Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Request for Poems: That's Funny

TOPers, what'd we find to tickle our funnybones this week?

Mike will be taking over as host for the month of August, unless someone else cares to volunteer.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt: That's Funny

I won't be available this evening so I'm putting up this week's prompt early.

Write a humorous poem.

It could be a limerick. It could be a poem that tells a funny story. It could be a familiar joke rephrased into poetry. It could be about something that really happened, something imaginary, or something that may not have happened but that everyone nonetheless knows to be true.

Or it could about something else entirely. After all, it's

Totally Optional


Come back Wednesday evening or Thursday morning to leave a link!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Request for Poems: Foreign Lands

What distant places did we visit, TOPers? Or did we find foreignness in our own backyards?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Prompt: Foreign Lands

Write about a foreign country. If you've never been to one, invent one. Actually, even if you have been to one, feel free to invent one.

Or write about something else entirely, since it's

Totally Optional


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Request for Poems, Ghazal

TOPers, did you enjoy the ghazal? Or do you have something else to share with us today?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Prompt: Ghazal

The ghazal is one my favorite forms: flexible enough to permit a wide variety of approaches, yet has a distinct flavor of its own. Loosely speaking, a ghazal is made up of couplets where each couplet ends with the same word or short phrase. Each couplet should stand on its own as a short poem in itself, though all are expected to be thematically linked.

For some excellent examples of contemporary ghazals, visit The Ghazal Page

For more technical (and disputatious) definitions, read this essay

and then try writing your hand at writing a ghazal. Or not. Remember, it's

Totally Optional


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Request for Poems: Tempo

Aak! Sorry, everyone. I spaced putting up the Request last night.

I'll transfer all the links from people's comments to Mr. Linky. If you're just logging in now, please leave your link here:

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.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Request For 'First Giraffe' Poems

It's time to show your cards, and see what the other poets have on their minds. The Linky widget included with this posting is a fine way to leave a link to your poem inspired by the 'First Giraffe' prompt, or any other poem you want to share. Comments are available if Linky doesn't work for you, or you want to add encouraging remarks, or any other remarks.

I'm through for a while so Saturday night Tiel Aisha Ansari will put up the next Totally Optional Prompt. And, thanks for your support.