#NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Sixteen

The Sting of Time

April is the cruelest month
The spring heralds another
birthday – one and twenty years!
She’s old enough to drink yet
the twentieth century
was not seen by her own eyes.

Last month of spring semester
Then it’s graduation time
She puts on her cap and gown
and smiles for family photos
cruel, cruel month!

Gretchen and Mom

Napowrimo promptAnd now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a curtal sonnet. This is a variation on the classic 14-line sonnet. The curtal sonnet form was developed by Gerard Manley Hopkins, and he used it for what is probably his most famous poem, “Pied Beauty.” A curtal sonnet has eleven lines, instead of the usual fourteen, and the last line is shorter than the ten that precede it. Here are two other examples of Hopkins’ curtal sonnets: “Ash Boughs,” and “Peace.”

Good afternoon and welcome to day sixteen of napowrimo where I borrow a line to begin my curtal sonnet. And this time around I did not try to figure in rhyme, but speaking about tuning out math. Math and poetry are always haunting me. And last year’s birthday poem, I spoke about how Gretchen felt old at twenty. Well this birthday had me feeling old and it started right on April first as Gretchen and I were watching Love in the Time of Cholera for her magical realism class. They welcomed in 1900 and I got excited and said, yay! the twentieth century. Thinking we’ve finally entered a century we’ve seen. Then I looked over at Gretchen and quickly realized even though she was turning 21 in a few days, she hadn’t lived in the twentieth century. I added, Another century you have not seen; and I really felt old the twentieth century was over 20 years ago!

As for graduation photos, Shawn took the bulk of them and I’m waiting for them to be edited. In the meantime here is a selfie taken by Gretchen with a snapchat filter.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 23

IMG_1014

All Dressed up for Senior Prom

Feeling Pressed

I hate when asked to write a sonnet
the formula is difficult at best
I want to spend my weekend sipping
fancy cocktails spiced with scotch bonnet
not waste my time on meter or wrest
with rhyme this form is clearly whipping
my behind. Poor poet cannot keep focus
the laundry calls while I am chipping
away these lines I’m feeling pressed
perhaps a little hocus-pocus…
Is it slipping?

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to write a sonnet. Traditionally, sonnets are 14-line poems, with ten syllables per line, written in iambs (i.e., with a meter in which an unstressed syllable is followed by one stressed syllable, and so on). There are several traditional rhyme schemes, including the Petrarchan, Spenserian, and Shakespearean sonnets. But beyond the strictures of form, sonnets usually pose a question of a sort, explore the ideas raised by the question, and then come to a conclusion. In a way, they are essays written in verse! This means you can write a “sonnet” that doesn’t have meet all of the traditional formal elements, but still functions as a mini-essay of a sort. The main point is to keep your poem tight, not rangy, and to use the shorter confines of the form to fuel the poem’s energy. As Wordsworth put it, in a very formal sonnet indeed, “Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room.” Happy writing!

Ugh! Sonnets are too formal and I was busy thinking of a different kind of formal today. But lo and behold I pecked out some lines from my keyboard. Curtal Sonnet don’t worry I’m not impressed with my effort tonight either. But aren’t those a good looking bunch of seniors dressed for prom?

NaPoWriMo Day Twenty-six Curtal Sonnet

Ode to St. Hubert

Saturday morning struggle with rhyme
Look up sonnet accosted by math
Can numbers help me wax poetic
An octave has eight lines, but here I’m
Writing six to stay on curtailed path
Then divide by two quite frenetic

But wait, there’s another knot to fray
The final quatrain adds aesthetic
Instead of four lines it starts to stray
Adding a half to earn my wrath
with arithmetic

 

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who wrote his “family member” poem for Day 20 in the form of a curtal sonnet. As Vince explains, the curtal sonnet is shorter than the normal, fourteen line sonnet. Instead it has a first stanza of six lines, followed by a second stanza of four, and then closes with a half-line. The form was invented in the 1800s by Gerard Manley Hopkins, who used it in his famous poem “Pied Beauty”. So for today, I challenge you to give the curtal sonnet a whirl. It doesn’t need to rhyme — though it can if you like — and feel free to branch out beyond iambic pentameter. Happy writing!

I hope everyone read the prompt. I did not; the link for Pied Beauty caught my eye, and I clicked on it.  I think it was too early in the morning, because I couldn’t grasp the rhyme scheme so I googled curtal sonnet.  Let me tell you, it was definitely too early for THIS. I was an English major NOT a mathematician.  However, math has been a subject of note in this house of late.  My oldest will be a junior in high school next semester.  Because of her excellent grades, her school will pay for her to take four college courses each semester next year.  She wants to earn her AS with her high school diploma, but to do that she first had to place into MAT 151.  Upon retaking the placement test at the college, she scored a 56.  Well above the needed score for MAT 151 and apparently it’s become a competition to beat her score.  One of her classmates looked up the patron saint of mathematics for those interested in the title of my poem.  Praying to the saint wasn’t helpful.  He only scored a 53. Yes, he got above the needed score for the course he’ll be taking, but it didn’t beat my daughter’s score.

However none of this matters because after I figured out the rhyme scheme for the curtal sonnet, I read the rest of the prompt – It doesn’t need to rhyme.  Serves me right to get distracted by pretty, shiny links. 😉