Saturday, July 5, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt: Tempo

It's summer here in the US. School is out. For some of us, the pace of life is slower; others may find themselves busier. Even if there's more to do, though, the hot weather seems to slow most people down.

Pacing and tempo are very important in poetry as well. Compare the breathlessly rapid lines of Emily Dickinson's Wild Nights with the slower but inexorable train-roll of Nazim Hikmet's Things I Didn't Know I Loved. Notice how Richard Hugo's Driving Montana accelerates through the last few lines. How does he accomplish this? Look at the tempo changes in Carl Sandburg's Chicago and Tom Sleigh's Augusto Jandolo.

Write a poem and pay careful attention to the pacing. Make it slow or fast, accelerating or decelerating. Consider the effects of line length and punctuation. Pay special attention to the verbs you use.

Come back Wednesday night or Thursday morning and leave us a link to your

Totally Optional


poem, or to something else entirely.

10 comments:

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Here's my tempo-laden (?) entry.

DISARMING – A METAPHOR ODD ON A CEPHALOPOD, at Nickers and Ink

Need instructions for making active links for blog comments" Check out SIMPLY SNICKERS (weekly poetry prompts) or MEME EXPRESS (daily blog prompts) for simple tips. Feel free to bookmark it for future references.

I received so many requests for tips on this . . . that I posted it in both spots.

Blessings all,
Linda

The Mane Point said...

Who keeps tempo better than a horse?

Here's an acrostic tanka . . . with syllabic tempo:

5-7-5-7-7

PLAYING H-O-R-S-E, at THE MANE POINT

Lirone said...

Here's mine... a deliberately meanderning and broken up free verse called slow times

Lirone said...

Sorry - I keep losing track of which sites want you to post links with the original prompt and which want you to wait until a request goes up!

Pauline said...

is elbow slipping considered a tempo? see here

Crafty Green Poet said...

well here's mine:

http://craftygreenpoet.blogspot.com/2008/07/mayfly-time.html

Brian said...

"Days when even drinking didn't help".

I guess we're supposed to leave links now on this post instead of waiting for Mr. Linky.

Raven's Wing Poetry said...

Here is my offering for this week:

The End of a Marriage

-Nicole

anthonynorth said...

Okay, mine's in this post:

Tony On Recession, Time & More

Enjoy.

texasblu said...

No Mr. Linky? Ah well, here's my contribution - thank you for this prompt! I've been meaning to fix this one, but needed a reason!

Late Winter Snowfall