Paint chip monostich

This week’s prompt from Linda Kruschke is for a monostich – a single line of poetry. The full definition and the paint chip colours as well as her monotich and the responses of others may be found on her blog. Why not have a go?

Linda writes:

My challenge to you today is to write a poem using monostich. You could try writing a poem that is a single line in its entirety, or use monostich interspersed throughout a longer poem. I actually hope that someone tries the joke option mentioned in Drury’s definition. I’m not clever enough for that, but I’m sure one of you is.

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are the red planetlily of the valleydust devilfossilgreen flashschool bus, and inchworm.

I would like you to incorporate one or two of these words and phrases into your monostich, if you decide to write just a one-line poem. If you write a longer poem, with monostich throughout or at the beginning or end, then I would like you to use at least four of the words and phrases, with at least one in a monostich.

Is there life on Mars?

Does lily of the valley grow on the red planet?
It might look like a green flash surrounded by granite.

A fossil of an inchworm would be proof positive, innit?

(Although I grew up south of the Thames, I can’t remember using ‘innit’ before! It’s a local version of ‘isn’t it?’.)


Three short books from BorrowBox

As well as reading printed books, I have been reading some books on my phone. As I have finished reading seven books and not yet reviewed them, there will be reviews of three books in this post.

The Prophet by Khalil Gibran

Khalil Gibran’s book is written as allegorical poetry and contains much wisdom. The Prophet was about to set sail from a city and before he went he was asked for advice by various groups of people. The Prophet is probably best known for the section about children. This is addressed to parents. I enjoyed this book and was interested to learn a little about the author. There were illustrations, but how they were relevant to the book escaped me at the time. I have since learned that he was also an artist. Really it is a book to return to, but reading it on BorrowBox is a good introduction. It was first published in the USA in 1923.

No-one is too small to make a difference by Greta Thunberg

Greta Thunberg from Sweden is well-known for her activism on climate change. As a schoolgirl she has managed to attract international attention. Her book, No-one is too small to make a difference is a collection of her speeches to various important meetings. As her message is the same, there was a lot of repetition, but it was interesting to read her words and to note which important meetings she had spoken at. Climate change is an important issue and one that should be taken notice of by everyone. Decisions taken by older people will affect today’s children and future generations.

Captain Tom’s Life Lessons by Captain Tom Moore

In 2020 centenarian Captain Tom Moore (1920-2021) captured the hearts of the British public by his sponsored walk around his garden using his zimmer frame. He raised a very large sum of money for National Health Service Charities. As a result he also gained an honorary degree and a knighthood. His book is written as he spoke with Yorkshire phrases, such as ‘When I were a lad’. His life story is interwoven with advice for good-living. While he did not consider himself religious, it was apparent that the faith and morals of his grandparents had influenced his character. It is a heart-warming book.

I recommend these three influential books from very different authors. They are all published by Penguin. Perhaps you have read one or more of them already. If so, what did you think?


Paint chip villanelle

This week’s prompt from Linda Kruschke is for a villanelle.

The definition in the poetry dictionary Linda is using for these prompts is very long. Do read her post for the definition, colours and the poem she has written as well as links to other villanelles.

She writes:

‘My challenge to you today is to write a villanelle with octosyllabics. I’m a big fan of the eight-syllable line. You may, as John Drury mentions later in the definition, alter the exact wording of your refrains if you choose. I think the original theme of country people has long since been left by the wayside, so I don’t expect you to follow that part of the definition, but you can if you want to. Just remember that you had better really like your first and third lines because you’ll be repeating them.

‘My tip for you, as you write a poem in this interesting form, is to write the following rhyme/refrain scheme down the margin of your paper to help you keep track. A1/b/A2, a/b/A1, a/b/A2, a/b/A1, a/b/A2, a/b/A1/A2.

‘The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with in crafting your villanelle are marigold, ice cap, deep-sea vent, Earl Grey, porcelain, elephant, and euphoria.

‘I would like you to use at least three of these paint chips in your poem. You can also use your own descriptive words for the colors of the paint chips. For example, you might think marigold looks more like day lily or summer sun. I mean, what fun is it to have colors as part of the chips and not get to play with those too?’

How to be Well-versed in Poetry
How to be Well-versed in Poetry

For this challenge I have written my second poem about Earl Grey. My first poem was dramatic monologue.

I found an entertaining villanelle consisting of instructions for writing one in the book, How to be well-versed in poetry, which I mentioned previously.

Tea-drinking villanelle

Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey
When the weather was ice-cap cold
(Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay)

Or on a glorious summer’s day
When the sun set like marigold
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey.

Some add milk or sugar; say
Whether you drink it hot or cold!
(Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay)

Others add lemon or ice – hey!
Not the fashion in days of old.
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey,

Remembered for it to this day,
But how he drank it we’re not told –
Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay.

I take my tea decaffeina-
ted sooner than it might go cold.
Bergamot in tea pleased Earl Grey;
Tea’s best from fired porcelain clay.