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paul harris


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Posted Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 2:52pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
I thought i might start a thread of exercises - there have been a couple of ballads of D.wise esq. - aka Exercise 12. in the thread ballads of danny wise

I 'm going to stick up my exercise 19 efforts: sonnets

having always been a creepy toad - I've tried to stick to Sir's exercise as described. they therefore both address voter apathy

in terms of form .... the first is francesco followed by william

oh and there is a bit of swearing so click off if offended


Wankers

If only I could make you stick a cross
inside a box beside a name. Good men,
men like my granddad fought back then
in black and white and died so you could doss
about all day in your pit burning joss
sticks, wanking, texting then wanking again
fighting fake wars in your playstation pen
a vote’s too much to ask. Well it’s your loss.
I look at the shitty shower of crap
free market marketing men selling tame
identikit politics off the shelf
coming in different colours of clap-trap.
I weep and then I start to feel the same.
I think I’ll go and have a wank myself.


Silent Majority


Just sixty-one percent or thereabouts
got off there arses, voted Tony back
in (getting Gordon), meaning, non turnouts
have turned out to be default winners. Smack!
Take that my dear democracy. KO’d
by apathists who never raised a glove.
Will no one fight for suffrage? No. Vetoed.
The torch is out. A wilted rose. Dead dove
The workers upped themselves with Thatcher. Since
then ballot boxes have begun to loose
their old appeal. New Labour makes me wince
with shame, New Tories, blue or red, you choose.
I’m now the stay-at-homers' "stay at home."
I’ve caught democracy fatigue syndrome.



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spiralthreads


Member

Posted Wed Jan 23rd, 2008 11:27pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
Just for you, here's something from the very beginning of the book I think it's probably exercise 1, iambic pentameters. I make no apologies, this is an educational project, not the content of my soul - well, not entirely.

My dogs have had a walk upon the field
And come home, happy, wagging talled and warm.

The hamster jumps insanely round her cage
In hopes that I'll release her to her ball.

"Enough's enough," I hear the sheep proclaim.
"Too much of such a trouble troubles me."
Reviling vines reveal the vivid void
Confusing fusions blend before the eye.

And finally (please note: I know Iambus was not actually a person; this is another exercise):

Iambus was a very clever man,
Pentameter his very clever plan
Ten syllables per line was quite enough
To make a classic English poem scan.

Right, that's quite enough drivel from me. Over to someone else.

Incidentally, I may put one or two actual poems on my website. Those influenced by The Ode Less Travelled will be marked TOLT.

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spiralthreads


Member

Posted Thu Jan 24th, 2008 2:03am Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
I liked the "democracy fatigue syndrome" at the end. Clever

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Jane


Member

Posted Sun Feb 3rd, 2008 11:10pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
I'm only on the very first lot of exercises, but thought someone might find this amusing.
The stress must go on ever-y oth-er beat
"Pen-ta-me-ter" should mean it has five feet


Yes, sorry, I really do need this sort of memory jogger

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paul harris


Member

Posted Mon Feb 4th, 2008 5:38pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
hope you enjoy the book & the exercises as much I have

keep right on 'til the end of the ode . . . . .

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spiralthreads


Member

Posted Wed Feb 20th, 2008 8:47pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
Currently I'm trying to decide which poem to parody. Not finding it easy, as I have very few poetry books in the house, the ones I own seem to have shuffled off on holiday somewhere. I may have to resort to Shakespeare, or a Celtic poem translated from the original, which makes it harder to parody as I'd be parodying the translator as much as the poet

Oh hello I've just found a good Jonathan Swift moany pome about Holyhead. I know Holyhead - this has promise. Have to say, though that things have changed a bit in the near 300 years since he penned it.

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Nele


Member

Posted Thu Feb 28th, 2008 4:43pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
love all your snippets (and the sonnets.) When I did the book - and it took me two years to finish it, because I always wanted to get things right and had to be in the right mood to even give it a try - I didn't even try the vote sonnets. I just couldn't think of anything to write.
So here's my less emetic Triolet

I wish I could say
that I loved
you in every way
I wish I could say
it's more than one day
and I didn't have to pay
I wish I could say
that I loved

and another lovey-dovey Rondelet

I love
everything that's thee
I love
like a gift from above
the way you make my tea
well maybe it is me
I love

I enjoyed the short closed forms most of all. I find it so pleasing to have something so short and simple and yet surprising. The problem is only that it's so short (or so bad) that most people don't get it when I read it aloud. Only my best friends, who know my rather pessimistic view of love, understand the volta.

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paul harris


Member

Posted Thu Feb 28th, 2008 11:07pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
my Nan's name was nele ....

Adventure

so where to next? lover, companion, friend
take my hand, we’ll leave this place behind
pick up a path and see where it ends
so where to next? lover, companion, friend
I don’t know if I want to know - we’ll spend
our time looking for places to find
so where to next? lover, companion, friend
take my hand we’ll leave this place behind

my triolet

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Nele


Member

Posted Fri Feb 29th, 2008 9:26am Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
lovely

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spiralthreads


Member

Posted Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 12:38am Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
Very succesful triolets both. I wrote a real stinker, so I won't inflict it on you.

In general I love these exotic forms - prefer closed forms simply because it gives me a definite place to stop. I will do a decent triolet, but it may take a while. So far I've found rondeau redouble and pantoum the most productive, although I also had fun with the villanelle. They're all on my website marked TOLT.

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spiralthreads


Member

Posted Sat Mar 22nd, 2008 12:41am Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
Oh, and since I started this I've been all inspired to go back and get an education. I applied to do BA in English and was advised to go for the MA - feeling quite optimistic and cheery right at the moment Wish me luck, though. I have to talk a university into accepting me without formal qualifications I need to be quite shiny, I think.

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paul harris


Member

Posted Fri Apr 18th, 2008 12:22pm Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
my rondeau redouble....

A Haunting

Ghost. Ghost! I’m back to walk over your bones
Wake up ghost. Get up, get out of that bed.
That’s me in the graveyard sat by the stones
I’ve come to share sandwiches with the dead.

I’m back up on the Downs’ and my feet tread
on knuckles now turned into flint. Gemstones
set in a bezel of chalk: lime and lead.
Ghost. Ghost! I’m back to walk over your bones.

I left a message; did you check the phones?
Were you expecting someone else dickhead?
An imagined friend or one of your crones?
Wake up ghost. Get up, get out of that bed.

I’ll raise you by invocation instead
if you’d prefer. I’ll sing the magic tones,
perform the rites; smoke a pipe; break bread.
That’s me in the graveyard sat by the stones.

Meet me at lunchtime. You clear the pinecones
from the tombstone table, I’ll bring the spread.
We’ll talk then feast like kings with slabs for thrones.
I’ve come to share sandwiches with the dead.

Ghost. Ghost! I’m back.

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spiralthreads


Member

Posted Sat Apr 19th, 2008 8:35am Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
That is extremely good! The choice of lines in the first stanza works very, very well.

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paul harris


Member

Posted Sat Apr 19th, 2008 9:43am Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
thank you Susan

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paul harris


Member

Posted Sat Apr 19th, 2008 9:56am Post subject: Ode less travelled exercises
Sestina .....here's is my effort

matthew Sweeney has a couple of crackers in A Smell Of Fish (Cape Poetry 2000)

Sestina

I’ve only so much time for sleep,
an allocation for my bed.
For the rest I’ll sit at my table,
taking food when I’m ready to eat.
Otherwise occupied with books
reading and writing mountains of lines.

All life is there, arranged in lines,
marking out the day before sleep
comes. Wake up. There on the pillow: books.
Last night’s companions cover the bed.
Make coffee to drink, food to eat
then I can return to my table.

I’ve a journey to time-table.
Join the dot- to-dot with train lines
on my mind map. I forget to eat,
I’ve made an early start, I need sleep.
This carriage will make a poor bed.
Pile the fold-down table with books.

I select something from my books
balanced on the tiny table.
Allow the words some space to bed
down then I burrow into more lines.
My eyes close. I mumble into sleep
I must, I must remember to eat.


Wake up. Hungry. I need to eat
The precarious pile of books
moved to the seat beside me to sleep.
I head for the buffet car table
to take breakfast. Reciting lines
inside as I put my hunger to bed.

Back home. Appointment kept. In bed,
re-playing the day, as I eat
toast I run over and over my lines
- everything I’d learned from my books.
I spoke. You sat across the table.
Tonight I won’t be able to sleep.

Me, my toast, my bed and my books.
- I won’t let it eat me. That table,
you listening. my lines. I won’t sleep.

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