Friday, November 13, 2009

one of my many projects

Poetry Friday is not lamenting but crowing over at GottaBook with Gregory K.

At our house, Gregory's "fibs" got everyone excited, especially my mathematician of a daughter, and I found J. Patrick's "zeno" intriguing as well. Intermittently I get an idea for another "definition" poem, which is not a form exactly but an intention for a poem: in few words it attempts to capture the essence of a less common word. It started with this one, written after D1, then in third grade, asked "What does immaculate mean?" and then separately, assigned me to write a poem of at least 10 lines. So I synergized:

Definitions #1

not a
smudge of mud
not a
jot of rot

tulip leaves of clean green
tulip petals of pure red

mingling, singularly

Here's a new one, first draft, from this week's engagement with D2's Level 16 nonfiction text entitled Squirrels.

Definitions # 12

reading about squirrels
your throat tightens
on seeing the limp body of the squirrel
under the cruel talons of the hawk

reading about hawks
your heart leaps
on seeing the skill of the hawk
as it drops onto the fleet squirrel

it's all a matter of

Now I wonder if I should formalize it after all...see how both have exactly 10 lines? and they want to fall into three stanzas of 3, 3 and 2 lines, with the last word being the word they define. Maybe it needs a name...the "definito"? Should the title also be the word in question? Anyone else want to play?


  1. Fun idea! If I get a chance to make one, I'll send it to you.

  2. Sounds like a new form to me! I'm trying to think of a word to try it with...any suggestions? Or challenges?

  3. I especially like the flip in the second poem, Heidi. Totally love fibs (including one in my novel-in-verse). We were working on form in my adult poetry class & everyone got carried away with the idea of mathematical poetic forms.

  4. Thanks for introducing us to the definito. I like these! Form poems sometimes perplex me completely, but then again, I was never a puzzle person, but I'll give it a shot and get back to you if I'm successful.

  5. I'm back! I loved this exercise!

    Don't panic--think it through
    --the noise outside your
    window is not, I repeat,
    is not the boogyman.

    And yet, your heart still
    pounds. Your breath comes
    in gasps. Your instinct is
    to RUN! And you do.

    Your gut over your head.

  6. I think you've got something here. Love the twists & contrasts. You could include a rule about that perhaps. i am going to have to try some of these.

  7. Heidi, These are delightful! Love those immaculate tulips!

    Definitos rock:>)

    Diane, your visceral poem is great, too. Brings to mind a very scary memory for me, and my chest actually started thumping and feeling hollow. Yikes!

  8. Fun! I tried one with a bit of nonsense for my daily poem today.

    each whisker
    sharp and clean
    no droopers
    looking rickety

    each front paw
    quite pristine
    resulting from
    much lickety

    I elect to be precisely

    --Laura Purdie Salas

    Thanks for the fun exercise, Heidi!

  9. I finally got around to trying a Definito. Mine defines phlebotomist:


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!