Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Poetry Play

A few months ago I discovered the Etheree poetry form. I was deep in a writer's block and had decided to read; also an important task for a writer, but not the task I was craving.

I was reading a writers' magazine when an ad caught my attention. A few seconds later the word, "Etheree" in block letters, drew me from the Promise Of Publication to a simple way to - perhaps - break through my block.

I tried it.
I like it.
I offer it as a way to break out of pattern and try something new, especially if you're stuck.

The Etheree is a one subject, 10-line poem. with increasing syllable count for a total of 55. It was invented about twenty years ago by Etheree Taylor Anderson, an Arkansas poet. The formula is simple:

line 1 = 1 syllable
line 2 = 2 syllables
line 3 = 3 syllables
... each line increasing by one until ...
line 10 = 10 syllables.

It's a challenge and a freedom to work with something so small and compact. It's kind of like a Haiku, only bigger.

Here is one example:

an Etheree by Dot.

ablaze with

floating islands
made from a thousand
writers’ discarded poems –
sonnets, metered verse, haikus –
shaped into origami boats
set afire, then released on rivers,
returning inspiration to the world.

Origami boat by Crafti-n-est

TOP: Temoku pottery bowls by Dot