Poetry on the Pillars

There's Still Time to Submit Your Poetry!

 

Whether you're a seasoned poet or just putting pen to paper for the very first time, we want to hear how it is that you make a rhyme.

 

Even if rhyming is not your greatest ability, that's ok because poetry is full of possibility.

 

You need not make a rhyme to submit your creativity, because versatile is poetries proclivity.

 

So send us your thoughts and tell us what you think. You can write about anything, even the kitchen sink!

 

We'll accept poems through the first week of May. So grab some paper. Come on, what do you say?

 

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

We Want to Publish Your Poetry...Again

Welcome to April and the plethora of celebrations it brings. April is the national month of Humor, as you might have suspected with the typical celebration of foolery taking place on the first. You may not have known, however, that April is also the month dedicated to the celebration of guitars, to lawns and gardens, and to keeping America Beautiful. April is the month we celebrate pecans, welding, peanut butter and jelly, children's books, tweed, pretzels, hairstyles and honesty. 

 

April is also (here is the big one) National Poetry Month!quill penquill pen

 

April is the month we celebrate poetry and all it has meant to us. Here at the Round Rock Public Library, we celebrate poetry by publishing it. That is to say, we publish your poetry. In April of last year, we began collecting verses of local culture from Round Rock Citizen Poets for publication in a book. This year we will celebrate by having original contributors and authors of that book read their poetry.

 

We will also be collecting poems for the second annual Round Rock book of poetry. Celebrate poetry this month by creating your own, then send it to us by way of postings to this blog or just e-mail them to dsharp@roundrocktexas.gov. Poetry can be of any style, but we have 4 categories to start you off.

 

Story Poetry:                Tell us a story.

Metaphorical Poetry:   Write a poem about something that is really about something else.

 Image Poetry:             Create a poem with vivid imagery. Use any or all of the senses.

 Totally Freestyle:        Give us some poetry with attitude.

 

Join us also in celebrating National Poetry Month on:

April 17th  with a live poetry reading featuring selections from the authors of the first poetry book compiled by the Round Rock Library. These are works by your own friends and neighbors. 

April 26th for National Poem in Your Pocket Day. Just carry a short poem you enjoy in your pocket all day and share it with those you meet. 

 

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

Poetry Book is Here!
Well, it took a little longer (months) than we had intended, but the poetry book is here!

MusingsMusings: An Anthology of Poetry by the Citizens of Round Rock is a collection of poems written by and published for the citizens of our fair city. The library has, thus far, purchased a circulating copy and a copy to retain in the library (soon to hit the shelves).

The poems collected in this volume were submitted as a part of the library's celebration of poetry during National Poetry Month this past April. Poems were submitted by way of blog, e-mail and plain old pen and paper (A napkin in one case). Other poems were written piecemeal by patrons of the library who contributed a line or two in passing to growing poems posted on the pillars in the library. Come and enjoy the verses of your own friends and neighbors. And join the celebration in April 2012 by submitting some of your own poems to the second volume of Musings.

If you would like a copy of your own, join us for Christmas Family Night to take place this Friday, December 9th. The Friends of the RRPL have purchased several copies which they will make available for sale during the festivities. Or you can purchase your own copy for $10 at http://www.lulu.com/browse/search.php?fListingClass=0&fSearch=musings+round+rock

Round Rock Poetry Book

 

In answer to some questions I have been receiving, we are aiming to have the poetry book compiled from our community entries in the library by the end of September.  There are some wonderful entries.  When the book is ready, I will put information on this blog about how to obtain a copy for yourself if you would like one.  We will be sure to announce the book's arrival both here and on the library's Facebook page.  Please be sure to let us know whether you'd like to see this project again in 2012.  We look forward to your feedback.

 Thank you all for sharing your poetry with us.

Thank You for some Wonderful Submissions

The Library's celebration of local original poetry received several wonderful entries. Some of them were very lovely, others silly (but enjoyable) still others surprisingly profound. For those of you who contributed entries to this endeavor, you have also contributed to the culture of Round Rock, and the library will preserve that culture so that other patrons of the library will have access to it.

For any of you who did not contribute, but wish to, we will continue to take entries by blog or e-mail through Friday the 13th of May. Thank you all for sharing your gifts with us.

Haiku

 

Haiku is a form of poetry that concerns itself less with rhymes and more with syllable counts.  The haiku originates from Japan.  Classical haiku are arranged in three lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables.  Other formats do exist.

They are short, but that does not mean they are easier to write.  Sometimes containing an idea in such a small amount of space can be very challenging.  Some haiku contain multiple stanzas of the same syllable scheme. So...

When five syllables
Precede another seven
Then five, it's haiku

Now you do one.  

 

Did you know it? You're a Natural poet!
HAPPY EARTH DAY! To celebrate, the theme this week will be none other than nature herself. Such a vast and copious muse she can be. One often only need sit in an open field or in the shady wood for a few minutes, with pen and paper in hand, before words start to flow like clear river streams down rugged mountainsides.

Nature has been inspiring great art since the dawn of time and has engaged the mind of the human heart since our humble beginnings. The influence of nature on the arts can be seen in the first strokes of creativity upon the walls of the caves occupied by our ancestors. Follow the link below to read a brief and intriguing article on this.

http://www.npr.org/2011/04/20/135516812/herzog-enters-the-cave-of-forgotten-dreams

Art and nature, especially when moving together, can have an impact far beyond the perspective of one single human life. One of the earliest American naturalists was John Muir. John Muir's poetic voice, which conveyed the beauty of the natural world, inspired Theodore Roosevelt. It can be said that the poetic voice, writing, and life of John Muir is part of the reason for nationally protected areas of land called National Parks, which Theodore Roosevelt helped to establish.

This is the power of poetry. This is the power of nature, which waits patiently to inspire the heart of humankind. This week, be inspired! Immerse yourself in that which surrounds you and with that which is flowing through you! Bring a pen and paper and post what you see and find right here! To get those natural juices flowing, here are a few examples, two from John Muir and one from Mary Oliver. Both of whom are wonderful speakers for the natural world.


Song
by John Muir

Here is calm so deep, grasses cease waving.
Everything in wild nature fits into us,
as if truly part and parent of us.
The sun shines not on us but in us.
The rivers flow not past, but through us,
thrilling, tingling, vibrating every fiber and cell
of the substance of our bodies,
making them glide and sing.
The trees wave and the flowers bloom
in our bodies as well as our souls,
and every bird song, wind song,
and; tremendous storm song of the rocks
in the heart of the mountains is our song,
our very own, and sings our love.

_________________________________

Walk with Nature
by John Muir

Let children walk with nature,
let them see the beautiful blending,
communions of death and life,
their joyous inseparable unity,
as taught in woods and meadows,
plains and mountains and streams.
And they will learn that death is stingless.
And as beautiful as life.

___________________________________

Such Singing in the Wild Branches
by Mary Oliver

It was spring
and finally I heard him
among the first leaves-
then I saw him clutching the limb

in an island of shade
with his red-brown feathers
all trim and neat for the new year.
First, I stood still

and thought of nothing.
Then I began to listen.
Then I was filled with gladness-
and that's when it happened,

when I seemed to float,
to be, myself, a wing or a tree-
and I began to understand
what the bird was saying,

and the sands in the glass
stopped
for a pure white moment
while gravity sprinkled upward

like rain, rising,
and in fact
it became difficult to tell just what it was that was singing-
it was the thrush for sure, but it seemed

not a single thrush, but himself, and all his brothers,
and also the trees around them,
as well as the gliding, long-tailed clouds
in the perfectly blue sky- all, all of them

were singing.
And, of course, yes, so it seemed,
so was I.
Such soft and solemn and perfect music doesn't last

for more than a few moments.
It's one of those magical places wise people
like to talk about.
One of the things they say about it, that is true,

is that, once you've been there,
you're there forever.
Listen, everyone has a chance.
Is it spring, is it morning?

Are there trees near you,
and does your own soul need comforting?
Quick, then- open the door and fly on your heavy feet; the song
may already be drifting away.

____________________________________________________

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

Poetry you can Snap to

Avant-garde is the word we attribute to art and literature that is experimental in nature.  It can be innovative.  It's usually kind of wierd.  New things, by the very nature of being new, are different from the things that have come before them.  Sometimes the avant-garde can start a movement.  Often it can make you scratch your head.  This week try something that's a little avant-garde.  Of course, this is a poetry blog and so I am referring to writing poetry, but you can be avant-garde in your own life in any way.  Find a consistent habit you perform and replace it with something you never or only rarely do.  There is the avant-garde expression of you.  Mind, it's probably best if you decide to look into this kind of expression to keep new habits safe and socially acceptible to some degree.  Don't jump into tiger pits just because it's not really like you to do that sort of thing.  Just do your hair differently or something.

 Okay, back to poetry.  You don't have to look hard to find avant-garde poetry.  Take a look at e. e. cummings. (He doesn't capitalize his name at all.  Now THAT's avant-garde.)  He wrote the poem Buffalo Bill's.  It's more fun if you can say it all in one breath.  Did you do it?

Now try to glean some meaning out of This Is Just To Say by William Carlos Williams.  Williams seems to have believed that poetry can come from anywhere be it a note on the refrigerator or a Red Wheelbarrow.  It's the kind of poetry that makes you say, "..." 

 Can you dig?  Well, if you really want to get your fingers snapping, you need to get into the beat movement, and you'll find no finer guide than Alan Ginsberg.  Take a moment to read through his New Stanzas for Amazing Grace.  Wait, put some shades on first.  Now read it.  Snapping your fingers yet?  If not, it's okay.  Avant-garde isn't for everybody, but just think about something you love.  Chances are, whatever it is, it was once new, innovative and (dare I say?) avant-garde.  So take a chance this week.  Try something new.  You might hate it, but you could love it.  You're not out anything for giving something new a shot and if it doesn't work out, try something else next week.

 -We will keep all themes open through the month of April.  You may still submit entries to any themes. 

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

Free For All

So far for poetry submissions, we have covered odes, antique poems, limericks and metaphorical poetry.  So what if you have a poem that is not an ode, isn't old, doesn't follow the limerick formula and has little to do with metaphor?  Well, you simply post it to this week's blog, the Free For All.

 This is a place for free verse, diverse themes, any rhyme scheme you can manage and any literary device you like.  Who's up for some onomatopoeia?  Looking for a forum to publish that poem about the time you tap danced with the monster in your closet?  Somehow it slips through all the themes?  Look no further!  We want all the poems you've written that we'd have never dreamed existed.  Send them to us

-We will keep all themes open through the month of April.  You may still submit entries to any of the other themes. 

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

Metaphormosis

Metaphor is the term we use to make creative comparisons of different objects that may have little in common, but when compared reveal a conceptual relationship that helps to identify a hidden meaning.  Directly, a metaphor is simply calling one thing something else.  Referring to a problem as a wrench in the gears is a metaphor.  Many common insults are also metaphors, such as calling individuals by words that do not literally depict them, but create a comparison that you believe they deserve because they cut you off in traffic. 

Metaphor is also a general category that contains other literary devices such as similes and analogies.  You will have a difficult time finding poetry that does not contain within it some kind of metaphor.  Some poems are a metaphor in and of themselves.  One famous example of this is Walt Whitman's elegy to President Lincoln, "Oh Captain! My Captain!"  The poem speaks of the captain of a ship who has died having brought his crew through some rough waters.  The rough waters, of course, are the civil war, but you will not find any direct mention of Lincoln or the Civil War in Whitman's poem.  Another example you will likely recognize is Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken."  I won't go in depth on this one, but I will give you a hint.  It's not about roads.

For this theme, write a poem that is a metaphor.  That is to say write a poem that is about something that is really about something else.  Ready?  Activate your powers of subtext, and...GO!

 

-This week, the themes for metaphor poetry and limericks opened up, but we will keep all themes open through the month of April.  You may still submit entries to the first pair of themes, Odes and antique poetry. 

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

The Limerick

A limerick is a type of poem that is often witty or humorous. The limerick generally uses a form of five anapestic lines rhyming AABBA. Enough technical jargon though, it's really very simple. The following is an example by Edward Lear, who popularized the form in the early 19th century. In this limerick he has fused the third and fourth lines into a single line with internal rhyme. Limericks are traditionally five lines long.

There was an Old Man with a Beard
By Edward Lear (1812-1888)

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, "It is just as I feared!-
Two Owls and a Hen, four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard."  

The conditions for submitting to this week's poetry blog are simple, we wrote a couple of limericks to suggest the idea.   

There are limericks with wit and humor therein,
That can make your face perk up with a grin.
We'll post these a.m. or p.m.
With no reason to stash them
At the bottoms of the recycling bin. 

___________________________________________

There once was a limerick named crude.
The words found within it were rude.
And since many may view,
The posts here by you,
The lewd we must simply exclude. 

Enjoy writing some limericks!
Feel free to post to the blogs from the past week as well.

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

Write an Ode

An ode is a poem, often lyrical, that conveys exuberance, usually in praise of something or somebody. Originally, odes were intended for song. In ancient Greece, odes were often commissioned to celebrate athletic victories. That practice today might sound like, "All hail the quarterback with his spiral through the air, that is why he is named Most Valuable Player."

Two primary forms of ode are the Horatian ode (named for the Roman poet Horace) that consist of regular stanzas and rhyme schemes, and the Cowleyan ode (named for Abraham Cowley) that has no regularity in rhyme scheme stanza or line length.  Some famous examples of the ode are the classics Ode to a Nightingale and Ode to a Grecian Urn by John Keats. You may remember those from English classes I'm sure you have all taken.  For a more modern take, take a look at the 20th Century Poetry Collections offered through the databases on the library's website. There you will find other gems including an Ode to Laryngitis by Andrei Codrescu that I enjoyed. (You will need a current library card to access the database, but you don't need a library card to post.) 

Write an ode to something that you love.  You may write it in either style.

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

 

Dust off an Antique Poem

To start off national poetry month, we want your antique poetry.  This may be any poetry that you have already written and consequently stuffed into a drawer either embarrassed that somebody might ever find it, or simply uncertain what to do with it.  Those poems are a piece of Round Rock heritage, and those are the first that we would like to include in our compilation.  Antique poems do not need to be any specific style or subject, they need only be aged. 

No antique poetry left unburned?  Well fear not! Simply write one now, leave it in a desk drawer overnight and submit it the next day.  It should have a thin layer of dust by that time.  Submit your antique poems as comments to this blog or on the library's main page, or simply e-mail them  to dsharp@round-rock.tx.us

Submission: Please title your entries Antique Poem : (Title of the Poem) 

(Please remember we are asking for original poetry only. By submitting work for this project you attest that you are the original creator and owner of the intellectual property. Further, by submitting entries you license the Round Rock Library to include those entries into its published compilation, sales of which will benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library. We thank you for sharing your creativity.)

The Round Rock Library Wants to Publish Your Poetry

Public libraries have long been a center of culture and history. They provide access to literature and art to their communities among other valuable services. The word 'culture' often generates a sense of loftiness to conversation. In fact if you find yourself in a conversation that could use a dose of loftiness, it is hard to go wrong with statements like, "Have you considered the cultural aspects?" Culture does not have to be lofty though. It comes from the little things. It comes from communities, and communities are composed of people.

April is National Poetry Month. We at the Round Rock Public Library want to celebrate our own local culture by collecting original poetry from our community. During the month of April, the library will use this blog space as a forum for you to submit and share original poetic works with your peers. We will post a series of eight themes to help motivate your creative juices, but we are willing to accept old antique poems or subjects outside our themes as well. At the end of April, the staff of the RRPL will select and submit the collected works to a publisher who will produce copies of the book for the library to catalogue and for anyone to purchase (all proceeds to benefit the Friends of the Round Rock Public Library).

That's it.

Submit your poetry and immortalize yourself in Round Rock heritage forever. You don't have to be a great wordsmith, you don't have to have a literature degree and you don't have to engage in conversations about existentialism to contribute to culture. There is no age limit. Though we cannot guarantee that every entry will be published, it is our hope to include most of them. Submissions will also be accepted in house or by e-mail to dsharp@round-rock.tx.us. The celebration begins April 1st. (No foolin')

Check out more about national poetry month at http://www.poets.org/page.php/prmID/41.