SADDLE UP SALOON; COLLEEN’S DOUBLE ENNEAD CHALLENGE NO. 4

Written by Colleen Chesebro

An avid reader, Colleen M. Chesebro rekindled her love of writing poetry after years spent working in the accounting industry. These days, she loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. In addition to poetry books, Chesebro’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of her writing community on TankaTuesday.com by organizing and sponsoring a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, where participants experiment with traditional and current forms of Japanese and American syllabic poetry. Join us for #TankaTuesday! Chesebro is an assistant editor of The Congress of the Rough Writers Flash Fiction Anthology & Gitty Up Press, a micro-press founded by Charli Mills and Carrot Ranch. In January 2022, Colleen founded Unicorn Cats Publishing Services to assist poets and authors in creating eBooks and print books for publication. In addition, she creates affordable book covers for Kindle and print books. Chesebro lives in the house of her dreams in mid-Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes with her husband and two (unicorn) cats, Chloe & Sophie.

May 17, 2021

Happy May! Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Double Ennead Monthly Poetry Challenge. Every third Monday of the month, I’ll be here at Carrot Ranch with another challenge to help get your poetic juices flowing. Each month, we’ll explore how to use this form to inspire our poetic muse. Take your time, there’s no hurry! You have an entire month to write your poem.

Check out the poems from last month HERE.

The word Ennead means nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!

The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS! Punctuation and rhyme schemes are optional and up to the poet.

Why Write Poetry?

When a writer embraces the ability to convey complex images and emotions in just a few lines, they have learned to strengthen their writing. In the same way, flash fiction helps us hone in on the words to tell our story, syllabic poetry does much the same by forcing us to find the best word and meaning. This brevity of words leads to more concise writing.

Syllabic verse is any kind of poetry defined by the number of syllables in each line. In English, syllables must have a vowel sound. For example, the word “apple” has two vowel sounds, which divide it into the syllables “ap” and “ple.” Depending on our accent, we pronounce some words with different accents on the syllables. For example, the word “fire” and “poem” can be read with either one or two vowel sounds.

Always check your syllables with a syllable counter when composing and writing syllabic poetry. The pronunciation of words is a very important tool to convey meaning in your poems. You can use sodacoffee.com as a syllable counter. There is also howmanysyllables.com, which gives you access to synonyms and rhyming words as you’re composing.

Using Themes in Poetry

What are themes? A theme is a message you want to convey through your poetry. Many poets choose a romantic theme for their poetry, but that doesn’t always appeal to everyone. Another popular theme is “human verses nature.” Writing about the human experience is one way we connect with others through the written word.

Here is a list of some the common themes in poetry from Emma Baldwin. “19 Different Types of Themes in Poetry”. Poem Analysis, https://poemanalysis.com/poetry-explained/poetry-themes/.

  • love
  • death
  • religion
  • spirituality
  • nature
  • beauty
  • aging
  • desire
  • travel
  • dreams
  • celebrations
  • new life
  • disappointment
  • failure
  • war
  • immortality
  • coming of age

Why are themes important? If you like to read and write poetry it’s because you enjoy “word craft.” At least that’s what I call it. Word craft is the way you, as a writer or poet, shape words into a distinct purpose. It’s your personal brand of magic that you employ to enchant your reader. Often, the theme of your poem reveals itself as an additional meaning. It’s that “a-ha moment” when you make the connection through a poem’s deeper meaning. Remember, without a theme, your poetry does not have a purpose.

The double Ennead is perfect for themed poetry. The three stanzas allow the poem to flow naturally with a beginning, middle, and end, much like our 99-word flash fiction flows.

When you choose a theme, try to break it up into three distinct parts. In my example, I write about the passage of time in the garden featuring a morning glory during the morning, at noon, and at night, per stanza. I added a bit of rhyme because it flowed naturally, unforced. As always, end rhyme schemes are optional.

Image by rachaeljklol from Pixabay
"The Morning Glory"

morning glory dawns bright
dew-speckled petals,
blossom forth to receive the sun's inner light
impermanence of life
eternal love's plight

morning glory day shines
purple, pink, and white
noontide sun feeds and sustains unplanted vines
no less a pesky weed
the will to survive

morning glory night wanes
flowers snuggle deep
under star glow, provocative scents remain
promising a new day
growth comes with the rain

©2021 Colleen M. Chesebro

At first glance, you might think this poem is only about the morning glory plant. Good grief, they’re weeds! However, there is much more here. I chose this flower because of its will to survive, no matter what. My theme is about perseverance and surviving when the chips are down.

This month, select your own theme for your double Ennead poem. Follow your inner voice for inspiration.

  • Write a double ennead poem. Remember to count your syllables.
  • Post it on your blog or in the comments at the bottom of the post.
  • Include a link back to this challenge in your post. (copy the HTTPS:// address of this post into your post).
  • Read and comment on your fellow poet’s work. Feedback from other poets is how we grow our poetry writing craft.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.
  • I’ll visit, comment, and share your poetry on social media!

Now have fun and write some poetry!

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24 Comments

  1. D. Avery @shiftnshake

    I love that you’re here, Colleen!
    Maybe I can summon a double ennead, but maybe this is a catch up week. Either way, I love that you’re here, waxing poetic.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      LOL! I’ve gotta keep your brain engaged! I love your poetry! It’s always heartfelt! ??

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        LOL! That works! Everyone is so busy right now. It’s like we’re all awakening to our new futures. ????

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Politically themed poetry has the power to change minds. This is one powerful piece! You’ve uncovered an uncomfortable truth. Well done. <3

  2. Norah

    I love your poetry and your challenges, Colleen. One day I might even make time to respond.

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Well thanks, Norah. It seems like everyone has so much going on. That’s great! I look forward to seeing your poetry. ??

      • Norah

        One day, Colleen. 🙂

  3. Jules

    Colleen – I am hoping to get some Moonflower seeds – they look like big Morning glories!! Delightful verse!

    OK… here’s what I’ve got – with images at my post!!

    ‘TRANCE’figuration 4p

    ‘TRANCE’figuration

    Can one block out city
    Constant life noises
    Does tranquility silent, like sleep exist
    When consistent motors
    Hum, buzz, and hammer?

    Can one channel natures
    Soothing waterfalls
    Does tranquility silent, like sleep exist
    In an environment
    Constantly changing?

    Hither we did flee to
    Quaint suburbia
    Does tranquility silent, like sleep exist
    Where in the night, birds sing
    Lullabies of peace?

    ©JP/dh

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Jules I grew Moon flowers in Arizona. They bloomed at dusk and were amazing. I love your double ennead! Lullabies of peace… found in your garden, I bet! <3

  4. Charli Mills

    I will not look at bindweed the same way, Colleen. That’s what I love about poetry — its capacity to reveal insight. I’m going to try my first ennead. I’ll be working on it!

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      Brilliant end rhyme scheme and your theme was spot on. I liked how each line flowed effortlessly into the next line. You have great rhythm here! <3

    • Colleen M. Chesebro

      You are so welcome, Ruth. Thanks for jumping in each month. <3

  5. Missy Lynne

    Tall, towering palm tree
    Rooted to the ground.
    Fronds glistening under the sun soaked blue sky.
    A quiet rustle soothes
    As soft winds comfort.

    Never still in response.
    Never without hope.
    A continuous melody of calm sway,
    A dance with wind and air.
    Never ending peace.

    A storm brews as rain falls.
    Winds blow swift and hard.
    The palm is battered and bruised but not broken.
    A symbol of courage.
    A symbol of strength.

      • Missy Lynne

        Thank you! I am new to the challenges and hope my contributions will get better each time ????

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        That’s wonderful. I also have a syllabic poetry challenge called Tanka Tuedsay on wordcraftpoetry.com. You’re welcome to join in there each week and write syllabic poetry, as well. <3

      • Missy Lynne

        Thank you. I checked out the website sounds fun! Can I submit via comments as I do not have my own site or blog. Yet. ????

      • Colleen M. Chesebro

        Sure. The WordPress blogs are free. You should check it out. ??

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. nd 5.18 ‘TRANCE’figuration 4p – Jules Pens Some Gems… - […] Carrot Ranch; Saddle Up Saloon: Colleen’s Double Ennead Challenge #4 The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable…
  2. Fade to Black - […] Prompted from Colleen’s Double Ennead at: https://carrotranch.com/2021/05/17/saddle-up-saloon-colleens-double-ennead-challenge-no-4/. […]
  3. My Take – SADDLE UP SALOON; COLLEEN’S DOUBLE ENNEAD CHALLENGE NO. 4 – RuthScribbles aka RuthEK - […] Colleen asks us to select our own theme this week. My theme is spirituality. The form is three verses…

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