Friday, April 1, 2022

Day 1 ~ Couplet

(YES, I tend to be rather detailed so some posts are longer than you might want, but I have a reason for everything I share with you so I appreciate you getting through all of it before you write your poem each day – even if it’s one you are familiar with – it’s always good to review and I often find and add new information about the poetry form for that day. Cheers)!!

Yay! It’s the first day of April and this is no April Fool’s Joke – it’s POETRY MONTH!!! We will write a poem a day for 30 days during the month of April. (Of course, if you miss a day, that’s fine, just jump back in as soon as you can). Many people reading this right now have done this poetry challenge with me before but I know we have some newbies each year. This is the TENTH year that I have done this poetry writing challenge here on my blog so I do want to add one or two (maybe more) new (to this challenge) poetry forms but I also enjoy sticking with some of our favorite tried and true poetic styles. This is fun and easy – even kids can and do join in.

I also host a private FB Poetry Month group; if you are interested in that, you will need to contact me and request an “invite” to it.  

Why write poems? Writing poetry causes us to think differently about words. Due to the condensed nature of most poetry, we think carefully about word choice, evaluate each word in order to tell a story, express our emotions, describe a moment, or a memory, It allows us to reveal ourselves in ways we may have never expected. 

I love this quote I found on Writers Write ~ “Poems act as a filter and help us get to the guts of the matter.” 

Most of the poems we will do this month have rather specific rules. This is a good thing. They are a guide and can help you express yourself in the most unexpected ways, but then again, when you write poetry, you can also break the rules if it serves the poem. However, I recommend for the purpose of our time together that you avoid breaking the rules. Following them will teach you a number of different ways to write poetry. You can always break them later, on your own.

Okay, enough of my rambling – let’s get started!! Yay!!

Let’s start with one that is rather simple ~ the COUPLET ~ every poet should know how to write a couplet. It is the basis of other poems and it’s only TWO lines of poetry. How easy is that?

Although I’ve seen some that are totally random, the dictionary definition of a “couplet” suggests that they usually consist of two lines that rhyme and have the same meter (syllable count). Although in the spirit of “full disclosure,” they do not need to have the same meter. Gasp! In fact, if you opt for what is called an “unrhymed couplet” they don’t even need ending rhyming words. So, there is a little wiggle room when it comes to couplets.

Try expressing your complete thought in two mid-sized poetic lines. The last words traditionally rhyme. And just for fun, TRY to keep both lines to the same syllable count (meter, basically).

It can be spiritual or silly or romantic or whatever suits your fancy – couplets are great to write for children or with children.

And you can always string a bunch of couplets together to create a longer poem, but for today – just try creating one or more individual 2-line couplets, unless you are bound and determined to make a longer poem.

Just a few more explanations when it comes to couplets: when a couplet can stand alone from the rest of the poem, it is considered independent, and it is called a “closed couplet.” Conversely, a couplet that cannot stand alone without the rest of the poem is an “open couplet.”

Just in case you were wondering, there actually are quite a variety of couplets – if you feel so inclined to research them – here are a few: Heroic Couplet, Unrhymed Couplet, Blank Verse Couplet, Short Couplet, Split Couplet, Qasida, Alexandrine Couplet, Shakespearean Couplet, and Chinese Couplet. No doubt there are more, but that’s a start.

And to simplify things – here is a handy-dandy free online syllable counter: Cheers!!

OK, for example here are a couple of couplets (hee hee) that I wrote; one last year and one just a few minutes ago:

I have so many things “on my plate,”
Please forgive me if I’m running late.
                   © 2021 Stephanie Abney

I am such a work in progress,
Some days I do more, others less

                              © 2022 Stephanie Abney

PLEASE REMEMBER ~ any poetry found on this blog, written by me, is my personal property and may not be used without my permission, other than sharing it as an example in a lesson or to read it to someone. The same goes for any poems that are shared in the comments of this blog or elsewhere online as a result of this challenge. They are the creative property of the person who writes them. These poems are their original work and no one may use them without their permission. It is understood that they own the copyright to them as soon as they create them and especially once they post them. Thanks so much!

Also, if you choose to post your poems on your own blog ~ that’s awesome. But PLEASE don’t just copy and paste my daily instructions, but rather post your poem on your blog or your FB wall or wherever AND LINK BACK TO THIS BLOG POST for others to come here to read the instructions. I’ve spent considerable time researching the poetry forms and writing them up to share with you. Thanks for respecting my work.


Unknown said...

April 1, 2022 Couplet

This thing called April Fool’s Day
Is a time when lots of people play
Always remember to take great care
For jokes and pranks will be the fare!

Heidi L. Murphy said...

Mine is here! Hi to everyone.

Connie said...

Totally forgot that it's poetry month. So I'm a day late.

Another beautiful day in Arizona they say,
But the pollen makes my eyes itchy and water all day.

Anonymous said...

Couplet—just getting started

My housekeepers are coming today
Hope I have time to put things away