Thank you to all who joined us during February for Word of the Month. We had some exceptional efforts. Kim Jasper posted a strong poem last night and I’m sorry to have to take it (and all February poems) down this morning to make way for March. Kim, I’m leaving yours up for a couple of extra days to give people a chance to see your work. I hope you’ll give us another sample for March.
Speaking of March, the word for this month is TIME. Cory Corrado, you have kept track of all the words we’ve ever used so you’ll know if this is a repeat. I don’t have with me the alphabetized list you were kind enough to send me so if this is a duplicate, in my defense I can only say it feels like time again.
I met poet Joy Acey Frelinger in 2011 when she attended my Highlights Foundation poetry workshop near Honesdale, Pennsylvania. Joy, Jeanne Poland, Ken Slesarik, and Cory Corrado were in the same group and I love it that we’ve all stayed in regular contact over these last eight years. That’s Ken and Joy (in red) in the picture.
Yesterday Joy sent me a note about my contribution to Jane Yolen’s new form, which she has dubbed the Tendrillon. Here’s Joy’s note/suggestion.
“I like your reply poem to Jane’s challenge BUT your ending couplet didn’t make much sense to me. I’d like to suggest for the last line:
I’ll drink martinis, very dry.”
And here’s my response.
“Thanks for the suggested revision. I meant my tongue in cheek ending to smack of irony: after over imbibing on wine for so long, my speaker decides to turn to vodka until he gets all that vine out of his system. Your suggestion changes my meaning but is a clearer solution. I’ll mention this on my blog.”
Sometimes when a writer dashes off a line to reflect his meaning, the result isn’t as clear to his reader as it seems in his mind because he knows what he means to convey and the reader has to be told. This may be a good example of it. The floor is open if you care to add your own thoughts to this example or perhaps to speak in general on the subject of clarity of expression. Thanks, Joy, for creating the teaching/learning moment.
Yesterday Cory Corrado, our good friend in Canada, posted a poem inspired by this month’s Word of the Month Poetry Challenge word — celebrate. She added that she began writing W.O.M. poems in October 2009 and this new one is her 109th poem “that would not be if not for this challenge.”
It began with a word
One four letter word.
No! Not a “dirty” word―
An earthy, ‘clean” word.
A wholesome down to earth word
An inelegant word
A curt matter of fact word
A no-nonsense-straight-shooting, tell-it-like-it-is word
A “soiled” word.
You guessed it!
The ‘face’ that launched thousands.
YESSS! Thousands . . . more priceless than ships.
Almost ten years!
Something to CELEBRATE
Seems like yesterday . . .
And it all began
with some very fertile
Cory Corrado (2019) ©
(Thank you, David)
And I thank you, Cory. We met at my first Highlights Foundation poetry workshop in 2011. I love the picture of you on a swing in the yard of the farmhouse where we held the workshop. That was a great group. We’re still in touch with Jeanne Poland, Ken Slesarik, and Joy Acey.
I did five poetry workshops in Honesdale, most recently in 2016, and appeared as a Skype guest for Larry Brimner in 2015. I occasionally wonder if I should offer another one, but my friends, Georgia Heard and Rebecca Dotlich, do a stellar job each year and I doubt that two poetry workshops are needed. I’m glad for the ones I did, though, and have many great friends and memories to treasure.
I choose this month’s word challenge with confidence that I won’t screw up and name a word used previously. Know why? Because of Cory Corrado, that’s why!
Just look at the lovely gift she has sent me, a booklet listing every word I’ve used since the beginning in 2009. They’re listed alphabetically! And she included a printout of all words by month and year, in which it’s apparent that on five occasions I have indeed reused a word.
So here is the all new, never ever used before Word of the Month word for July! It is FRESH.
Go for it, ladies and gentlemen!
My friend Cory Corrado sent me this candid backyard picture she took a while back and wondered if you might add a caption to it — couplet or otherwise. I agree it should be a fun challenge for all you poets and wits out there. Have at it. And thanks, Cory!