Exercise: "Counting syllables"

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Ros
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Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by Ros » Thu Mar 05, 2009 6:56 pm

The Syllabic Poem

Read the following poems by William Carlos Williams:

The Red Wheelbarrow

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens

**
This is Just to Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

**
Each poem here contains a single sentence describing a single action with a syllabic pattern (number of syllables in each line).

The exercise is to write a poems modelled on one of the above poems.
Your poem should (roughly) follow the syllabic pattern of whichever poem you choose as a model.


borrowed from Alicia Ostriker, and The Practice of Poetry, with thanks to Wild poetry forum
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by bernard » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:08 pm

Well, seeing as everyone else is standing on ceremony! I quite like these little exercises, they get you working in ways you might not try on your own. Here goes.


So little remains
today

of the wild
yellow

flower's cold flame
circle

guarding the old
farmhouse.


Well, if it's going to be like that David, humph (tilts head back ostentatiously). No, I did think afterwards something wasn't right. Try again.



So few remain
today

of the slow
rabbits

and fiery
roses

guarding the old
farmhouse.
Last edited by bernard on Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by BenJohnson » Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:51 pm

I am seriously confused I posted here a couple of hours ago, just read Bernard's post and wondered what he meant about standing on ceremony, my post isn't here :o , I've even looked under the cushions but I can't find it, so here goes again.

Worship

she rubs my leg
and waits

vibrating
gently

while the tin
opens

then I cease to
exist

(Based on the same syllable count as Willam Carlos Willams Little Red Wheelbarrow)

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by Sharra » Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:49 am

I really like these - as WCW showed, a lot can be conveyed in a few words, they are both very visual :)
Thanks for posting
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petal that love waits

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by BenJohnson » Fri Mar 06, 2009 10:37 am

This is Just to Say

Whoever stole
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
I was preserving
to send
for testing

Forgive me
for they contained large
doses
of Strychnine

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by David » Fri Mar 06, 2009 1:51 pm

Good exercise, Ros. I like those posted already, especially bernard's, although (pedantry warning) I think you got the syllable count wrong in a couple of places, bernard. Don't change it, though. It's good as it is.

I actually had a go at a poem based on the red wheelbarrow a while ago. It came out like this ..

Untouched by all
the fuss,

a placid
donkey

watches and
wonders:

what's all
this then?


Just for fun, can you guess what title I put on it? (No peeking.)

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by Ros » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:04 pm

These are all brilliant, thanks for taking part. I was a bit worried after I posted the exercises that they looked a bit daunting, so I'm really pleased that people are diving in. You can take them seriously or just have a go for fun, doesn't matter.

Bernard, thanks for starting us off - it's a great snapsnot. Doesn't matter if the syllables aren't exact, if the poem works better that way.

Don't know where your original post went, Ben - we didn't steal it! The cat was very nicely done and I bet WCW wished he'd thought of that version of the plums...

David - Merry Christmas?
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by bernard » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:08 pm

Ben, love your peaches poem, that'll learn 'im. How old was William when he passed away, you may have just incriminated yourself there!

David, if I had to guess at a title for yours, I'd be tempted to say 'limp ass'. We can discuss royalties later.

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by Sharra » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:29 pm

David - it has to be Pin the Tail on the Donkey :)
Sharra
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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by David » Fri Mar 06, 2009 3:46 pm

Some good suggestions there, apart from limp ass. Not sure if that's just insulting, or only really badly expressed. Or perhaps a fearfully clever pun that passed me by completely.

Neil suggested - by pm, what a nice polite little boy he is - Muletide.

To which I could only reply Smart ass!

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by bodkin » Fri Mar 06, 2009 11:17 pm

Metropolitan

places you lived
but left

not without
regret

memories
remain

in time all detail
got lost
http://www.ianbadcoe.uk/

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by Sharra » Sat Mar 07, 2009 8:38 am

Nice one Bodkin - I liked the multi-syllabic title with the short lines.
Ahh David, is it another Easter poem? (you have to tell us, as this is bugging me now) :lol:
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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by David » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:19 am

Sharra, Neil got it pretty much right - tis an Xmas picture, and I called it Nativity scene (a detail). A slightly twee title, I think now, although I seem to remember Travis telling me that at the time.

Cheers

David

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by Danté » Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:45 am

Re: treat

Cover it up
my dear

I am way
too tired

and don’t think
I could

do it justice
tonight.
to anticipate touching what is unseen seems far more interesting than seeing what the hand can not touch

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Re: Exercise: "Counting syllables"

Post by Ros » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:27 pm

Bod, good air of sadness.
Dante, nicely wry!
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
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