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TUESDAY POETRY CHALLENGE - 3-31-09

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 11:39 am
by Mlou
I can't believe it's Tuesday again. Seems we haven't really wrung all the juice out of LAST week's challenges yet. :)

1. My neighbor brought me just made maple syrup this morning. Oh, man, was that ever great! Let's hear a verse on any kind of sweet that tickles your fancy. (Ms, watch yourself!)

2. Can you get lost in maps, planning trips, just looking at where roads go, and crazy smalltown names? How about some thoughts on the subject?

3. Word list to get the inspiration rolling:
contrary, fragrance, wistful, shelf, promise, cedar, patchwork, vague, manner, once

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:58 pm
by mslover
LOL... well my, my, my Mlou, whatever do you mean?

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:09 am
by mae
Oh man, I can hardly wait to read mslover's offerings! Sweets and ms. This oughta be good! I'm so glad I'm a grown up!

mae

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:17 am
by Mlou
Gosh, mae, I'm NEVER gonna grow up! :-D I have an unfortunate tendency to grow OUT though.

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:23 am
by Olsenpotter
The Popcorn Gods

It was a just little shop
on the corner of 10th and Washington.
I had 10 minutes to kill so I walked in
and immediately knew I had found my Kryptonite.
Huckleberry Cheesecake, Caramel Cashew Crunch,
Fire and Ice, Chocolate Heaven, Pumpkin Spice,
were in plastic bags all lined up like the firing squad
aiming their kernels at my heart.

I have to go everyday now;
I mean, even the kettle corn is
faith promoting. .

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 11:47 am
by Mlou
Groan! Now you've got me thinking of caramel corn, which I've been trying to avoid! I may regret this challenge, since I'm a sweet-aholic.
(I think it's Kryptonite maybe?)

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:15 pm
by Olsenpotter
Planning the Honeymoon

I thought,
before I get married I should plan my honeymoon,
so I took down a map and charted a course
for Coeur D'Alene.

It seemed to be a 9 hour trip,
doable,
but it would be so fun to stop in
Bliss for a day,
just enjoying each others company.
Maybe have lunch in Cable Car Crossing;
dinner at some diner in Darlington.

Of course we had to stop in Fernan Lake Village,
it would be in June and the lake would be green.
And Horseshoe Bend was a must see.

By the time the road brought me to Post Falls,
where I planned on reserving our hotel,
we would have passed through
Ireland Springs, Judge Town, Knowlton Heights,
Quartzburg, Underkoflers Corner, Yellow Dog,
and Zaza
taking 3 months, 2 days, and 7 hours...
before we even got where we were going.

I gave up; we went to Vegas instead.

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:17 pm
by Mlou
LOL! But aren't maps fascinating?

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:37 pm
by mae
You obviously weren't going on the Interstate!

mae

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 5:20 pm
by Mlou
#1

GOING THE EXTRA MILE (or should I just call it ODE TO MAPLE SYRUP?)
As if it were not enough
that they fill the warming air
with fragrance, give us
shade in the hot summer days,
and throw a brilliant shawl
over autumn hills
for our delight. Maples
release their heart's blood
that we may taste their sweetness
melting on our tongues.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:46 pm
by *Elle*
Mlou, Nice poem. But while on the subject of poetry...remember how we had the discussion about the American Library of Poetry and you gave me all the info about them when I kinda shrugged it off. Well you are sooo right! Now that Im finally 2 yrs older and wiser, I realized that these people are morons!! Literally! :D :D :D :D

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:30 pm
by Mlou
Yeah, Elle, we live and learn. :-D But there are several "poetry" mills like that out there, just waiting for the innocent who wants more than anything to be published. It just burns me that people get sucked in to these money making schemes.
But as I say, I have a friend who has one poem in each of a dozen of these volumes and PROUDLY displays them, after she forked over at least $49.95 for each of them. Just depends upon what you want out of them, I guess.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:15 pm
by JT
Mlou wrote:#1

that they fill the warming air

that we may taste their sweetness


I personally do not like the ugly word "that" especially beginning a line. (My only poblem with Williams' This Is Just To Say too.) I do recognize you probably wanted the word for flow or meter or whatever. For some reason it seems "that" is almost always uneccesary in poetry. I also personally think "the sweetness" would be better than "their sweetness." Yes, you are talking about a plural wih maples, but maple syrup is not plural, and you are enjoying the syrup in this poem, not the maples. Of course, it would be different if you were paying homage to the trees and not their collective syrup, just the same as flowers and honey. A nit pick only, but at least consider this. My opinion only: it would sound better too with the change. Otherwise it is very nice and soothing. I love maple syrup, especially with pancakes and sausage or bacon. Nice poem, Mlou.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:11 pm
by Mlou
Thank you for stopping by, JT. I mean it.

I liked your comments. I think largely it would depend upon the title of the poem. As I wrote it, I WAS praising maples for giving their all, "going the extra mile". And "their" seemed quite natural.

Now if we DID change the title ( I jokingly asked for opinions in parentheses), to Ode To... then yes, we would be speaking of one single thing, the syrup. And, oh yes indeed, it was better by a country mile than the Aunt Jemimah stuff. :-D
In the context of the poem, what would you suggest to replace "that"? It seems a rather necessary word in the structure of the sentence.

Posted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 11:38 pm
by JT
Dear Mlou,

I have just been on the phone off and on for three hours with other's problems. I am tired now and don't know what to do with the "that." I don't think you understood my previous comment about how people can change. I did say I would try. That's why I stopped by to read your piece and tried to offer my limited criticism. I commit to doing this at least once a week or at least try. But I can only just give my opinion. You are an incredibly better poet than me, of course we all know that, but the one or two sentence comments I see on this site are not crit and, forgive me, sometimes seem like faint praise. Real crit takes a lot time and is all too frequently off base.

I have come to dislike much the word "that," because I personally don't see any need or purpose for it in poetry and a lot of other types of writing. You know best of all crit should only be considered, then accepted or rejected as an author decides best. I will try to come back in a day or two to try get rid of the two uses of "that." This will take time because I need to understand, first, if they can be eliminated without disrupting your flow and, second, since I guess probably not, how to change it up so "that" word is not necessary. I stand by "the" rather than "their," perhaps only because it sounds better to me. Feel free to reject my suggestions. That's all crit is, right? One person's .02 cents only to be considered.

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 2:40 am
by mae
As if it were not enough
to fill the warming air
with fragrance, they give us
shade in the hot summer days,
and throw a brilliant shawl
over autumn hills
for our delight. Maples
release their heart's blood
that we may taste their sweetness
melting on our tongues.


This tiny change got rid of the first "that" - and I agree with JT on that one. It wasn't necessary and was more in the way. In my opinion, the second one should stay and so should "their". The poem would require major surgery to be rid of those words and no better for it.

I thought mlou was talking about maples themselves in the poem and not about the syrup. THEY fill the air with fragrance (though I confess I've never smelled a maple); THEY shade us; THEY throw on a brilliant shawl. The maples themselves do that; not their syrup.

mae

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 9:14 am
by Mlou
Good change, mae. Yes, I was talking about appreciating the maples. I think I misled JT by putting in a question about a second title.
And the maples do have a wonderful scent when they first open their little buds. Of course, the pollen doesn't make some people, like my daughter, ecstatic.

Thanks for taking the time, JT. You and mae had positive input here and it's appreciated. You're right about the usual "crit"..."Oh, that's nice!"...which, of course, isn't crit at all. And I hope the "other" problems had good resolutions. Sometimes others need someone to lean on and I think you've been elected. :)

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 5:05 pm
by JT
My opinion only. Nice change, Mae. Mlou, perhaps change the remaining "that" to "so". Perhaps an easy way out for me on suggestions for this poem, but again I personally hate the word "that" in a poem. It may be better for everyone else in the world and maybe I am just prejudiced against the word for unkown reasons. After all, some of the best poets ever have used it and even begin lines with it, but I know you want me to express my own opinions, whether you accept or reject them.

Jonathan

Posted: Fri Apr 03, 2009 10:19 pm
by mae
"So" works there, but I don't actually think it's any better than "that." In general, JT, I agree with your assessment of the word "that". I leave it out most of the time. I really do think it fits better here, however. Sometimes even the most overused and onerous words have uses. And that's (snicker) MY opinion. :D mae

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 10:50 am
by Mlou
Yep, THAT about says it. :) I will jettison the first and keep the second, because so still seems to imply "so (that) we..."
Thanks for the input, guys.

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 1:55 pm
by Saphyre
Who knew a four letter word could cause such problems without beginning with the letter 'f'? Only in a writer's world, that's for sure... Overall, I like it both ways, with and without the first that.

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:23 pm
by JT
Saphyre, what a great comment. Pretty silly, huh, a debate about an innocent seeming word and probably one of the most frequently used in the English language.

Mlou wrote:so still seems to imply "so (that) we..."


"So" was a cop out to get me out of this, but consider, Mlou, "that" can be implied as leading into many propositions.

"She is so beautiful in heart and soul [that] I cannot help but love her." And so on with thousands of examples.

I admit it is probably just me, and love the poem as is with Mae's change. Colons and semi-colons are another pet peave of mine in poetry, because they are ugly and distracting. Oh well, I indirectly got one word changed, so I feel [that] it was worth the time and effort, no matter how petty [that] I may seem.

Best,

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:36 pm
by Mlou
"Oh, that this too, too solid flesh would melt away..." I've quoted the line many a time gazing into a full-length mirror. If it's good enough for Wm. S., it's good enough for me. lol
JT, you did get one word changed and the poem is the better for it, so consider you've won your laurels on this one.
Actually, what I'd like is your comments on the other poets' work in the challenge threads, so they are encouraged because someone is taking time to read them.
(I don't labor overly long on my material here but I like to post some effort to keep the threads alive. My stuff is never really print-ready, alas.)

Posted: Sat Apr 04, 2009 9:58 pm
by JT
Yes, I am happy [that] my time was not for nought. I have said I will try to post a crit at least once a week, no matter how off base [that] the crit may be. But you don't mind nit-picking, unlike many others. Your poem is ready for sale to your usual audience as is. I do want to be more involved. I agree with you on (almost) all you say and have also come to treasure you too. I will be around here, until someone tells me to go.

Jonathan

Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009 4:50 pm
by *Elle*
When life throws you lemons
Throw them back
You can do what you want
As long as you believe in yourself
No matter what you do
Go out and try!

**Sorry guys..I needed some inspirational poems going on for a minute..Kind of lost my inspiration in life.