Poetry Challenge #92: This Plum is Too Ripe . . .

All of us is sorry for or about something. (If you’re not, then lucky you!)

My All-Time Favorite Musical—if you’ve never seen it, you should be sorry.

Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones drew on this uniquely human need* to apologize in a song about two neighbors who are great friends until they tear down a wall in the longest running Off-Broadway, sometimes on Broadway musicals of all times The Fantastiks. Here’s a snippet:

“This Plum is too Ripe!”

“Sorry.”

“You’re standing in MY Rose Garden!”

“Sorry.

And now, with no further apologies, on to our prompt:

Poetry Challenge #92

Who’s Sorry Now?

For this prompt, list things you are sorry for.  (Your list can be as long or as short as need be.) Select one or several items that are related from that list and write a poem about it.

Finish the poem with a positive spin by suggesting ways you can, or might apologize. Or do it better next time . . .

* “Uniquely” in that I don’t imagine whale apologize for combing up krill, or cheetah apologize for mowing down gazelle, but maybe they do . . . if so: Sorry!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

No Apologies, No excuses—Just do it!

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Song for Inspiration: Who’s Sorry Now as sung by Miss Patsy Cline—Of course!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #91: Words! Words! Words!

Words! Words! Words!

I’m so sick of words!

I hear words all day through/first from him, now from you/is that all you blighters can do?*

YES, Eliza! The answer is unequivocally, unapologetically, YES!—so on to the Challenge:

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Poetry Challenge #91

A Few of My Favorite Words

Do you have favorite words?  If you do, pause right now and jot them down.  

I love to collect words I hear or read that are unfamiliar or that have an interesting sound. I try to remember to write them down to use another day. As you go through your day, pay attention to words that you like the sound or meaning of. Write them down! Save them! 

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A few I like are: Lilliputian, grommet, butterfly, whimsical, and gumption. 

Think of five of your favorite words and write a poem using them.

If you can’t think of words, open to a random page in the dictionary and find a word you like.

You can use some of my favorite words if you like.

Keep collecting words to use another day!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

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*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. (This one is Cindy’s; the “I” is her speaking. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #89 Famous Last Words

Charles Schultz was onto something: Wah-wa-wah WAH. . . Halloween  Wah-wa-wah WAH . . . Great Pumpkin.

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So was Margaret Mitchell when she gave Rhett the best parting shot: “Frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn.”

He’s whispering a famous first line here…a prompt for another time!

He’s whispering a famous first line here…a prompt for another time!

Shultz and Mitchell knew what my kick-butt senior English teacher, Miss Reedlinger (the finest 5-Paragrah Essay coach of all time) called the secret to the best Dagwood. The secret she said, was in the bread. Start every paragraph with the tastiest crunchiest, best tasting bread and finish with a slice that’s just as tasty—if not tastier—just keep stacking them one on top of another on top of another. They may not remember the fillings, but they’ll remember that Dagwood, er essay.

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Or, to quote an aptly named band of Reedlinger’s Second Period English era, BREAD, “How many came before it doesn’t matter just as long as you’re the last.”

Where are we going with this? You guess it:  

Poetry Challenge #89

Famous Last Words

For this prompt, let’s start at the bottom, with potentially famous last words, and work our way up. Try using one of prompts below as the last line of your poem. (Replace the blanks with whatever you choose.) Don’t forget to give your poem a title.

  •  I remember when ___________

  • You can’t be serious.

  •   I love the smell of ___________

  • Under my bed is ____ and ____.

  • I collect…

  • Wah-wa-wah Wah __________________

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #85-Yes, You May!

It’s May! It’s May! Flowers are blooming, birds are chirping, grass is growing, trees are branching out—and so are we! Hooray! Hooray!

Ring around the May Pole

Ring around the May Pole

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Taking a cue from the musical Camelot’s Lusty Month of May song, in which merrymakers prance about singing “It’s May! It’s May! The month of Yes, You May!” we’re giving ourselves permission to break a few rules.

 

 

Poetry Challenge #85*

“Yes, You May!”

With “Yes, You May” as the title, write a poem giving someone (or something)—maybe yourself—permission to be naughty, mischievous, daring—in other words, to do something he, she, it—YOU—would never, ever do. As this poem is a celebration of May, use flowery, colorful, provocative language. And, if you’re in the mood to be extra daring, give permission to go all out by having every line begin with “Yes, You May” . . .

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

As if you need permission

As if you need permission

“Yes, You May!” Playlist:

Lusty Month of May from Lerner & Lowe’s Camelot

 *Full disclosure: This is a repeat of #33. We had so much fun we decided to do it again, because…We Can!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 750 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole dang poem. Scroll down and click on the comments!

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Poetry Challenge #77-Heave-Ho! Chant-She-Blows!

Sing-Alongs are always challenging—and sometimes embarrassing—even for me. (And those of you who know me, know I love to sing—badly.) The worst is when someone sticks a microphone in my face and I don’t know the words. That’s when I resort to the trusty mumble-mumble-murmer-murmer— la-di-dah-daaaaaaaa

My Best Friend’s Wedding  Classic!

My Best Friend’s Wedding Classic!

Songwriters who like audiences who sing-along— pirate ship captives & those wanting tips, for example—make singing along easier by writing song with repeated refrains—the more often repeated the better. Which brings me to today’s prompt.

Poetry Challenge #77

Heave-Ho! Chant-She-Blows!

“The chant poem is about as old as poetry itself,” writes Robert Lee Brewer in his Oct. 23, 2012 post. “Chant poems simply incorporate repetitive lines that form a sort of chant. Each line can repeat [as they do in Blues’ songs], or every other line [as in a Sea Shanty].” Sailors sang shanties as they rowed or heaved on ropes to keep everyone working at the same pace. It’s believed “Shanty” is a morphism of “chanty” meaning both the type of song and a name for the sailor who leads the singing. By way of an example, below is a Chant Poem Cindy created.  

Snow fell this morning, soft and white and cold,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.

I liked it more before I got so old,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.

I left the city a long time ago,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.

Now I hear sounds of birds—the caws of crows,
I was thinking of our bench in Central Park today.
— --Cindy Faughnan

Follow these three easy steps to create your own Chant Poem—Or “Shanty” if you will! 

  1. Find a headline in a newspaper or magazine that you like the sound of. That will be your chant.

  2. Write a four line rhyming poem where the first 2 lines rhyme and the last 2. AABB

  3. Insert the chant between each line of your rhyming poem and you have a chant poem.

“They know a song will help the job along…”

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 1042 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #68-For Old Time’s Sake

Happy first 7-Minute Poetry Challenge of the New Year!

Did you sing Auld Lang Syne on New Years? Or maybe watched/heard it sung in scores of movies including, It’s A Wonderful Life, Charlie Chaplin’s The Goldrush, Harry Met Sally, Meet Me in St. Louis, Out of Africa, or, naturally, the movie New Year’s Eve?

If “yes,” then the first stanza and chorus of that iconic song is familiar—although you probably don’t actually “know” the words. According to a CNN report I googled (to be sure I had the words correct) “just 3% in the United Kingdom know the words (42% of millennials have no clue).” For the record:

Auld Lang Syne* penned by Robert Burns in 1788

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And never brought to mind?

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,

And auld lang syne.

CHORUS

For auld lang syne, my jo,

For auld lang syne.

We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,

For auld lang syne.

*Note not “old land sign.”

Those words “Auld Lang Syne” literally meaning “old long since,” are commonly translated as “days gone by” or “old time’s sake.” The song is basicallty a call to share “a cup o’ kindness.” The “kindness” in Burns cup is believed to be firewater, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Poetry Challenge #68

For Old Time’s Sake

Let’s begin this spanking new year by sharing a cup of kindness in the form of a poem. Think back over the past year and recall a kindness someone gave to you. What was that kindness? How did it make you feel to receive it? With that in mind, fill a cup with a kindness of your own. To whom will you pass it?

Title your poem “Cup of Kindness”

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think too much, just do it!

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More about the song

More movies featuring Auld Lang Syne

The CNN 2018 article

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge about 990 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #67-Are You Blue? or Green? or Purple?

End of the year-post/mid holiday crush check in time . . .

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Poetry Challenge #67

Are You Blue? or Green? or Purple?

Look around the room. List as many things as you can see that are that color. Look again. Find one more.

Pick one or more items on your list and write about them. What is it? Where did it come from? How long have you had it? Is it useful? Do you need it? Do you want it?

When you’re finished, try to cut 10 words from your poem. Play with your word choices to add better sounds, rhythm, or rhyme.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think too much, just do it!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 988ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #49-Poem Stew

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Back when Cindy taught at teen writing camp, one of their favorite activities was Story Stew. "We would call out an “ingredient” and one of the campers would supply it. When we had our seven words, we’d write a story or poem, trying to use each of the words. It was always surprising how different the stories were."

Poetry Challenge #49

Poem Stew

You can find ingredients for a poem stew yourself. If someone is nearby, ask them for the words in the manner of Mad Libs. Or find them in anything around you: books, magazines, newspapers, the room you’re in.) You will need two nouns (something you can see or touch, not capitalized if possible), a color, a place (not capitalized), an adjective (a word that describes), a verb (an action), and an abstract noun (a word that you can’t touch that names an idea: beauty, hope, justice, chance).

Here are some ingredients I found in case you need them: milkweed, laughter, mulberry, market, delicious, yearn, hope.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

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Poem Stew Playlist:

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge over 850 days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. (This one is Cindy's.) If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.