First Lesson in Poetry

A Poem By Caleb // 1/16/2018

Oh, ye young gallant writers all
Come listen unto me
And I will teach the secret skill
Of writing poetry.

To make it plain I chose this theme,
To show the craft most clearly,
That POETRY IS LIKE ICE CREAM,
That dish men love most dearly.

Words correspond to cream you see,
But everybody knows
That words alone aren’t poetry,
That’s what is known as prose.

So cream alone is not ice cream
Ice gives it form and structure
In poetry the ice ‘twould seem
Is patterned pulse, or metre.

But is that all that’s requisite
To truly make the treat?
In strict sense yes –but what is it
Without some added sweet?

Some added sweetness makes you lick
Ice cream with greater pleasure,
In verse the kick that makes words stick
Is rhyme — poetry’s sugar.

And there are still more ways than this
To give your ice cream flavour,
And there is more that I can list
Of tricks good poets favour.

Alliteration and assonance
Work wonders when well wielded;
The first is done with consonants,
For the other vowels are needed.

Like chopped up chunks of chocolate
Churned right into the mixture
Some poets like a lot of it
To give the text more texture.

And why not use a fine excess
Of rich ambrosial toppings?
In lines that touch of loveliness
No half-way words should stop things.

And as the tastiest flavours are
The ones containing berries,
So verse replete with metaphor
The greatest beauty carries.

I’d say this poem in metaphor
The heights of poesie reaches,
But also does what poems are for
Delights provokes and teaches.

So if toward creativity
Your heart is ever yearning,
Apply my words in poetry
Or your next ice-cream churning.

Comments

How exciting for you! I hope

How exciting for you! I hope your classes go well.

This poem is both delightful and helpful. Thank you for sharing. :)

Damaris Ann | Tue, 01/16/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

(1) fun poem (2) that’s so

(1) fun poem (2) that’s so cool! Where would you teach your course? and (3) I have no idea what a poetry reading party is but if I was in Oregon I’d probably be there lol. What kinds of poems would be read?

Hannah D. | Tue, 01/16/2018

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

Also...

...Welcome to the front page!! Glad you're a monthly now.

Damaris Ann | Tue, 01/16/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

A poem... about poetry!

I'm so glad you've posted this, Caleb! This poem is one of my favorites. :) It's clever, fun, and instructive, or — as you yourself put it — it "delights, provokes, and teaches."

One of my favorite stanzas has to be the one that continues the thought about alliteration:

Like chopped up chunks of chocolate
Churned right into the mixture
Some poets like a lot of it
To give the text more texture.

I'm not sure if this has more to do with my love of alliteration, or my love for chocolate.

It's especially fun to hear you read it out loud. :) I'm looking forward to the poetry party!

James | Wed, 01/17/2018

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

I love the comparison of ice

I love the comparison of ice cream to poetry. Once again, your wording is well chosen and add flavor to your creation. Thanks for posting this!

Libby | Wed, 01/17/2018

“The gospel alone is the power of God unto salvation.
Therefore, suffer, yes. Be misunderstood, yes. Be shamed, yes. But do not be ashamed. For the joy set before you, take up your cross, follow Jesus, be shamed and despise the shame!" -- John Piper

A further thought...

I'm thinking (if I can figure out how to configure it) it would be neat to create a page on Apricot Pie with links to various posts that teach, provide tips, or in some way discuss how to write. This poem would be one of those links. :)

James | Wed, 01/17/2018

<><~~~~~~~~~~~~><>
"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

Oh yes!! You should do that!

Oh yes!! You should do that! I'll help in any way I can.

Damaris Ann | Wed, 01/17/2018

I don’t thrive off of chaos: chaos thrives off of me.

I enjoy reading and writing

I enjoy reading and writing poetry, but I like eating ice cream significantly more than churning it.

Ezra | Wed, 01/17/2018

"There are no great men of God. There are only pitiful, sorry men whose God is great beyond measure." - Paul Washer [originally Jonathan Edwards]

Ooh! I've hosted "poetry

Ooh! I've hosted "poetry readings by candlelight" parties before -- wish I was in the Portland area, or I'd join! And welcome to being a monthly writer! Can't wait to read your poetry. I like your weaving of modern images with an almost Renaissance tone...

Sarah Bethany | Wed, 01/17/2018

Thanks, Damaris.

Thanks, Damaris.

Caleb | Thu, 01/18/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Thanks, Hannah

(1) I wholeheartedly agree. (2) I've taught youth choirs before and I want to begin doing that again at my church with a poetry class after the choir. I hope the class will give the students some framework and a good impetus to create. (3) We'll read or recite poems we've written or like. I think everyone who comes will have superlatively good taste. If you were in Oregon what would you read?

Caleb | Thu, 01/18/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Thanks, James

Alliteration was the essential ingredient in Saxon poetry and therefore must always have a place in ours. I'm looking forward to hearing you at the party.

Caleb | Thu, 01/18/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Thanks, Libby

Thanks so much. Who doesn't explain things with comparisons? I found myself explaining poetry this way and thought "This could be a poem."

Caleb | Thu, 01/18/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Oh no! Ezra :o

You've exploded the metaphor and now I'm literally questioning everything.

Caleb | Thu, 01/18/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Sarah Bethany

Thanks. Those sound fun. I was considering candlelight -- especially for a particular poem set in olden times. I think that a lot of creativity is not making up something wholly new, but synthesizing. I've been reading Narnia to my Grandma recently and Lewis usually uses a victorian novel/20th century youth fiction tone, but I came across a bit in Dawn Treader exactly in the Vinland Saga style and a portion of Silver Chair in Medieval Romance style. We all read different things and think "that would be cool to draw on."

Caleb | Thu, 01/18/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Oh both the party and the

Oh both the party and the classes sound awesome! If I was there, I'd probably end up doing a very dramatic recitation of Robert Browning's "Count Gismond." :P

Hannah D. | Thu, 01/18/2018

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

This was wonderful. When I

This was wonderful. When I have children (God willing) and they are old enough to start studying creative writing and poetry, I will be giving them this to read.
Also welcome to the ranks of official monthly writers!

Mary | Thu, 01/18/2018

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!

Thank you, Mary

It is a very nice thought to think of children in the future beginning to learn about poetry in terms of ice-cream!

Caleb | Sun, 01/21/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Hannah

Very dramatic recitations are the way to go especially with Browning whose poems seem to speak "aloud" even on the page -- if that makes sense. I just read Count Gismond; it has a good hurly-burly energy. I wondered if you thought the narrator is ambiguous about what happened or if you think it's a straightforward story.

Caleb | Sun, 01/21/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

Yes, that makes sense! I

Yes, that makes sense! I often end up reading his poetry aloud anyway.

I think that, although there is some ambiguity (like how are her cousins and Gauthier connected?), overall it’s a straightforward story. Although I do confess to reading it more than once to get to that straightforwardness, as is true of most of my poetry readings lol. What do you think?

What poem(s) will you be reading at the party (or are you not allowed to tell - you want to surprise the attendees?) :)

Hannah D. | Sun, 01/21/2018

"Reason itself is a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all." - G. K. Chesterton

Yes, it's a surprise :) I'd

Yes, it's a surprise :) I'd like some of my friends to bring their own poems, and I'd like to read some of mine as well; which ones might be influenced by the atmosphere and time we have. (The less readers that come, the more epic-length the poems.) The other night we were talking about it with James and my little sister started doing Jaberwocky, and we began acting out what she was saying to great dramatic effect. So I hope to hear her recite that.

I think that Browning was a savvy writer, and I'm impressed with his ability to communicate at once characters, the narrative, and clear images.
Whatever the exact relationship between Gauthier and her cousins, we understand enough to pity the narrator who, like so many orphans (even noble-born ones,) finds herself unprotected in an unloving place. I also think Browning, likely intentionally, makes us question the way the narrator portrays it.

Caleb | Wed, 01/24/2018

And he was just wondering, for he was a severe critic of his own work, whether that last line couldn't be polished up a bit...
~P.G. Wodehouse

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