Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sonnets and Haiku

This online course on creative writing is taking me places I had no desire to go, and is totally out of my comfort zone.  I did not intentionally sign up for a course that was going to include poetry; when I first saw this, I thought it might be easy for me, since I've written many poems.  But they are asking me to write particular kinds of poems.  My last assignment forced me to write some free verse, which you know I hate if you've read my poem book.  I got 100% on the test, and the instructor said it was "impressive".  Hmph.  Since I like rhymes, I did sneak a couple of them in, free verse or not.  I wasn't even allowed to pick my subject!  It had to be about eating an apple on a crowded bus.  So the following is how it looks when I try writing free verse, while sneaking in a couple of rhymes:

A bus pregnant with passengers unloaded some,
Making room for me.
I stepped aboard, paid the fare, found a seat:
No energy.

The Fuji apple I didn’t eat at lunch now calls my name.
Without delay,
The brown bag rattles as I slip my hand inside and touch the prize
Chasing blues away.

I rub it vigorously on my denim jeans to make it shine
And salivate,
Then take a crunchy bite, and find it crisp as a September day.
Cares evaporate.

Each bite sends forth tiny drops of sweetness.  So juicy!
Sticky hands.
And now I think perhaps tomorrow is a brighter day
Than I had planned.

Doesn't seem impressive to me, although Cliff said it made him want to eat an apple.

Today my assignment gave me a choice between two forms, thank goodness.  The first one is Haiku, a form of poetry I dislike even more than free verse.  I took the other choice and composed a sonnet, which at least has a rhythmic beat, and rhymes.  Unfortunately, I was given no choice on the subject.  The sonnet had to be about beauty.  Once I got started, that wasn't quite so difficult for me as I thought it might be.

How does one describe what beauty means?
It’s different things through different persons’ eyes.
My husband sees a beauty I’ve not seen
In my old wrinkled face and fading eyes.

A mother will find beauty in her child
Though all the world may say the kid is plain.
A farmer checks his hogs, and is beguiled,
And sees great beauty in a summer rain.

But children! Everywhere they look, there’s beauty.
They see it, touch it, feel it all around!
Before they’re tied to schools or jobs or duties,
Every second is with beauty crowned.

If we’d look at the world and be aware,
We’d understand there's beauty everywhere

I don't consider either of these anything I'd be particularly proud of, but the exercises and assignments do stretch me.  They make me do things I would never have attempted, left to my own devices. 

Who knows what I'll study once this course is done?  There's Writing Improvement, English Composition, Novel Writing, Creative Writing 101, How to Write Short Stories for Children, Non-fiction Writing, Creative Writing for Beginners... it goes on and on, and I'm having so much fun.

Sincerely yours, 


  1. I'm very happy you're doing this! Stretching ourselves, although painful, is definitely positive. Donna, I've taught English in the past and nearly have an English minor, so please believe me that you have a gift.

  2. love what you wrote. made me hungry for an apple too. keep up the good work. Happy Valentines Day.

  3. I will have to agree with Cliff the first poem did make me want to eat an apple with your adept and descriptive words. And you sonnet describes love very well. Nice for Valentines Day too! Hope you have a Happy Valentines Day!

  4. You did very well, Donna!

  5. I wonder if such a course is available for me. I’ve been a poet over the years but haven’t written one in a long time. I’m not a fan of free verse, but thoroughly enjoyed reading yours. I also like the sonnet. In each your descriptive language was wonderful.


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