The assignment? A terza rima, the interlocking poetic form made famous by Dante's Inferno.
The theme? Gratitude.
For once, I knew instantly how this theme would inform my poem: There was no doubt its subject would be my poetry sisters, without whom I would not have explored poetry's "Here Be Dragons" waters. Without them, I'd still be stuck in my safe, shallow, shoals. (Or perhaps, if Dante were my guide, be marooned in poetry purgatory.) The only trick was putting all that into iambic pentameter in the rhyme scheme of a terza rima:
(repeat as necessary, and end with a couplet, if desired.)
In the end, my poem became a tribute to the poems The Poetry Seven tackled this year. Usually, I try to write to a wider audience, but this one is different. I know I'm a better writer when I write with friends---and I needed to say thank you, loud and clear.
(Links to my sister's Terza Rimas today can be found inside the poem.)
A Terza Rima for the Poetry Seven
Sisters do not let sisters ode alone
Nor do they, solo, rondeau redoublé
If raccontino calls, they hold the phone,
And bellow for some muse-y muscle; they
deep six, by stanza, surly sestinas
and dig a common grave for dross cliché.
Don’t bother asking for their subpoenas
To brashly bait expanding etheree
Nothing stops these pen-slinging tsarinas.
Once snagged, they let no villanelle go free;
Mouthy haiku in operating rooms
are re-lined and re-stitched, repeatedly;
So do not question who wears the pantoums
here; it’s seven sonnet-crowned, brave harpies:
Laura, Kel, Trish, Liz, Andi, T. : nom de plumes
who together with laptops (or Sharpies)
have danced the sedoka and triolet;
and ekprasticated art farandwee.
I’m grateful to wield words with this septet:
Friends, forever. Poetesses, well-met.
---Sara Lewis Holmes (all rights reserved)
Poetry Friday is hosted today by Laura at Writing the World for Kids.