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Life of Leon And Line Breaks

They say it is the line and where it is broken that provides the rhythm of a poem. The longer the line, the more the poem sounds like natural speech. Poets break lines for different reasons. Here are some:
according to their natural breathingto emphasize a particular or wordsto create tensionto change the pace of the poemThe original version of this poem had longer lines and fewer line breaks. I was not completely happy with the outcome. It sounded a bit slow and pedestrian. The theme of my poem is not relaxed along with the focus of the writing, Leon. This made for a mismatch.

In revising the poem, I needed to build more tension and increase the pace for the reader. So, you will notice my poem has quite short lines throughout the entire poem. I did this to create a greater sense of urgency around Leon's story. The poem is loosely based on a childhood memory of a kid I used to know. All our writing is informed by our lives, if we are open to these influences. Writing is just as much…
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Poem Of The Day -'Compound Interest.'

Dear Visitor, I invite you to visit Australian Children's Poetry where my poem, 'Compound Interest' has been selected as poem of the day. Hope you enjoy reading it.
Click on the link:
https://australianchildrenspoetry.com.au/category/poem-of-the-day/


Where Does Your Poetry Hide?

Poetry is an ever inclusive part of my summer writes. It calls out to me to be included. In those lazy, hazy days, I shall seek it out in every corner ...  
In truth, it's with me all year round, wherever I am. So, where is it hiding? Where is it to be found? Let’s investigate…



Where Does My Poetry Hide?

Where does my poetry hide?
It snuggles in snatches of conversations  
floating down the street
It rocks about in my collected treasures
Junky and jumbled

I look for it in lettuce, limes and lemons 
In asparagus, apples, even anchovies
It might be sealed a packet of peppermints
A jar of peanut butter
Escaping with aromatic intensity
Poetry washes up on the shoreline 
in clusters of seashells
Glittering sea glass
Seaweed and wet sand

I seek it out in a song’s refrain
And voices in a playground
I find it nestling in my favourite books
It emerges in isolated words
and fabulous fragments
Angry and otherwise
It swirls in the mumbles and whispers rumbling against the internal walls of houses.
It develops in pho…

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

Tetractys
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…

Image Poem

Image Poem

This poem owes its existence to Georgia Heard's idea of the six room image poem where six elements are addressed in the writing that follows:

Image
Light
Sound
Questions
Feelings
Repetition

The challenge is to expand our vision of selected images by attending to each element when writing. The idea is to spend time considering each of the six elements by thinking about them as rooms we must enter in order to think more deeply about our word choice.


The Grandfather Clock

The Grandfather clock
Stood tall like a palace guard
Marking time in Nana's lounge-room
Against the wall
Avoiding the sunlight streaming through lace curtained windows
Tick-tocking as the pendulum swung in its unerring arc
Brass and chains and moving arms 
Encased behind a long glass face
The clock announced the passing of each hour
With blare and boom
The rowdy ringing out
Chased the silence from the room
Why so loud? the small ones asked
Why so tall? the small ones wondered
They kept their distance
Time moved on relentlessl…

Spellbound by Poetry- The Lost Words, Robert MacFarlane

I am an unashamed collector of books and it is with great excitement I share my very latest poetic acquisition, The Lost Words by Robert MacFarlane. 

MacFarlane is a proud logophile (me too) and this beautifully written and illustrated book( courtesy of Jackie Morris) is a book I highly recommend to everyone out there who loves the beauty and power of language. It serves to highlight the infinite treasure existing in the natural world. treasure we can curious learners to tap into with a sense of relish and delight.

It immediately conjures up multiple possibilities for teaching poetry, growing vocabulary and celebrating the wonders of the natural world we all inhabit. 

This is a book I will eagerly share with poets of all ages. This is a book to make a word lover's heart sing!

This is a big book in every respect. It was not an inexpensive purchase, but it presented as an investment I was more than happy to make given it's rare and  beautiful contents. As soon as I became aware of i…

Kyrielle POEM

A Kyrielle poem is structured so that all the lines have eight syllables and each stanza of four lines ends in a refrain. It takes on a rhythmical form very much like a rhyming couplet.


A Kyrielle poem is made up of 4 lined stanzas of eight syllables each. The capital letter (directly below) being the refrain:

aabB  
ccbB 
ddbB 
eebB

Here is my Kyrielle poem. It is springtime in Australia, so it seems appropriate to tap into the sensations of the season when looking for inspiration. Just like the Ottava Rima poem I wrote recently, Kyrielle poems require some thought and effort. I must admit I again enjoyed the challenge presented by the structure of the poem. Finding sufficient rhyming words that are also appropriate for the subject was a major consideration. So, my fellow poets are you up for the challenge?


Springtime Revelations

Finessing all the shrubbery
The gentle breeze washed over me
Scents and bouquets then arose
The earth reveals what winter knows

The morning air is light and warm
Dragonf…