Friday, May 8, 2015

ditty challenges

The delightfully ambitious Michelle at Today's Little Ditty is our Poetry Friday host today, and she has offered two challenges that I'm about to tackle.  First is Nikki Grimes's wordplay challenge which concludes the fascinating interview she gave Michelle last week:

"When I talk about wordplay, I'm talking about studying a word from top to bottom, and inside out, considering every aspect of the word:  What it looks like, sounds like, feels like.  What it does, how it's used, etc.  The idea is to bring all of your senses into the act.  The poem you create may end up being complex and sophisticated, or very simple."

Second is the Five for Friday challenge periodically set by Michelle, which is an exercise in minimalism, a ditty of five words only (although I note that many poets endow theirs with expository titles, a practice which I wholly condone).

So--for Nikki's challenge I do not choose the word "bell" or "lemon" (done that one!), "blanket,"  "leaf" or "sun," as I might usually.  Instead the news lately takes me to "bullet" and I'm a little afraid of it, but here's my Draftless Luck* effort.  The title is both expository and five words long, if you allow me a hyphenated word, so that's my Five for Friday, too.

Thank you, Michelle; thank you, Nikki; and thank you, Poetry Friday people, for reading the raw and unpolished with interest and respect.  We do each other a great favor in that.

May I also point you to this quote from George Eliot and this recording by Elvis Costello?

*With apologies to Erica Jong, this refers to my time-challenged technique of writing a poem right now, once, with the revision allowed by one hour, publishing it on the blog as though it were finished--and hoping for the best.


  1. Excuse my French, Heidi, but holy merde! This poem shot right through my heart. I'm floored. You wrote this in an hour??? Passion is a powerful pen. Thank you!

  2. I like your effort just as it is with its "concrete-ness" and the way the squished together words mimic a bullet's action.

    I picked bullet, too. My take on it is slightly different, but I think we're both coming from the same place. I have illustrated it and it is set to post as part of my Sunday "Happy Haiga Day" series this week.

  3. Very powerful, Heidi - the metaphor, the shape, and of course, the wordplay. Unfortunately, timely.
    Thanks for sharing.

  4. Love it, Heidi. You really brought our senses into the poem. The George Eliot quote goes with it nicely. I am still wondering about the title.

  5. Heidi, the fact that the word "bullet" is on all our minds is certainly heartbreaking, isn't it? Wonderful response to the challenge.

  6. Amazing job, Heidi. Your poem brings heartbreaking reality.

  7. Fantastic response, Heidi. Powerful.

  8. I am also shot through with your bullet poem. I don't think I would have tried such a powerful word, but you have brought it to its knees. Woah, Jack!

  9. Yes, everything the others have said, but also the blood-red font on a white background, and your fabulous expository title. (Thanks for giving me a concise term for what I do so often!)

    Good luck with your two-book summer! Come up for air to keep us posted!


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!