastic poems. I can’t wait to read what you come up with this month.

 

Find instructions for joining in HERE


June Prompt

Write a poem about something small that is only 5 lines long. Write the same poem again and try to use concrete words.

Discuss which version you like best and why.

The prompt is merely a suggestion if you need help getting started with ideas.

You may of course, write about whatever you choose and still tag our A and I Poetry Challenge so that other readers can find your poetry post.

Read my Submission below, but first some Poetry Writing Tips:


Here are some tip on writing with concrete words:

Poetry Writing Tips:

One of the biggest problems with any language is the inherent ambiguity in an abstract word. It’s meaning isn’t perfectly clear, and you have to interpret it. This becomes really evident if you read different translations of the same texts. And with room for interpretation comes room for misunderstanding [Source: http://www.lookscloudy.com/2011/07/communicating-better-concrete-and-abstract/%5D

Use Concrete Words Instead of Abstract Words.

Concrete words describe things that people experience with their senses.

  • orange
  • warm
  • cat

A person can see orange, feel warm, or hear a cat.

Poets use concrete words help the reader get a “picture” of what the poem is talking about. When the reader has a “picture” of what the poem is talking about, he/she can better understand what the poet is talking about.

Abstract words refer to concepts or feelings.

  • liberty
  • happy
  • love

“Liberty” is a concept, “happy” is a feeling, and no one can agree on whether “love” is a feeling, a concept or an action.

A person can’t see, touch, or taste any of these things. As a result, when used in poetry, these words might simply fly over the reader’s head, without triggering any sensory response. Further, “liberty,” “happy,” and “love” can mean different things to different people. Therefore, if the poet uses such a word, the reader may take a different meaning from it than the poet intended.

“Concrete” means something you can experience with your senses: you can see, smell, hear, taste, or touch it. “Abstract” describes an idea, thought, or feeling–something you can’t use your five senses to describe.

Change Abstract Words Into Concrete Words

Example: “She felt happy.”

This line uses the abstract word “happy.” To improve this line, change the abstract word to a concrete image. One way to achieve this is to think of an object or a scene that evokes feelings of happiness to represent the happy feeling.

Improvement: “Her smile spread like red tint on ripening tomatoes.”


schnauzer

Here is my Poetry submission for the June prompt:

Coming Home

Rebel by name but not by nature

Your wagging tail defines your demeanour

Smiling, happy, so warm on my feet,

Fur so soft that is hard to beat

Best friends in love through thick and thin

and now for the rewrite aiming for more concrete words:

schnauzer

Coming Home

Rebel only by name but not by nature –

Excited barking shared, tail a fluffy whip rhythmically brushing the air;

Infectious smile in eyes and nose, a welcome contagion with all those

velvet soft caresses on my cheek. Now a furry, warm slipper on my tired feet.

Accepting my failings, giving me company and her special brand of Rebel love.

I must admit that the second version paints a better picture for the reader.

I wasn’t happy with the final line but could not come up with an alternative today. Perhaps I will rewrite this poem again.


Here is some more tips on Using Concrete Words:

Concrete words are always stronger than abstract words in writing. You could stand on a soapbox in the park and say: “I hate all injustice! It’s wrong! We must end it!”

Or you could get on that soapbox and say: “Bullies stink! All bullies should be forced to eat headlice!” Which do you think will make people stop and listen? Which will make them yawn? [https://amymacdonald.com/educators/concrete-instead-of-abstract/]

The key to writing great poetry is to write focused, concrete poetry. But many beginning poets write poetry based around wide themes such as love, life, and anger, generalizing their writing. By using strong language, active verbs instead of passive verbs and concrete language instead of abstract, you can capture a reader’s interest and captivate a reader’s imagination. Poetry, as something others read, should be at its best interactive, and at its worse, straight forward and clear.

The reader has a difficult time relating to poetry that is generalized, vague, or otherwise abstract. Having the reader relate to the work is an important aspect of poetry, and to help the reader you must paint your meaning in clear images and words. When you begin a poem, ask yourself what you want to say and how you want to say it. If you want to write about life, what about life do you want to write about?

Are you angry at something and want to vent?

What are you angry at?

Don’t say the whole world. Pick a person or situation that you dislike and focus on that. By personalizing your poetry, you remove the vague generalities included in many abstract themes.

Name that name. Don’t just say birds, but tell the reader what kind of birds. Are they cardinals, swallows, or canaries?

Use more specific language: people, places, numbers, dates, and details. Be wary of particularly ambiguous terms.

Many people overuse some really meaningless abstract words. “Inexpensive” “reliable” and “fast” are three of the worst. The more specific the details, the more engaged the listener or reader must be in order to follow along, yet simultaneously the message becomes more clear.

Instructions for Joining in with the A and I Poetry Challenge can be found HERE

Don’t forget to link back to this post, on your own poetry submission post, by linking this url to the words A and I Poetry Challenge so Ineke, Amanda and others can find your post.

Have fun!

~ Amanda and Ineke


Poetry Challenge and Entries for May

Fellow blogger and writer from New Zealand, Ineke from scrapydo2.wordpress.com and myself, Amanda from Something to Ponder About, are jointly hosting a bi-lingual Poetry challenge in English and in Afrikaans, in the WordPress community.

The challenge 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.

Scroll down to see Poetry entries and links for May. If I’ve missed anything, or anyone, please let me know. Pingbacks have been known to fail, so it is always helpful if you leave a comment on this post, to flag that you are joining in with the challenge.

A and I Poetry Challenge Entries for May

The task was to write using the photograph supplied or to use a topic of your own choice.

Please check out the wonderful entries  A and I Bilingual Poetry Challenge .

 

 

Featured Poet – Hester from Dis Ekke

This month, I would like to feature a poem from Hester. It is a ‘Reverse Poem’ that can be read from start to finish and then again in Reverse order, from finish to start – each way with a different meaning. It is a fantastic effort! I thank Hester most sincerely for joining in on the challenge. Reverse poetry is very new to me and Hester has given us an excellent introduction to this poetic device.

Parenthood

Parenthood is a thankless job

And only idiots believe that

Raising children brings sweet rewards

Being a parent is too heavy a cross to bear

And please don’t think that

Children appreciate the sacrifice

In fact

Giving up your dreams for this may be a mistake

People will tell you that

Being rich and famous

Is infinitely more satisfying than

Raising a family

For this job, one must be prepared to sign on for life

This is the truth

Parenthood requires a total mindset change

– Hester Dis Ekke

 

Would you like to join in with the Poetry challenge next month?

Challenge Guidelines can be found here

 

The Poetry prompt for this month will be posted on Something to Ponder About June 3rd, 2018.

Remember, you do not have to use this prompt, at all. The prompt is only there if you feel you want a topic to work from, or you find it hard to come up with an initial idea.

  • Write and post a poem in any language you wish, during the month of June, adding the Tag: A and I Poetry Challenge to your post.
  • Leave a comment on Amanda’s and Ineke’s blog letting us know you are participating.
  • Please link back to this post, so we can find your entry.

 

A and I Poetry Challenge
Ineke and I have created the above logo for the Poetry Challenge and you are very welcome to paste this onto your blog post or sidebar, so that others can also find out about the challenge, if you so wish.

That is it!

Oh and have fun writing!!

N.B. Ineke and I will post link backs to the blogs who have joined in with the challenge in the poetry challenge post in the following month, so that you can all find each other’s blog posts and build a new poet’s community! If you have any questions, please just ask.

Let us build a Poetry Community in WordPress!

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Poetry – Something thoughtful to Ponder About