‘People tell you all the time, poems do not have to rhyme’*

About three years ago, I joined a writing group for strict amateurs: people who have no particular aspirations to publish.  I’m still part of it.  Our facilitator, Sheila, is inspirational and fun.  I remember our very first session.  She produced a bag full of dice, faced not with numbers, but letters.  We threw the dice, and looked at the letters that landed face up. The task was to make a word that used as many of those letters as we could.  The only rule was: this word must not actually exist.  We fell to with enthusiasm.  And made a word I’ve now forgotten. Next task?  Define it.

Sheila’s full of strategies to get our creative juices flowing, and has transformed a small band of people with only pencils and notebooks in common into a creative, constructively critical and mutually supportive group.

But that’s not all.  Sheila’s the person who encouraged me to write my first poem.  Then another, and another. Here are a couple of my more recent – and seasonal – efforts.  I’m no poet, but I’ve come to enjoy practising.

In my blogging life, I’d started to follow Fake Flamenco.  It turns out that each month, Rebecca chooses a poetic form and invites us to craft a short poem on the theme she suggests.  And do you know what makes this so special?  Before she publishes our work on her blog, Rebecca translates every single one into Spanish. I really look forward to this extra dimension, as well as the chance to share poem-making with bloggers on every continent  Thank you Rebecca.  I haven’t been tagging along all that long, but this singular poetry challenge has just celebrated two creative years. All bloggers welcome!

And what serendipity! Only this week, another Rebecca, a certain Lady Budd, introduced us to the work of Colleen Chesebro, who is not only a poet, but someone who loves to share the skills of poetry making here, and runs a poetry challenge, #Tanka Tuesday.

This poetry malarkey could catch on. If we start ’em young, as the header photo suggests we do, perhaps …

The post title quotes the first two lines of An Attempt at Unrhymed Verse by Wendy Cope*

Author: margaret21

I'm retired and living in North Yorkshire, where I walk as often as I can, write, volunteer, and travel as often as I can.

52 thoughts on “‘People tell you all the time, poems do not have to rhyme’*”

    1. Thanks for this – but comments are closed on that post -so …
      Country folk recite a ditty –
      the ode’s for people in the city.
      There you are. Not a poet. Doggerel maybe.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve set mine to close 90 days after posting. It has resulted in practically no spam now, but is a bit inconvenient in that latecomers to a post can no longer comment!


  1. I wondered if it would work in translation, Margaret, but it seems just as beautiful. I never sit down with pen and paper to do this but I have been caught mumbling Haiku and counting on fingers and toes while walking on a beach. It’s certainly an inspirational thought, and I love your poetry, in either language.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks jo. Rebecca’s translations are great. I’m in awe of this particular skill. Haikus so far elude me as a form, so I’ll be along for hints.


  2. Wonderful ideas. Perhaps we can all be poetic if being a poet seems too much of a challenge. I am listening to Stephen Fry’s ‘Ode Less Travelled’. It is very detailed about form. Fry says poetry is his hobby but why can’t we have ‘How to’ guides and know the techniques. Poetry was fun for me and the novel writing more serious but thanks for the Fake Flamenco link. Another great idea.


  3. Are those two sweeties grandchildren? Much to my discomfort I’ve never got to grips with poetry and wouldn’t presume to comment on your creative endeavours. I’ll leave that to those with the knowledge and understanding.


  4. Thank you, Margaret for your participation in the monthly Fake Flamenco poetry challenges and your mention here of the details! You made my day with your warm review. So glad to have met you in the blogosphere.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great post which got me thinking. I struggle with reading (and writing) poetry. And I am uncomfortable trying to figure out what it all means. But I may be overthinking it. Your writing group sounds intriguing – food for thought. Have a fabulous Thursday.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Margaret – many many thanks for sharing your amazing poetry. Sheila is a remarkable facilitator. I am now following Rebecca Cunningham/Fake Flamenco. Thank you for the introduction. And thank you for sharing Colleen’s love of syllabic poetry. I was familiar with Haiku through Matsuo Basho:

    “Winter solitude –
    In a world of one colour
    The sound of wind.

    But I had no idea the diversity of syllabic poetry. Thank you for inspiring my poetry journey.

    Liked by 1 person

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