Writing Exercise – the septolet

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html
For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I’m going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.

 I’ll keep this short. Rhyme is denigrated by snobs. Syllable based poetry becomes complicated by the inconvenience of diphthongs and triphthongs (as well as the vagaries of pronunciation). And so, I’ve gone for something short and sweet with my contribution to this week’s excursion into poetic forms. I’ve elected to tackle the septolet.

Long Days
Days that stretch
for
endless, infinite hours

until we are
together
alone and naked.


The septolet has fourteen words. It is broken between two stanzas that make up the fourteen words. Each stanza can have seven words but that is not an essential requirement. The division can take place where the poet decides.

Unclothed
Wearing only
a smile
you have enchanted me

and I offer
you my heart.



Both stanzas of the septolet deal with the same thought. Ultimately they create a picture. 
If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

Writing Exercise – the nonet

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html
For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I’m going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.

The nonet is nine lines of poetry – an ideal poetry writing exercise for the start of the New Year. Like the haiku, the nonet is defined by a syllable count for each line. However, because it’s so regimented in its form, the layout of this one is easier to remember:


·         The first line contains nine syllables.
·         The second line contains eight syllables.
·         The third line contains seven syllables.
·         This pattern continues down to the final line which consists of a single syllable word.

To illustrate:

soft, silken, slippery, soapy fingers
touching, teasing, taunting, pleasing,
swiftly – faster and faster.
And then. Hesitating.
Slowly. Too slowly.
Drawing out the
rich pleasure
until…
sigh

The nonet can be used as a single verse, or a collection of nonets can be used as stanzas in a longer poem. The nonet can also be reversed to give 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 pattern.

A
single
kiss. Tongues touch.
Lips together.
Mouths meet. Hands explore.
Caresses grow bolder.
Clothes are stretched, tugged, then removed.
Bare flesh is finally exposed.
And then, at last, the fun can begin.
If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

Writing Exercise – Haiku and Senryu

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html
For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I’m going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.


 Two naked bodies
Intertwined twixt midnight sheets
Slick silvered shadows

I can’t believe we’ve gone almost a year on this blog without discussing haiku as a writing exercise. The haiku is one of the most accessible forms of syllable based poetry. When used as a warm up device before writing, it’s a form of poetry that can help a writer focus on the essence of the words in her or his vocabulary.

As most people know, the traditional haiku is a three line poem based on a strict syllable count. Obviously there are some variations.

·         There’s the pop haiku, characterised by Jack Kerouac’s interpretation of the form.
·         There are senryu, identical to haiku in form, but with a content that is wry, ironic or whimsical.

But today we’re looking at the traditional haiku with its rigid format:

1st line = 5 syllables
2nd line = 7 syllables
3rd line = 5 syllables

It’s worth noting here the definition of a syllable. The definition below is taken verbatim from the trusty dictionary sitting on my desk.

syllable ►noun a unit of pronunciation having one vowel sound, with or without surrounding consonants, forming the whole or a part of a word; for example, there are two syllables in water and three in inferno.
Pearsall, J., Hanks, P., (2005), Oxford Dictionary of English, 2nd Edition, Revised, Oxford, Oxford University Press.

However, even with such an authoritative definition, there will obviously be anomalies in the words we select. We hit words like sure, fire and wheel and can’t decide whether the word includes one or two syllables. Is it ‘shoor’ or ‘shoe-er’? Is it ‘fire’ or ‘fie-arr’? Is it ‘wheel’ or ‘wee-ell’? My usual response to such observations is: How do you pronounce the word? It’s your poem. Own the word.

And that’s all there is to this form. Obviously haiku can be studied in greater depth. There are some forms that demand the author should mention a season or kigo. There are some forms that require a break at the end of the first line and insist on the juxtaposition of two images in the whole poem. But, for the purposes of this warm-up exercise, it’s enough to craft seventeen syllables of serious sensuality into a single haiku.

After the climax:
Glossy flesh lacquered with sweat
Heartbeats race-racing
If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

Writing Exercise – the cinquain

As some of you may be aware, I’m currently compiling an anthology of poetry, Coming Together: In Verse.  The call for submissions is listed here: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html
For those of you wanting to submit, but lacking inspiration or ideas, below you’ll find one of the poetry writing exercises I’ve previously shared on the blog for the Erotic Readers and Writers Association (http://erotica-readers.blogspot.co.uk). I’m going to try and share them here on a weekly basis until we reach the deadline date.

As I’ve mentioned before, when I’m teaching creative writing, I tend to return to poetry exercises. Writing to the restraints of a strict poetic form requires a degree of mental discipline. Limited numbers of syllables, or the need for rephrasing to meet the demands of a rhyme scheme, often encourages writers to think about words in ways that aren’t familiar to those who focus solely on prose writing.

Which is my way of saying that I’ve got another poetry assignment for those brave enough to rise to the challenge. This month I thought we could look at the cinquain.

The cinquain is a five line poetic form that can be attempted in one of two ways. The traditional form is based on a syllable count as illustrated below.


line 1 – 2 syllables
line 2 – 4 syllables
line 3 – 6 syllables
line 4 – 8 syllables
line 5 – 2 syllables

Naked
Two lithe bodies
Press kisses together
Swift sigh moan shriek roar yes Yes YES!
Sated

For those who like to break away from tradition, the modern form of the cinquain is not dependent on such devices as counting syllables.


partner
perfect, passionate
dancing, sleeping, dreaming,
yang to my yin
lover

I strongly advocate exercises like this as the perfect way to preface any bout of writing. Athletes tell us we should never participate in sports without first doing some form of warm-up exercise. Musicians practice scales before performing. Doesn’t it make sense that a writer should practice their craft before teasing the right words onto the page?
If you do want to submit to the current anthology, information can be found on: http://ashleylisterauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/call-for-submissions-coming-together-in.html

Call for Submissions – Coming Together: In Verse

I’m asking for your best poems. 

Coming Together: In Verse  will be a collection of erotic poetry and risqué verse edited by Ashley R Lister. Sales proceeds benefit Hope for Paws.
Erica Jong said, “Poetry is what we turn to in the most emotional moments of our lives – when a beloved friend dies, when a baby is born, when we fall in love.” Wallace Stevens said, “A poet looks atthe world the way a man looks at a woman.” Edgar Allan Poe said, “Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words.” Most of us agree, when it comes to expressing passion, there is nothing more effective than poetry.
Whether it’s blank or free verse, or a rigid rhyming metrical form, well-written poetry can touch us in places deeper and more personally than any fiction. There’s nothing sexier than a poem that speaks to us on such an intimate level.
Author, lecturer and occasional performance poet, Ashley R Lister, is looking for your best pieces of original poetry, erotic verse, risqué rhymes, cheeky cinquains or saucy sonnets. The collection will contain a broad range of quality erotic poetry submissions, from the rude, ribald and vulgar through to the suggestive, sensuous and sensitive.
Standard Rules apply: No underage, no non-consensual, no scat, incest, or necrophilia. Any pairings or groupings accepted and encouraged.
Deadline for submissions is October 1, 2015.
Send poems double-spaced, 12 point font (Times New Roman or Georgia) in .doc or .rtf format to me@ashleylister.co.uk, with “ATTN: Coming Together, your pen-name, your story title” in the subject line. British English grammar please. Double quotes around dialogue.
Only submit your final, best version of the poem; do not send multiple versions of the same piece. Up to three poems will be considered from each author. Include your legal name (and pseudonym if applicable and be clear which one is which), mailing address, and up to 250 word bio. You will be notified as to the status of your poem by no later than November 1, 2015.

This is a charity anthology. Contributors will receive ebook copies of the publication. Additional compensation is likely to come in karma and tax-write offs. Hope for Paws will benefit from all proceeds. Hope for Paws is a non-profit animal rescue organisation. They rescue dogs (and other animals) who are suffering on the streets and in shelters. Their goal is to educate people on the importance of companion animals in our society. Find out more at hopeforpaws.org