Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
You know what happens when you collaborate? You stretch. You grow. You learn. Even if it’s not always a comfortable process, it’s well worth it! This month, our Poetry Princess challenge was an Aphra Behn poem. Nope, never heard of it. Turns out it’s named after a person, and Kelly Fineman will tell you more about it. But basically, it’s a poem in iambic tetrameter with a rhyme scheme of ABBACDDCEE.
Barring something unexpected happening, my husband and I are moving in less than a month. Due to a job change to a new job that he truly enjoys, we’re going from the suburbs of Minneapolis to the city of St. Paul. It will be quite the adventure! Now, I’m excited about the move, so don’t read too much into my poem. But what I decided to do was a list poem of some of the things I’ll miss. Because, even though we moved two years ago, that was a very short-distance move. This time, I’ll really have to build a whole new network of my places: library, gym, Weight Watchers meeting, park, fast food, etc. It’s a little scary!
Today is also the anniversary of my mom’s passing two years ago. I wrote this poem a week ago, but that date hovering in the future did influence the mood, I think.
Anyway, here’s what I came up with.
I didn’t love this form–at least not for a list poem. Because each line ended a specific thought, the shifting rhyme scheme felt somewhat stilted and forced. Oh, well. Live and learn. I did feel a little better about it after the Poetry Princesses chatted a bit about why this form felt so hard. When Kelly advised us to think of it as a mini-sonnet and also pointed out the extra syllables available for the last line, I changed my last line to be more of a wrap up line, and I do think that helped a little bit.
Don’t forget to check on what the rest of the Poetry 7 wrote!
Andi is on sabbatical, but we await her return when she is ready! <3
Click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations.
And don’t miss the roundup of all the wonderful Poetry Friday offerings, rounded up today by Tricia, passionate educator and terrific Poetry Princess, at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
I can see the challenge of this form, but I love what you created. I wish you all the very best with your move.
The moves, though welcome like yours, are full of things missed. I smiled when you wrote of those Taco Bell employees. I actuallly went back once to say hi to my grocery checkers. I missed them a lot. Hugs to you when thinking of your mother and it is poignant to think of Jack’s ashes close, then farther away. I can see the poem form is challenging and I liked it much better when I read it aloud. I do love your chosen theme.
Did I know you were actually moving, Laura? I don’t think so, but then senior brain… Hope you find all kinds of new features/people/hangouts to love.
Erika Crowl says
Beautiful, Laura. <3
Michelle Kogan says
I like how your last line pulled all together–so many memories here … Although it was challenging it seems to fit so well with your moving, and it does seem similar to a mini sonnet. As Linda did, I liked reading it aloud too. Hope the preparation and move goes well.
Thanks, Michelle. Changing the last line did help. Still not my favorite form, but good to try 🙂
Linda Mitchell says
Live, learn, grow…..poetry is perfect for these verbs, I think. The park lines with ashes and butterfly really get me. Thanks for sharing this form. I do love a challenge that helps me grow. This looks like a good one. Thanks!
Thanks, Linda. I hope you enjoy trying this form out!
I’m glad I read what Linda and Michelle wrote about reading your poem aloud–that made a big difference for me, too. I like how your poem includes both mundane and profound to capture all the things you’ll miss. Good luck with your move. Just think of all the new material!
Thanks, Molly. Lots of new adventures!
Good luck with your move/adventure! I hope you find many things to love (and write about).
It’s amazing to me that your mom’s passing was two years ago already — it seems like just yesterday. Hugs to you.
Thank you, Tabatha. And it seems like yesterday to me, too. And at the same time, decades…
Sara Lewis Holmes says
“Scrabble-perfect balcony” !! yes. It’s all those little perfect spots we miss (and the gym we’ve lunged into and out of for years.) Speaking as one who moves often, I think a little list poem in a deliberate meter captures well the chaos and order that define most moves. Here’s to finding a new place in which to write poetry….and to call home.
Thanks, Sara–I’m excited about finding those new places!
You already know that I love love love this poem — I love list poems in general but I think what I love most here is the concrete and sublime and little and profound all stacked together side by side, which is the way it really happens in life. Hugs to you on the anniversary of losing your mom… xoxo
Kely Ramsdell says
I hate to argue, but I really think you’re wrong–your list poem worked brilliantly as first written, and again as revised!!
Thanks, Kelly. I’m eh on it, but…flattery is never a bad thing. Ha! And I feel like I could do a better job on a new one now.
I think you’ll like being a city mouse, at least I hope so. It’s different, and vibrant in its own way. And I guess St. Paul is a pretty good-sized city! I think I’d love to see a list poem when you get there of all the surprising things that you love about it.
Though I am sorry you have to pack up AGAIN. Ughhhhhh. But, a change is as good as a rest, they say. I look forward to you getting fresh ideas in a new place.
I have never heard that saying! Interesting. I think we’ll like it, too. Lots of new places to explore. Maybe that will be my next Aphra Behn poem: Things I Like About My New Home :>)
Catherine Flynn says
Moving is such a bittersweet experience. After living in the same place for most of my life, I can’t even imagine it at this point. As others have mentioned, I love how you’ve woven everyday life and treasured memories into your poem. Wishing you much happiness in your new home!
Thanks, Catherine! Moving two years ago was not emotional, as it was only 15 minutes from our old home, and I was SO ready to dump the responsibilities of house-ownership. This time is a little scarier, since I’ll need a new library, new gym, new Taco Bell, new parks, etc. But I’m sure it will be great. Thanks for the good wishes!
I love “low longing of the morning train.” You have given me words for the soundtrack of my life!
Thank you, Mary Lee–that’s the best compliment ever. It’s great when a poem shows something new to a reader. But when it somehow puts words to something the reader already felt and knew but hadn’t somehow articulated, that’s the best of all!
Tricia Stohr-Hunt says
I love this poem, even though it feels melancholy and a bit bittersweet. I love that you’ve included Captain Jack and your mom in it.
Here’s hoping the move goes well!
Thank you, Tricia!
Matt Forrest Esenwine says
I like the poem, Laura – for the touching sentiment as well as the showcase of the form. (The thought of a mini-sonnet popped into my head as soon as you described the rhyme scheme, actually!) And I think you were able to break free from the line-by-line imagery you did not like with lines 6 & 7, which is a complete sentence spread out over two lines. Perhaps if you forced yourself to end a sentence mid-line – even if you didn’t end up keeping it – it might spark a new angle or inspiration. As a lover of sonnets, though, I’m definitely going to need to attempt one of these!
Yeah, that’s a good idea, Matt. I will try it in my next Aphra Behn (she says as if there might be a next one–but you never know!). Now that I know what I don’t care for about the form, I actually should try another one. Have fun with yours!