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

Blogging challenges

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*