Well, howdy! I’ll bet you’re surprised to see me again. I can say that makes two of us! I’m jest here to let y’all know Kid ‘n Pal will be returning to their old Saddle Up Saloon shenanigans, but on each Friday.
Don’t tell, but I snuck on in here afore them to finish up what we started back in December of 2020. Once we get through this ‘un and a final post on May 6, Anyone Can Poem will be done and done.
(I hear tell a story-generating Cowsino will mosey on in, come the first of June.)
And so, welcome, one and all, to this month’s installment! I originally posted back in January and intended to continue the lesson from December.
Like any good sequel, I’ll do a quick montage of the first installment so we’re all caught up: freeversepoetryisabadideabutwe’regoingtodoitanywayandforstarterslet’ssplityourpoemusingpunctuationandspacingsoitreadshowyouwish.
Way back then, you shared your free verse poem with the sort of pausing you want it read with. Now it’s time to get more nitty-gritty. I want you to look at everywhere you’ve done a comma, semi-colon, period, line break, and new paragraph. Take each of those places, one at a time, and decide how you will permanently create the pause you wish.
Pauses can be forced with what we already have, a’course. They can also be made with looooong, slooooow words, laborious words, descriptive words, shocking words, and onomatopoeia. And sure-shootin’, you can keep a line break or comma if you wish.
If you take the poem snippet I used for an example, we start with
I saw a dove;
it alighted on my hand
and frittered there.
But I don’t want the final version to be split across three lines. Instead, I want
I saw a dove
It alighted on my hand and frittered there.
To be honest, frittered is more of a second-draft word. I came up with rested the first time I typed it up. Frittered is a good word since it ain’t usual ’round these parts and has several syllables. It’s also fun to say; fun to wonder how in tarnation a bird might fritter. To create the pause or s l o w i n g I need around the midpoint of that line, I will need different words besides on my hand and.
I saw a dove
It alighted atop a finger; it frittered there
Hmm. Not bad. But what ’bout
I saw a dove
Alighting on my finger, it frittered there
Get it? Good. Your assignment is to take the lovely poem you shared in December and close up the line breaks with intentional words, a semi-colon or two, or sounds. Lasso the words that will sing the pattern you want.
Fill out the form, below, if you want only me to see it. Fill out a comment if you’re willing to show off.
Submissions are now closed. Find our latest challenge to enter.
Next month, we’ll do a final polish of your free verse and, as I promised, a final farewell to Anyone Can Poem.
I can’t wait to see what you do!
©2022 Chel Owens