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Showing posts from November, 2017

Football Dreaming Poem

This poem is seasonally out of place. However, in its defence, it began during the recently completed football season in Australia. A time when football was very much in my thinking zone. I watched my football team win the coveted AFL Premiership after a drought of 37 long, and often painful years. 

Today the AFL Draft for 2017 will be conducted. A day when young footballers Australia wide wait to see if they will have their dreams realized and get to play in the national competition. So, the football connection is restored somewhat...

The words of the poem have taken time to reshape and fit into place. There have been numerous revisions.  It is a poem that owes its origins to a time and a place strongly linked to my childhood. I grew up in close proximity to the local football ground. Across the road, through the school-ground and I was there. It was a setting central to my childhood. 

Do you have strong memories that connect places and events in your life? Maybe they could form the foc…

The Challenge Of Rhyming Verse For The Inexperienced Poet

Poetry is an extremely flexible writing form. It is easily weaved into our writing programs across the year as opposed to just being pigeon holed into a specific unit of work. Poetry offers a unique response to literature -fiction or non fiction. Such is the flexible nature of poetry. 

From an early age children have much exposure to a significant amount of rhyming verse. That our classrooms are filled with poetry that is enjoyable to listen to, or fun to read is important, but it may not necessarily provide the best starting point for inexperienced poetry writers.

When used skilfully rhyme can add to the lyrical nature of poetry. When it is used out a sense of expectation, it frequently serves to detract from the poem's intention. It weakens the words overall. If you listen closely you can hear the words clunking into place. They just sound like they don't belong.

Don't get me wrong. I am not anti-rhyme. In fact, I have to guard against over using it. It is a natural inclina…

Where's The Children's Poetry Section?

I have been wandering into bookshops in search of poetry for most of my adult life. As an educator, I acquire poetry books to better position myself to teach poetry. As a poet, I need poetry books to deepen my understanding of how poetry works. I am constantly searching for poetry’s vital spark. I am committed to this quest. Poetry is my writing oxygen.
But sadly in so many of my poetry searches I have come away empty handed and somewhat disillusioned. In the vast majority of bookshops  you will not find a designated section for children’s poetry. When poetry titles are offered, they are more than likely classic rhyming verse and frequently sitting among the general collection of picture books. 

Little wonder kids only think of poetry as something that rhymes. They develop a narrow interpretation of poetry because that is what they are being fed.  Rarely do you find contemporary content. The landscape is barren and degraded. A smattering of imported poetry books appear on occasions, but…

A Tetractys Poem

Recently, fellow poet Kat Appel alerted me to the existence of Tetractys poems. I was intrigued. I like to explore poetry in many forms, so this presented as an exciting poetic prospect. I went in search of deeper knowledge...

Tetractys, is a poetic form invented by Ray Stebbing.  It consists of at least 5 lines of 1, 2, 3, 4, 10 syllables (total of 20). They can be written with more than one verse, but must follow suit with an inverted syllable count. Tetractys can also be reversed and written 10, 4, 3, 2, 1. This makes the Tetractys a most versatile form of poetry.

Double Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1

Triple Tetractys: 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, 10, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 10

and on it goes...

Euclid, the mathematician of classical times, considered the number series 1, 2, 3, 4 to have mystical significance because its sum is 10, so he dignified it with a name of its own - Tetractys.

The challenge  of a Tetractys is to express a complete thought, profound or comic, witty or wise…