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Showing posts from 2017

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…

Life Cycle -A football poem by Bruce Dawe

This poem by Australian poet Bruce Dawe epitomises the unique connection sporting tragics have to their preferred football teams, -an almost tribal allegiance. Each season supporters stare down the twin imposters- victory and defeat. They remain both loyal and hopeful of eventual triumph. This poem refers specifically to Australian Rules Football, but it's themes are universal.
I share this poem on the eve of the 2017 Grand Final to decide the Premiership for this football season. My team, the Richmond Tigers have reached the play off to decide the ultimate victor. They have not contested the Grand Final match for 35 years. My hopes fly with them. This poem links two of my great loves -football and poetry...

Life Cycle
When children are born in Victoria
they are wrapped in club-colours, laid in beribboned cots,
having already begun a lifetime’s barracking.
Carn, they cry, Carn … feebly at first
while parents playfully tussle with them
for possession of a rusk: Ah, he’s a little Tiger! (An…

Ottava Rima Poem

Today I've gone Italian with an Ottava Rima poem. An Ottava Rima is a poetic form made up of eight lines that rhyme. Each line consists of eleven syllables.The Ottava Rima in its current form was first created by the Italian poet, Giovanni Boccaccio. It is based on a poetic form then used in Sicily, incorporating an alternating rhyming scheme throughout its eight lines. The double rhyme in the last two verses was introduced later on.

An Ottava Rima poem is made up of an octave with the rhyme pattern:
ab
ab
ab
cc

This poem presented an interesting challenge, but then again a challenge is a good thing for a poet. I kept returning to it across a couple of weeks. 

Distancing myself from the words allowed me to return with a clearer vision about what my poem needed in order to settle. Sometimes making a poem is akin to working with Lego pieces. When the word arrangement works, you hear everything click into place. 

Some tinkering and line movement proved quite useful in the end. I would recomm…

When Poets Ponder -Wordplay Emerges

I recently presented a poetry workshop for teachers in Hobart. Kate Neasy was one of those who attended. Kate followed up by emailing me one of her poems last week. It was a wow moment...

Kate Neasy, a.k.a Kathryn Rae has written a poem that really resonates with me. It deserves sharing. Such a cleverly constructed poem.

They say the best books -and poems to read are those that make us think. Well, this poem certainly did that. Kate's poem ponders commonly used idiomatic terms and begins to pose questions regarding their accuracy. Kate has kindly granted me permission to share her words. It gives me pleasure to present them on Poetry Friday.

SO NOT

Blue whales are not blue
New Town is not so new
Gold fish are not gold,
A cold war is not really cold.

A granny flat may be used by teens,
A bean counter rarely handles beans,
A silverfish does not swim,
Happy hour is often rather grim.

Daylight robbery can occur overnight,
Surveillance may result in an oversight,
Laundered money is never clean,
Green…

'Cisco The Smelly Alley Cat' Read Aloud

To celebrate International Literacy Day, I decided to share a reading of a poem from my latest book, 'I Bet There's No Broccoli On The Moon.'
I trust you enjoy it. Poetry is even more fun when it's read aloud.





Click on the link below to hear the read aloud poem.


Cisco The Smelly Alley Cat
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzGyuRnfkgM


The Objects of Poetry

We can all write poems about objects, particularly those we value. You may be in possession of an object you cherish quite deeply, or simply find appealing. You may have an object given to you by a loved one. You may have an object which arouses curiosity or mystery. Something we call a curio. On occasions I have found myself writing odes to seemingly everyday objects.

Let's Consider Objects

Find an object of interest and place it in front of you. Now look at it closely. Bring all your senses into play and begin to focus on all its details. Check out your selected object from different distances and angles- close up with a magnifying glass, or from a distance.

Try speaking to your object. Ask it questions. I suggest you do this when you are on your own, otherwise people may begin to think you are a bit loopy. But do it. Think about what your object might say if it had a voice. What would it tell you?

Now, start gathering possible words:

Where did you find or receive the object?
Where di…

When Poetry Visits The Traveller

I really enjoy the poems that emerge from my immediate engagement with places I visit.

When a poem arises from visiting a particular place, it is a joy for my poet's heart. I have written before about the 'poetry of place.' I recognise its strong influence on my writing. I look forward to the words that come flooding my way.

This little poem came to me during my very recent trip to Vietnam. It was a response to the morning skies that greeted me in the city of Hanoi. I stepped out and into the busy streets of the city's bustling old quarter and the skies above me were brooding, grey and heavy with expectation.It was all set up for me to notice- and I embraced the moment.

I encourage all young poets to be open to poetry ideas related to place. Ideas frequently present themselves whenever we do some mindful meandering in new or unfamiliar places. We must remain open to possibilities, wherever we go in this world.


Hanoi Morning
The sky
Seamless
Grey
Drapes itself suffocatingly
Over…

Some Actions That Could Inspire Poetry

Some Actions That COULD inspire the writing of Poetry
Everyday actions can provide rich potential for creating poetry. Here is a list of actions that might prove helpful in finding those special words. Remember, poetry is writing our best words in tight spaces to create some sparks!

Putting gel or wax in your hair Blowing bubbles Trying on an older persons shoes Baking with a Grandparent Reading a whole book in day Snuggling into bed on a winter’s evening Playing kick to kick in the park Riding your bike through puddles Eating a crisp juicy apple Observing leaves falling Watching the effect of the wind Practicing something over and over until you master it Trying to put on clothing that is a bit small for you Falling asleep with your pet nearby Walking on the beach in winter Helping someone without being asked Noticing cold air on your face Finding a long lost treasure from your younger days Discovering a piece of ephemera (ticket, note, etc.) inside a book Reading a book you find yourself lost in Shopping…

Compound Interest POEM

I cannot claim credit for thinking of this idea, but I have had a lot of fun making this poem using compound words. I have used the words to sing the praises of someone special in my life- my wife, Vicki. I invite you to try this simple, yet effective approach to writing poetry. It is a fine example of word play. In this case playing with compound words. Poetry fun to share...



Compound Interest
You are the jingle in my bells The tick in my tock The flash in my light The spring in my time The whirl in my wind The tell in my tale You are the ever in my lasting The ginger in my bread The life in my boat It has to be said








ORDER I Bet There's No Broccoli On The Moon @Book Depository

Just a reminder, poetry people, you can order my latest poetry book, I Bet There's No Broccoli On The Moon onlinefrom Book Depository, right now. 

Just click the link below to go there.

Order The Broccoli Book HERE!

In this second anthology of adventurous verse for young poetry lovers, I am celebrating everything from pirates to pink pyjamas. 

My aim is to take poetry lovers all ages on a delightful, poetic journey through the far reaches of my experience. 

Within the pages of this book you'll find poems popping with life and laughter. You will discover among other things, my strong need for breakfast cereal, the very scary -Miss Dungeon, the perils of playing Kiss Chasey, and the joy of playing cricket in the park. 

I hope you will find I Bet There's No Broccoli on the Moon  is a fun collection of poetry. Poetry exploring, the joys of life, the adventures of Martina the astronaut, and why the world is full of silly songs.


Place Name Poem

I have always loved the sound of indigenous place names, -small and large towns with rich sounding addresses, sprinkled throughout Australia. They have a strong lyrical and quite unique sound. Such places have inspired this rhyming poem. My travels may have been stretching belief geographically, but it was fun to make a poem incorporating these great words originating from the languages of Australia's first people. 




Visitations

On Monday
Drove to Chinkapook
Stopped a while
To take a look
On Tuesday,
Zipped to Geelong
Scanned the harbour
-But didn't stay long.
On Wednesday,
Traveled to Boggabri
Bought some cheese
-Not sure why.
On Thursday, 
Drove through Yackandandah
Flowers were blooming
So I took a gander.
On Friday, 
Arrived in Mollymook
Found a shop,
Bought a book.
On Saturday 
Was in Woolloomoloo
Couldn't believe it 
-so were you!
On Sunday
I stayed home.
-Didn't travel
-Didn't roam.



The BURP Poem

Sometimes a single word can  spark an idea for creating poetry. So upon hearing a man burp/belch while walking along the street a couple of days ago, I began to ponder the word burp. A poet can never be sure what will spark an idea, but it pays to be ready when inspiration strikes.


When I was growing burping was not something my parents approved of. It was always considered socially unacceptable or simply bad manners to make such noises. however I also learned that in some cultures, notably Chinese and Indian, burping was regarded as acceptable in certain situations.

Burping after a meal can be seen as a sign of appreciation, and being well fed. In  other cultures such as Japan, Northern America and Europe, burping during a meal is considered bad manners.

Burping is probably one of those inappropriate things that we also find funny. To hear a loud burp suddenly emerge from a baby is something most of us consider quite amusing. It's hard not to laugh. Some people possess the special a…