Zumwalt Poems Online

Archive for December 14, 2011

Wednesday Poetry Challenge #8

(Starting Date for this Challenge is Jan, 1, 2012 — posted early to provide  proper advance notice.  Do not start this until the New Year — you can even consider this a New Year’s resolution — will repost this every Wednesday until the New Year.)

As stated in Poetry Challenge #5, the level of participation in that challenge has helped in determining the content of this challenge.

This challenge has been modified appropriately so that participation can range from heavy to light.

This challenge starts with the New Year — a type of New Year resolution.  It is the equivalent of a resolution that for 2012, “I will read a poem a day” — or “I will read a poem a week”

So here it is: for this challenge, read a poem a week from a non-established poet posting at a WordPress or other blog site and capture the link to the poem and include a brief to extended comment on your thoughts, feelings, reaction, learnings, insight, why you like or don’t like the poem, even a full analysis if you wish, etc. in regards to each poem. 

For those that don’t have time for a poem a week, the lighter version of this challenge is a poem a month.

If you are busy on a given week (or month) and miss adding an entry, just read an additional poem the next week (or month) to keep you on target for the year.  If you are doing a poem a week, your goal is to have 52 entries by the end of 2012.  If you are reading a poem a month, your goal is to have 12 entries by the end of 2012. This gives a nice list of other people’s poems that us other readers can reference and explore.

Ideally, you will start this challenge on Jan. 1, 2012.   Once again, if you miss a week (or month) just make up for it with additional entries at some other point in 2012.

You response to this challenge is a page (or post) with entries for each day (or week) which you update.  Creating a page is as easy as creating a post — just chose “Pages” from the right hand WordPress menu, between “Links” and “Comments” 

Here is a sample of such a log that contains a few sample entries.  

Please be sensitive to each rights of ownership and use links to poems as opposed to copying and pasting entire poem.  This also makes this easier to read your journal.  See sample example.

To explore various poetry blogs start at WordPress/Tag/Poetry, WordPress/Tag/Poems, WordPress/Tag/Rhymes and WordPress/Tag/Free-Verse or explore responses to challenges at dVerse. (For example, links of poets at this week’s Poet’s Pub.)

To link to you post


If you wish, you can copy the above link and paste at the bottom (or top) of the post or page that contains your response to this challenge.  That gets even more people involved! Just simply copy (as in copy and paste) the Mister Link box above and paste on your post or page.  It’s that easy.  (Thanks to willowdot21 for the idea!)


1.  Click on green “Mister Linky” link above.

2. Enter the URL (address of your response to challenge not of your website’s home page) of your post or page that has your response to this challenge.

3. For this challenge, locate and read a poem a week (or month) by any relatively unknown poet that posts to a blog site. Follow link with your comments on poem.

4. Anyone that wishes to see responses can click on the Mister Linky link above to view links.


Example Response For Poetry Challenge #8

Response to Poetry Challenge #8.

This can be done as a page or a post.  Doing this as a post.

Journal for Poetry Challenge #8

WEEK 1: Jan, 2, 2012

Pretty Little Scars by Vampire Weather

I like a strong message but am especially pleased when the mastery of handling words is directed at supporting that message.  This poem does this particularly well!  In addition, this poem allows for enough interpretation to remain interesting and worth re-reading and mixes and contrasts the wanted with the unwanted and rejoices at the result.

WEEK 2: Jan, 11, 2012

Flies by Ben Naga

We all wander about in life somewhat myopically, but some people’s short-sightedness is often at its worst in a relationship: squeezing out promises of freedom from the imprisonment of others.  Ben Naga doesn’t hit us over the head with this message but captures it simply and effectively like a black and white photograph of two flies on opposite sides of a glass pane.

WEEK 3: Jan, 17, 2012

Jacaranda by Poetry & Icecream

Unlike a short story, a poem can exist quite nicely, thank-you, without conflict — relying on beauty alone — just like a flower in bloom — it’s great to see that flower all by itself, I don’t need to see a deer eating away the leaves for the scene to be of interest.

But beauty in poetry is not necessarily effortless.  Often times there is very controlled use of components within a form.

In this case the meter and rhyme work perfectly together.  The meter supports the meaning.  The first two lines are iambs but the third breaks away with “bright” being strong  and foreshadows the next deviation in the third line of the second stanza — “fantasies drifting away”.  Yes, this would still be a nice poem if each line was iambic, but it becomes special as the meter is harnessed to highlight the highlights and emphasize the meaning. The last line is iambic and musical (“upon a sprinkled spread”) which puts the previous line in context against the prevailing iambic rhythm. 

This craftsmanship is not haphazard. Even when a poet is so talented that they do this as second nature, just as a jazz musician improvises great melodic lines that align and contrast with the foundational harmonies, this ability and skill is based on reading lots of poetry and writing lots of poetry. There are no shortcuts to excellence!

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