Friday, July 25, 2008

Poetry Games

This week we've got info on Poetry Games, followed by a new poem by me.

* You can find computerized poetry games at Poetry 4

* offers a well-liked poetry game called Exquisite Corpse:

1. Pick a theme or leave the theme of your game open. Rip out a piece of paper from your notebook and write a line of a poem on a piece of paper. Fold your line over so it can't be seen by your friend and hand the paper over. Your friend then writes her own line and she folds the paper so you can see neither her line nor yours. Repeat until you fill a side or two (you decide) of paper.

2. You can also tell the person the last word of your line if you want to try a rhyming "poem". These often are quite funny.

3. Once you're done, read it aloud. This exercise helps develop a playfulness and also can produce some interesting combinations. A lot of beginning writers suffer from over seriousness. Not that there's anything wrong with seriousness, but over seriousness spoils many a hard effort. Inject some playfulness into your work and experiment with language. It's a game and it's fun and sometimes breaking yourself out of your typical mode of writing can do a poet at any level some good.

* There are poetry games you can play with other people online on the The Literature Network forum

* Lastly, we've got Haikai (Collaborative Poetry Game) From WikiHow:

Haikai collaborative poetry (aka renku, or renga) has a long history in Japan, where it combines aspects of game-play with literature. It's a fun and creative group activity which is becoming popular in the west in recent years. You don't need to be a poet to play!
The plan below is for a 12-verse haikai, but there are many other plans (up to 100 verses, if you and your writing partner(s) are feeling energetic!). Each haikai consists of alternating three- and two-line verses.

1. Decide who is to write the first verse. It should make reference to the current surroundings and season (not necessarily by name - e.g. 'Christmas' indicates winter; 'beach' would suggest summer). Three lines, up to 17 syllables total.

2. Pass the writing pad to the next player, for the second verse. This one will be just two lines, up to 14 syllables maximum. Come up with something to suggest the same season as the first verse. It should link to the first verse, but shift away from it a bit as well. After that first verse, everything is fictional.

3. Pass it over to the third player (or back to the first if you are only two). Another three-line verse now, but this one should make no reference to season. And while it should link somehow to the previous verse, this should shift right away from the verse before that (the first verse)

4. Alternate three- and two-line verses. Of every three verses, one or two should mention a season. Main thing is to link (sometimes quite tentatively) to the preceding verse, while always shifting away from the one before that. Link and shift, that's what it's about.

For additional info and a sample poem, visit WikiHow.


The Muse Calls Forth A Poem
by Tabatha Yeatts

Blowing softly into her small horn,
the muse calls forth a poem.

The words rise from the still water
like a swiftly-shooting tendril,
growing and luxuriously unfolding;
petals reaching in all directions,
sturdy enough to hold
the notes of her song
as they seek a place to rest.

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