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‘Tis Poetry Month again—time to play with words in creative ways, whether we’re practiced poets, novices, or somewhere in between.

According to American Poet Laureate, Stanley Kunitz:

Isn’t that a perfect definition? There is delight in the act of discovery while distilling meaning into a compact whole.

This year I tried two new forms, the Ottave Rima and the Ochtastich (explanations below), and included two more familiar forms as well, the Tanka and Couplet. Although it wasn’t my goal, all four became centered around the theme of blessing:

1. Tanka—a Japanese form with 31 syllables. In English, there are 5 lines, with a 5-7-5-7-7 pattern for the syllable count. Line 3 most often provides a transition.

Blessing

God prepares blessings

For each day—bright benefits

To enjoy.  But better yet?

To be God’s blessing and grant

Loving kindness to others.

2. Couplet—Includes at least two lines that typically rhyme and have the same meter. It can be a poem on its own or part of a longer poem. Each couplet most often creates a complete thought or idea.

Glad Delight

Fill your days with godly light;

Create a stream of glad delight.

Note the blessings God bestows.

Be grateful! Give praise! Set your heart aglow!

And then to others, offer grace—and smile!

Aim to make your words worthwhile.

May everyone who comes to you

Leave better, happier, and renewed.

  • Ottava Rima–an Italian form with 8 lines, 11 syllables each, and an ABABABCC rhyme scheme. It often tells a story; this one happens to be true.

The Lost Ring

Dad had long worn the broad-banded, golden ring

Showcasing his grandmother’s diamond, reset.

But it disappeared from its place of resting.

A thorough search produced nothing but regret.

Days later, on favorite chair he was sitting,

Reached for his Bible; on top sat lost objet.

Breathing stopped. Our God of wonders had drawn near,

Expressing love, unmistakable and clear.

  • Octastich—A stanza with eight lines, written in free verse or conforming to a specific rhyme scheme or rhythm pattern.

Look

Look to the Lord who supplies our needs;

He’s the Mighty One of absolute perfection.

Look with hope upon the God of peace;

He’s the gracious One, offering salvation.

Look within to the Father of love;

He’s the faithful One; full of affection.

Look up to the King who reigns from above;

He’s the Holy One deserving devotion.

Perhaps you’ve celebrated Poetry Month also. If so, please share a sample of your poetry in the Comment section below!

Art & photo credits: http://www.flicker.com (rubyblossom); http://www.peakpx.com; http://www.wallpaperflare.com; Nancy Ruegg; http://www.pixfuel.com.

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