I get nervous even typing that word. Must be a southern thing, since here we learn the Bible practically by osmosis (see Matthew 5:22). Anyway, it is April, and it is Poetry Month. And if your response, in your head because you’re too polite to say it aloud, is “That just proves that April is the cruelest month,” just let me remind you, that little ditty is poetry too. Therefore, every day this month, I am foolishly going to attempt to post a poem a day. But wait! There’s more!
I am going to do it thematically … sort of. I am going to use William Packard’s The Poet’s Dictionary, and I am going to give an example of some poetic device he defines therein. I am not, however, going to allow myself to use his given example. I have to come up with one of my own (yeah, yeah, yeah – I am going to try and write an example if I don’t have one in my repertoire already and, YES, this will be a forced daily writing exercise).
At last count, there were 26 letters in the English alphabet and 30 days in April. Math. Yeesh. I will, therefore, be taking liberties – license, if you will – with the entries. The “M” category is just full of stuff I can’t resist like “metaphor” and “metonymy” and “mind swipe.” Okay. That last one isn’t really in there. Just wanted to see if you were paying attention. Anyway, I will be using some letters more than once, just for funsies.
You should play too! Try it and if you like what your pen hath wrought, share it with the class in the comments section. Or, if you would rather, you can find your own examples from your favorite poets; but please do still share those examples. Celebrate poetry this month.
And now without further ado, first up is:
Alexandrine: A hexameter line composed of six feet. In French neoclassic poetry, the alexandrine includes an absolute CAESURA [forced breath – but that’s for another April day!] division creating two equal hemistitches (half lines) of three feet each on either side.
Hmmm. Sounds a lot like carpentry. Let’s give it a go anyway. If I do this incorrectly, I expect to hear from someone out there about it. Ah, I am nothing if not controversial …
In the morning, my love, leave and don’t say good-bye.
Okay. I don’t like the use of the contraction, don’t, but I think this line would pass as an alexandrine. Does it?
There is a lesson to be learned from this exercise of examining poetic devices, but I am going to keep it to myself for now. You’ll just have to keep playing to find out what that lesson is. Thanks for reading!