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/.
- new life
- 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.
"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!