Howdy, Campers and welcome to my 2012 Poem-A-Day Challenge!¬† Wowee–I can’t believe it’s here again!¬† This means I’ve been writing a poem a day since I took the challenge in April 2010.¬† Two. Whole. Years.¬† Over six hundred poems.
Ask any writer and I’ll bet 98% of us wonder if we deep-down really ARE writers.¬† Writing a poem a day has given me an amazing gift–I no longer doubt that I’m a writer.
This month, all the poems will be DOG POEMS, because the dog park is my new addiction.¬† So, let’s get on with the dog show–arf, arf!
FOCUSING ON RHYTHM IN A DOG POEM
DOG LOOKING DOWN FROM A SECOND STORY WINDOW
by April Halprin Wayland
dog lifting ear
wrinkling wet nose
whistle of man
done with day‚Äôs work
twitching the tip of a tail
putting big paws on the ledge
shoes on cement
key metal gate
dog looking down
man looking up
galloping over the hall
tearing down all of the stairs
tangle of legs
plough into man
crash to the ground
licking this¬†most beloved¬†shoe
Eli waits for Gary to come home every night. ¬†Eli’s exhilaration lends itself to a short, clipped rhythm.¬† In poetry, a stressed beat is noted with a slash (/) while an unstressed beat is merely a period.
The rhythm I use in this poem is mostly: /../¬† (Shoes on cement¬† /../)
But sometimes I change it up: Putting big paws on the ledge /../../)
It’s your turn.¬†Think about someone coming home. ¬†Can you put it into a poem? ¬†If the rhythm I used feels appropriate for your poem, try it yourself.¬† (For more guidance regarding poetic meter and rhythm, see¬†Myra Cohn Livingston‘s wonderfully clear and basic book,¬†Poem-Making.)
poem © 2012 April Halprin Wayland. All rights reserved
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