Lift Off

By Nikki Anne Schmutz

!butterfly

I watch your wings as they knit –

fibrous strands

spun from life experience

stretch and weave

into strong vestibules of freedom.

You are beautiful to behold –

carrying yourself in love,

taking flight on winds

of purpose and attainment.

Wings will serve you well.

You were meant to fly.

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Without

By Nikki Anne Schmutz

There isn’t much
left after subtracting
the loss
from the gain.
Isn’t much room
for acquirements amid
times where coins
are scarce
and hearts are hard.
Not much
when scrounging
the Mason jar
for pennies
stuck to the bottom.
Not much
to celebrate
when Mom
is making up recipes
with ingredients
left in the pantry.
If love were
a commodity
it would be sold
on every shelf
in every store.
And hearts
would be millionaires.
But it isn’t.
It must be found
and kept safe.
Hidden from
the bottom scroungers.
Elevated despite
needs.
Pronounced
a precious commodity
before it is
squandered
as pennies
for a meal
without nourishment.

Challenge Responses! (poems with story and emotion, but lacking the word ‘I’)

The amazing Melissa Black asked me to contribute a poem to her lastest blog post!

Reluctant Repose

Well, as usual, I asked, and you responded! My wonderful poets displayed an amazing response to our poetry challenge. They were asked to produce a piece of any style, and length and any metered format. The only stipulations were that it had to display emotion and offer empathy, without using the word ‘I’. Here are a few of our submissions, I hope you enjoy them as much as I did! I was impressed with the depth that was produced, and the ease with which they seemed to rise to the task. Honestly I would love to take these and break them down into line by line analysis. Great work, poets, keep writing!

Submission 1- an introspective piece by David Bankson, offering insights into the mind via fantastic imagery.  Note how he displays such depth of emotion without once identifying the speaker.  He never tells of his exact plight, but the…

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Poetic Terminology: Consonance

By Nikki Anne Schmutz

As a poet, it is vital to know poetry terminology! Awareness of the devices used to create specific poetry styles will help us broaden our own style and skill. As we learn – we recognize the device, we see how other writers utilize it in their poetry, and we begin to dabble in something new. Creating our own version of something we learn is like the final exam of self-study.

Today we look at the use of Consonance. In definition, Consonance is a poetic device characterized by the repetition of the same consonant two or more times in short succession, as in “pitter patter” or in “all mammals named Sam are clammy”. Consonance should not be confused with assonance, which is the repetition of vowel sounds.

Consonance is the opposite of assonance – which is the repetition of similar vowel sounds within a word, phrase, or sentence. There is also a distinction between consonance and rhyme. In rhyme, consonant sounds can be present at the beginning, middle, or end of successive words, not only at the ends of words.  Consonance should also be distinguished from alliteration.  Consonance involves repetition of consonant sounds only, not vowels.

Using consonance gives a lyrical feeling to poetry that cannot be added in other ways and can be used to clarify images outside the standard rhyme formats. It is a tool to employ in adding layers and emphasizing the underlying feeling and meaning in poetry.

Here are some examples of consonance:

Glass boss. (Using ss)

Mammals named Sam are clammy. (Using m)

Pitter-patter. (Using tt and er)

Slither slather. (Using sl, th and er)

 

One of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson used repetition of consonant ‘m’ frequently through the poem to emphasize the words.

‘Twas later when the summer went
Than when the cricket came,
And yet we knew that gentle clock
Meant nought but going home.

‘T was sooner when the cricket went
Than when the winter came,
Yet that pathetic pendulum
Keeps esoteric time.

 

Have fun trying Consonance in your own poetry!

Poetic Terminology: Personification

By Nikki Anne Schmutz

As a poet, it is vital to know poetry terminology! Awareness of the devices used to create specific poetry styles will help us broaden our own style and skill. As we learn – we recognize the device, we see how other writers utilize it in their poetry, and we begin to dabble in something new. Creating our own version of something we learn is like the final exam of self-study.

Today we look at the use of personification. By definition, personification is a figure of speech in which a thing, an idea, or an animal is given human attributes. The non-human objects are portrayed in such a way that we feel they have the ability to act like human beings. For example, when we say, “The sky weeps” we are giving the sky the ability to cry and feel sorrow, a human quality. Thus personifying the sky. Other classic uses of personification are:

Look at my car, isn’t she a beauty?

The wind whispered.

The flowers danced.

The moon smiled.

Death had come.

Personification is a classical literary device. It is used in poetry to emphasize meaning and description. It gives the reader a reference to compare to. There are thousands of examples I could give you, but I will stick with one of my favorite poets of all time, Emily Dickinson.

Part Three: Love IX
Emily Dickinson (1830–86). Complete Poems. 1924.

HAVE you got a brook in your little heart,
Where bashful flowers blow,
And blushing birds go down to drink,
And shadows tremble so?

And nobody, knows, so still it flows,
That any brook is there;
And yet your little draught of life
Is daily drunken there.

Then look out for the little brook in March,
When the rivers overflow,
And the snows come hurrying from the hills,
And the bridges often go.

And later, in August it may be,
When the meadows parching lie,
Beware, lest this little brook of life
Some burning noon go dry!

 

Go ahead and try personification in your poetry!