Day Three. And Good Friday too. As a person raised Catholic, for me the phrase "day three" resonates: "On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures." I suppose today in NaPoWriMo/Poem-a-Day Land, there will be many "third-day" poems. Okay, on to the poetry prompts.
Here's Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt for day three: "I challenge you to write a fourteener. Fourteeners can be have any number of lines, but each line should have fourteen syllables. Traditionally, each line consisted of seven iambic feet (i.e., an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed syllable, times seven), but non-iambic fourteeners also exist." Maureen points out that the renowned poem "Casey at the Bat" by Ernest Lawrence Thayer is made of fourteeners. "The form is versatile enough to encompass any subject matter, but as the example of 'Casey at the Bat' shows us, it is particularly useful in narrative poetry, due to the long line and the step-like sense of progression created by the iambs."
Robert Lee Brewer's PAD suggestion today is to "write a machine poem. A machine could be a car or a robot, obviously, but simple machines include levers, pulleys, and screws. There’s also 'machine learning' and 'deus ex machina'." Robert wrote a particularly fun machine poem sample today. You can read it here.
I didn't come up with a "third-day" Easter poem, although I hope many other April poets who wanted to did. You can't push these things; if the Muse ain't there, she/he/it just ain't there. But I did manage to combine the fourteener and machine prompts. Here you go
Alan brilliantly merged the machine and fourteeners prompts today, using one of the most basic of machines, the hinge. When I first read this, the first thing I said, with some chagrin, was, "Fourteeners rhyme?" I had merely gone for the fourteen syllables per line. But Alan really mined well the English ballad tradition here, both in form and substance. Enjoy, friends.
Thomas Crofts and the Miracle Hinge
Genius. Especially if you know Alan's other Thomas Crofts, medievalist, poems. Crofts is a good friend of Alan's, a colleague at East Tennessee State U, who is in fact a medievalist. Click here to see some more Thomas Crofts, medievalist, poems. You'll see this page first but if you scroll down you'll see the other pages with the poems. In the picture below you'll see Thomas Crofts, medievalist, himself. With sword, of course.
To get a sense of the man, click here to read an article by Thomas Crofts, medievalist, about joy and poetry. Or click here to see the ETSU faculty page of Thomas Crofts, medievalist.
By the way, Alan has also got a Christ connection in this poem, or at least an allusion, since we see Satan tempting the good medievalist as he did Jesus once in the desert, the temple, and a high mountain. Of course the poem is also a political satire, and it's very witty of Alan to get the word "walked" in here. 'Nuff said.
And another "by the way," Alan's poem can be sung, as can all ballad-style fourteeners. Try it using, say, the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas" or the theme song to Gilligan's Island. Any other suggestions for melodies one could use to sing Alan's poem? Oh!
Friends, won't you comment, please? Alan and I would love to hear from you. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don't find the word "comments" in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!
Ingat, everyone. Hope National Poetry Month is not being cruel to you. ヅ
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