Monday, May 8, 2017

The Curious Creative: Week 30

Catalog Poem

This is the thirtieth installment of The Curious Creative, weekly 10-minute writing exercises for busy individuals interested in exploring their creativity. For the complete rationale, click here

My Thoughts:

Fixed form poems are types of poems that include rules for rhyme, number of syllables, repetition of certain words, etc. More difficult fixed forms include sonnets, villanelles, and sestinas. But there are many simpler ones. In fact, as a child you probably dabbled in fixed forms when you wrote acrostic poems. In an acrostic poem, the first letter of every line spells a word, like your name. There are other simpler fixed forms that make for good exercises in creative play. This week, we’ll experiment with the catalog poem. It’s not as much a form as a strategy, but by adding a fixed form rule, your poem may unfurl more easily.

Your Turn!

1. A catalog poem is simply a catalog or list of people, objects, or abstract qualities. For your inspiration, think of things associated with a particular person, place, season, or event. The "things" can be actual objects, or more abstract qualities such as feelings or memories.

2. Either repeat a single word or phrase at the beginning of your lines or at the end of your lines. For example, “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music is a catalog poem that repeats a phrase at the end of each stanza:

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens,
bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens,
brown paper packages tied up with strings,
these are a few of my favorite things.

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels,
door bells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles.
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings.
these are a few of my favorite things.

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes,
snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes,
silver white winters that melt into springs,
these are a few of my favorite things.

3. An important tip: Art is just as much pattern as chaos. So when it starts to feel boring, stop cataloging for a few lines.

How did you do? Did the simple repetition aid you in creating your list?

To encourage each other and grow a community of Curious Creatives, sign in from a google account so you can share your creation in the comment box below. Also, if you subscribe to this blog (submit your email address in the "Follow this Site by Email" box to the right), you will get an email update whenever a new exercise is added. Thanks for playing! 

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