Tuesday, April 15, 2014

PAD Day 15: "Pathetic" Poetry and a Terza Rima

I just became aware today that four of my poems appear in a new anthology called The Pathetic Book of Poetry. It's a self-published project of one Jody Pratt, a fellow member of the online poetry community Pathetic.org, of which I've been a member for almost fifteen years(!)  Jody recruited about 26 poets from the site to contribute to the anthology, which was a long time in process, but it's finally here. If you are interested, it's available for order on Lulu.com (see link to the title above).

Today's prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo: (1) Write a "love" and/or "anti-love" poem, and (2) write a terza rima.  A "terza rima" is an Italian form created by Dante Alighieri in The Divine Comedy: A series of tercets (three-line stanzas), usually in iambic pentameter, with an interlocking rhyme scheme of ABA, BCB, CDC, DED, EFE, etc., and usually ending with a single line that rhymes with the second line of the preceding stanza.  There is no length limit to the terza rima.  My most successful poem in this form was probably "Erosion", which appeared several years ago in the late lamented journal  The Barefoot Muse, edited by my friend Anna Evans.  Today's poem is actually a "terza rima sonnet", used by Shelley in his poem "Ode to the West Wind" - the last two lines (the traditional closing sonnet couplet) rhyme with the second line in the prior stanza.  Got all that?


It's not some gilt-edged bound-in-leather journal
in which I write with fancy flourishes,
my quill pen scratching odes to love eternal.

My Bic pen scrawls, its blue ink nourishes
lined paper bound by wire spiral spine,
torn cardboard covers held against their wishes

by duct tape, just to lend a silver shine.
What matters is what's put between the covers,
not whether your book's prettier than mine.

Let's read our work to our respective lovers
and see who swoons to each impassioned page,
and like the tiny hummingbird who hovers

around the nectar jar, their love will rage.
It's so much better than a living wage.

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