Some poetic advice for Bad Poetry Day

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Poetic Perfection?

Is there truly such thing as a perfect poem? What reads like unblemished perfection to one, may not receive the same praises from another. Poetry is a subjective art. There are guidelines a writer can follow which may endear their words to a greater audience of readers. The words of a poem provide the reader sustenance with which they can quell their hunger, but the presentation, the way in which the writer chooses to craft their words upon a blank canvas, is important to a readers palate as well.

A poem needn’t be epic in length, think of the power the words of haiku hold.

Writer - Haiku - Crystal R. Cook

Poetry is something which comes from within, composition and form are secondary to the words which will bring meaning and life to the page, but important still. Poetry comes in many forms, perfect to one – nonsense to another. What matters is the author’s voice tickling the reader’s ear through the whispered words of the page.

You needn’t use big words or flowery verse, it doesn’t have to rhyme, and it doesn’t have to be explained; the words and the composition of them should suffice. Writing poetry can be healing, thought-provoking, and at times, profound to both the writer as well as the reader. The perfect poem is the one that touches your soul when you write it, and invites the reader to become one with your words.

Seeking release

The laureate lamented
for her words were skewed,
her altiloquence mistaken
as being quite rude.
Her style clinquant,
her affectation too much,
too many mistakes,
like catchfools and such.
Circumlocution
and too many clichés
made all of her readers
turn quickly away.
What she thought
to be eloquent
was really quite fustian;
due to forced rhyme
she lacked any . . . lyricism?
Pedantry ad nauseam,
not even done right,
left the young writer
feeling contrite.
She vowed to improve,
she promised to change
and pay more attention
how her words were arranged.
Convinced of her talent
she started again,
but was soon held up
by heteronyms.
She stopped and she sighed,
then she started to cry,
for her poetic juices
had completely run dry . . .

CRC

Simply awful with that bit of forced rhyme and the ridiculous use of unnecessarily big words. I must admit though, it was quite fun to write.

Poetry doesn’t have to rhyme. If you cannot rhyme well, you shouldn’t rhyme at all. Forced rhymes destroy what may otherwise be a fine piece of work. Rhymed poetry needs to have a rhythm; it needs to flow seamlessly as it is read. It needs to make sense.

If writing a rhymed piece, ideally each stanza should have the same amount of lines; the rhyme scheme needs to be consistent. There are several ways to craft a rhymed poem, once you’ve chosen your style, remain true to it throughout the piece, the jarring effect of switched up rhyme schemes can throw a reader off.

Every line in a poem does not need to be capitalized; many writers tend to do this, for the reader though, it is often hard to distinguish where one thought ends and another begins. A poem can have commas, periods, and question marks. These details can certainly serve to enhance your work; don’t be afraid to use them.

Poetic beauty is personal passion, as it is with any art. There are those who love and admire the work of Picasso and others who are perplexed and not attracted to it in the slightest, yet both recognize the value of the art itself.

Words never rest,
an endless dance
of thoughts
and epiphanies,
which must
be forgotten
or given
life eternal
upon a page.

Words
ease fear,
create terror,
heal, hurt,
make
insanity
the norm.

They never
cease,
they never
fade,
never fail,
never stop.

CRC

We Write by Crystal R. Cook

And because we spoke of rhyme . . .

Stymied by Rhyme?

Rhyme

To rhyme or not to rhyme, if you choose to rhyme, you must rhyme well, for if you don’t, it will sound like . . . Well, you understand don’t you?

From the Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce – RIME, n. Agreeing sounds in the terminals of verse, mostly bad. The verses themselves, as distinguished from prose, mostly dull. Usually (and wickedly) spelled “rhyme.”

When asked about English words without a rhyme, most will quite correctly say orange, purple and silver. There are actually many words in the English language lacking a partner in perfect rhyme.

If it’s true rhyme you’re looking for, you may want to steer clear of the words: anything, January, stubborn, apricot, dictionary and xylophone. Good luck with chaos, angry, hostage, rhythm, shadow, circus, crayon and glimpsed. Angst and empty, depth and width will be tough to rhyme, just like glimpsed and else and diamond and chocolate. Penguin and galaxy do not have any true rhymes, nor does elbow or engine, anxious or monster.

A perfect rhyme, sometimes referred to as true rhyme or full rhyme, is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language as; a rhyme in which the final accented vowel and all succeeding consonants or syllables are identical, while the preceding consonants are different, for example, great, late; rider, beside her; dutiful, beautiful.

Pure rhyme can be broken down even further. Words such as dog and log are single pure rhymes. Silly and willy would hence be referred to as double pure rhymes. An example of a triple pure rhyme would be mystery and history.

The longer the word, the harder it will be to find a perfect rhyme, this doesn’t mean they cannot be used in the context of rhyme however. Para-rhymes are defined as a partial or imperfect rhyme, often using assonance or consonance only, as in dry and died or grown and moon. This is also called half rhyme, near rhyme, oblique rhyme, slant rhyme or forced rhyme. This refers to words that do not completely rhyme, but use like sound to form the desired effect. A common example is the word discombobulate, to create a fluid sounding rhyme, three syllables must be utilized, populate would work well as a half rhyme in this instance. Hill and hell or mystery and mastery are examples of para-rhyme.

Masculine rhyme, or monosyllabic rhyme, is among the most common; this technique stresses the final syllable of each word, as in sublime and rhyme, or went and sent. Feminine rhyme differs in that the stress is on two or more syllables such as pleasure and treasure or fountain and mountain. Identical rhyme is simply using the same word twice.

There are various other examples of rhyme; eye rhyme is a rhyme consisting of words, such as lint and pint or love and move with similar spellings, but different sounds. Rich rhyme is a word rhymed with its homonym such as blue with blew, guest with guessed.

Scarce rhymes are words with limited rhyming alternatives like wisp and lisp, motionless and oceanless. Wrenched rhyme is the rhyming of a stressed syllable with an unstressed syllable as in words like lady and bee or bent and firmament.

Internal and external multi-syllable rhymes utilize the rhyming of more than one word, in this example, bleak and seek are internal rhymes; words within the body of the stanza, while night and light are external rhymes and fall at the end of a line.

So she found him
in the bleak of night,
lost on his quest
to seek the light.

Assonance rhyme is the matching of the vowel sounds, feast and feed, fever and feature. In syllable rhyme, the last syllable in each word is matching, pitter and patter, batter and matter. Consonance rhyme is matching the consonants in each word, her and dark. Alliteration is matching the beginning sounds of each word, often used in a series; perfect, poetic, personification.

Many people wrongly assume writing a rhymed poem is an easy task, until they actually try to write one, that is. There is much more to it than seeking words that rhyme, but we’ll discuss it at length some other time.

Crystal R. Cook

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MINE – a Six Sentence Story

It’s it’s been a while since I’ve tossed in my own six sentences over at Uncharted for a Six Sentence Story. Actually, it’s been a while since I’ve even managed to write six whole sentences . . . not good ones anyway.

Have you tried your hand and linked up with your own yet? If you haven’t, you must . . . it’s quite fun and gets the creative juices flowing. Mine have been evaporating in a stagnant pool, so bear with me. Perhaps next week I’ll pen something super for my Six Sentence Story!

 – MINE –

How could you?

I’ve been thinking about this all day, I couldn’t focus on anything else, and here you are looking at me like I have a second head for bringing it up.

It’s like nothing that even remotely matters to me means anything to you, you just don’t care and I’m finally starting to see that you never did.

This has been happening since our first fricking date, I swear sometimes I wish I’d never even met you!

I’m not being overly dramatic, I have every right to be mad and damn it, I am.

I woke up this morning looking forward to eating that cinnamon roll for breakfast, it was supposed to be mine.

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It’s I Love My Feet Day – Why You Need to Show Them Some Love

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NATIONAL I LOVE MY FEET DAY

“You have brains in your head, and feet in your shoes, you can steer yourself in any direction you choose!” Dr. Suess

Your feet are amazing. They truly are. Unfortunately, they don’t always get the attention and respect they deserve. Most of us don’t spend much time thinking about those odd looking, flippy-floppy things that carry us through life.

But we should.

I must admit, I have a love/hate relationship with feet. In all honesty, I think feet are weird. They look funny. Some of them smell funky. They are almost always dirty. Feet are also fascinating and undervalued and deserve so much more care than we give to them.

So, in honor of National I Love My Feet Day, I’m talking about feet. Bear with me here, this is pretty important stuff. We need our feet to last us an entire lifetime and let’s face it, life would come to a standstill without them. See what I did there? A standstill? You know, because we need feet to stand . . . maybe it was funnier in my head.

First a Few Fun Facts About Feet

Did you know each human foot is made up of 19 muscles, 26 bones, 33 joints,107 ligaments, and contains 250,000 sweat glands? That’s a lot of pieces and parts in one relatively tiny package!

On average, a person takes 7,500 steps per day, if you kept that level of activity, which is moderate, for 75 years you will have taken over 200,000,000 steps in your lifetime.

One foot is usually a bit bigger than the other. Women suffer from more foot issues than men, high heels anyone? Wearing a 2½-inch high heel can increase the load on your forefoot by 75%. 1/4 of the bones in your body are located in your feet. Toenails grow faster when the heat is high. The bones in your feet don’t completely harden until 21 years of age. Your feet have more sensory nerve endings per square centimeter than any other part of your body.

Like I said, your feet are amazing and strong and in order to keep them that way, you need to pamper them every now and then. Your feet should be a high priority on your self-care checklist. Your feet do more than move you, they are often the first indicators of what could become major medical issues, and when your feet aren’t happy, the rest of your body isn’t happy either.

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Aside from daily care and the occasional take your toes to the spa day, you need to pay attention to what those tootsies are telling you. Don’t ignore foot pain or other injuries. Your feet take a lot of abuse, a normal day of regular activity puts tons of force on them. The shoes you choose to wear can be harmful. The germs and dirt and sweat they accumulate can lead to illness and infection.

This isn’t the time to tiptoe around, foot care is serious.

Since your feet are the furthest away from your heart, they are susceptible to damage due to certain heart conditions. That heart of yours is pumping blood to your feet through arteries, and if those arteries become clogged or diseased, that blood supply is being limited, and the oxygen-rich blood your feet need to keep-on-keepin-on isn’t getting where it needs to go.

Your feet are often a good indicator of your overall health. Diabetes, nerve disorders, circulatory issues, and arthritis symptoms are often noticed in the feet first.

Foot care is especially important for the estimated 24 million Americans with Diabetes. Somewhere between 60-70% of diabetics will develop nerve damage, which can lead to lower limb amputation. Extra care is critical for diabetics when they suffer any wounds to lower extremities. Something as simple as a scratch or an ingrown toenail can lead to serious complications.

If you have diabetes, you need to be examining your feet every day for injuries you may not even be aware are there. Check for redness, swelling – any signs there may be an infection present.

Read more about diabetic foot care here:

National Diabetes Education Program PDF Pamphlet

Everyday Health – Tips for good diabetes foot care

Love DIY? Check out these homemade foot scrubs! My favorite recipe from this fantastic list uses brown sugar (exfoliates), coconut oil (moisturizes), and peppermint oil (freshens and cools).

Readers Digest – 8 homemade foot scrub recipes

If you’d like to see even more tips and tricks for healthy, happy feet, click on the links below. Take some time and research foot care, find out how to baby those wonderful feet of yours . . .

6 tips for foot and nail care – Web MD

8 ways to treat your feet right – Healthy Women

10 Things podiatrist wish everyone knew about their feet – Prevention

Now that you know how vital proper foot care and health really is, celebrate National I Love My Feet Day by treating yourself to a nice pedicure or mix up a batch of a soothing foot rub and give those marvelous metatarsals of yours a rest . . .

Building bridges just to watch them burn . . .

burning match

We’re united in our division.
Someone has to be right,
so someone must be wrong.
Everything becomes a battle
too many are willing to fight.

We try to fill the gaps between us,
hoping one day we will learn,
but every time we build a bridge,
there’s always someone, somewhere,
who simply wants to watch it burn.

Yes, we say we are united
as we draw lines upon the sand.
We gather words as weapons,
forging them from facts we think we know,
then choose a side and firmly make our stand.

Self proclaimed, self -righteous warriors
charge forth with vitriolic indignation,
under the guise of what they believe is right,
without regard for who gets hurt,
their final victim will be our nation.

Us against them and them against us.
Arsenals filled with rhetoric, stats, and lies.
Angry accusations violently explode,
blinding everyone with shrapnel
till they’ve lost sight of why they fight.

It isn’t just about the politics,
It’s about how we think and what we speak.
It’s about how we parent and how we feel,
how we show our faith, and how we choose to live.
All this right and wrong only makes us weak.

What will be left, if it ever ends?

Why do we keep trying to build bridges,
if we’re just going to watch them burn?

Today is the day!

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Celebrate accordingly people. Do nothing, read a book, soak in the tub, grab the remote and embark upon a Netflix marathon of epic proportions.

However you choose to honor this marvelous day, just make sure it requires minimal effort.

By the way, today is ALSO National S’mores day, so maybe make one or three, they don’t take too much time or effort, so it shouldn’t interrupt your lazy day inactivity too much.

Personally, I plan on crawling into a book and losing myself in words until the day is done . . .

Happy National Lazy Day!