Saturday, August 2, 2014

Haiga, Golden Shovel, Billy Collins and Plath

In case you missed it, the winners of the June haiga contest were announced. To read that post CLICK HERE. Congrats to Patricia and Nurit.


Writer's Digest editor and writer of the Poetic Asides blog, Robert Lee Brewer, announced the winners in his latest poetry form challenge. This time writers were asked to write golden shovel poems. I'd never written one before and had never even heard of the poetic form until Robert posted the challenge. How do you write a golden shovel? Simply take a line or lines from a poem and use each word as the end words of your poem, keeping the words in order. Give credit to the poet who originally wrote the line(s). The new poem doesn't need to be on the same subject or the same style of the old poem. For more information, you can read a bit more and see an example at Robert's earlier post HERE. I wrote six to post. My favorite of them was about trees and youth and love.

As usually, the competition was fierce. Robert had to pick the top ten from over 700 and from the ones I read there was some excellent work. I was lucky enough to make the top ten list again. This time I placed fourth with my poem, Not Everybody Appreciates My Lit Humor, which used lines from Billy Collin's poem Aristotle. Yay, me! Unfortunately, only the first (and sometimes second) place poems are published in Writer's Digest. Darn! So close but yet so far. Maybe next time. (or maybe not. Winning one of these poetic form challenges is like winning the lottery. Yet, I still keep trying.)

The winning poem by Margie Fuston is lovely. If you'd like, you can READ IT HERE. Congrats to Margie.
When she posted her poem I knew it was a winner. The wording is excellent, good imagery, thought-provoking lines. A deserving win.

My fourth place golden shovel was the last one I wrote and the one Ispent the least amount of time on writing. I almost didn't post it, because to me it was more of a funny thing than a poem I would send out anywhere. Boy, am I glad I did post it. Here it is:

Not Everyone Appreciates my Lit Humor
      after Billy Collins
Setting on the counter, the boom box reverberates verses as it
plays back poems recorded for class. The new theme is
compare and contrast women poets past and present. Sylvia
begins as I am chopping onions, and I joke I’m a Psycho-Plath,
stopping to hold the meaty, long-bladed knife up in the air in
Norman Bates' style. Hubby just shakes his head before leaving the
room. Alone, Sylvia and I shed our tears in the kitchen.

(using the line “It is Sylvia Plath in the kitchen” taken from Billy Collin’s poem Aristotle)

The poem is complete fiction but I'm a joker and my husband doesn't get all my literary jokes so it is something that definitely could have happened. I am hoping that Collins might appreciate my humor (if he ever comes across post). A friend told me, "Plath would dig this poem...if she were alive."  I'm not certain of that but I know that I dig Plath (even if some of her work makes me sad.). However, whenever I need a little cheering up this video of Billy Collin's reciting The Lanyard always makes me smile. Enjoy!

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