Fun with Metrics? I Certainly Hope So

10380318_700248176706148_3589674976662403112_nOops! I just noticed as I looked two posts back that I had promised to share the poems we went over at the last Cross Keys Poetry Society gathering, and already the next one is upon us tomorrow night. So I’ll be brief and just share a few notes that I sent out to the group as a review and to catch up a couple people who couldn’t be there. In this version I give all the links I can. I hope you enjoy exploring!

So here is what we’ve done and what’s coming up:
Next Meeting is this Tuesday, August 19th (Always on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays)
Last time we finished up the sections on Sound and Sound Devices.
For this week if you haven’t yet please take a look at her chapter on The Line, pages 35-57.
If the metrical stuff seems overwhelming, don’t worry, we’ll talk through it on Tuesday and have some fun with it.
Prior to last meeting we had each made our private lists of 25 (or up to 50) words that we like, especially based on their sound.
If you haven’t yet, there is still time. Choose words particularly if you associate their sound with their meaning.
We didn’t share those lists yet, but I asked you, keeping in mind Oliver’s section on imitation, to use as many of your words as possible to write a short piece in a style or form similar to one of the many poems we’ve read so far.
If you missed last time we read (If you don’t have the handouts, most of them I think can be found online):
And I passed out copies of two rhyming “nonsense” poems, though we didn’t get to read them together yet. Feel free to use them in the imitation exercise.
  • Jabberwocky,” by Lewis Carol
  • and “Counting Out Rhyme,” (which you might already have a copy of from our first meeting) by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Have fun! And I hope to see you this Tuesday. If you know of any friends who might enjoy reading and experimenting with poetry, please invite them to come along.

The challenge I’ve been facing this week is to make a study of metrics a fun evening for adults of various experience levels. I’ve found only a few somewhat helpful guides online to supplement Mary Oliver’s. If you have any suggestions, please mention them in the comments!

I did not include the following videos in the Cross Keys meeting, but I can be more self-indulgent here on my blog and share with you a couple of readings from four years back when I was really starting to record poems on YouTube with full-force enthusiasm. The “Bean Eaters,” by Gwendolyn Brooks really should be re-recorded with a better microphone, but I’ve had some good comments on it, and it does show up on page one of google search for the piece, so I think I’ll leave it for posterity. The recording of Meinke’s “Advice to My Son” is of much better quality. Thanks for indulging me.


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