Great Elm

Hired wolves
sever your limbs
with their ravenous teeth
snarling as they grind your old bones
to dust.



I try
not to giggle
as she wriggles along
finding, step by step, the length of
my arm.


I have a friend who writes a limerick every day. I have other friends who write haiku every day. I like the idea of writing a short form poem every day. It reminds me of doing sit ups or push ups. But I’m not sure limericks and haiku are the best form of poetic exercise. Limericks are silly and fun, but they aren’t a good form for expressing more serious feelings. Haiku are brilliant for communicating through experience and inference, but they are not intended to use metaphor and other literary devices. So what might form might make a better daily work out? I’ve sometimes wondered if it might be the cinquain. The cinquain is short and requires the poet to work within formal constraints, but the cinquain can express a variety of emotions and utilize a variety of poetic devices. This week I gave the cinquain a try. It’s too early for me to report any results, but I can share a couple of my poems. As you cans see, they certainly express different emotions. (In case you were wondering, no, that’s not my tree.)


What poetic exercises do you try to do regularly?

For more Poetry Friday, visit Catherine Johnson.

grateful for extra helpings
of cousins

new world
learning to celebrate
turkey kimchi flan

The old table
We stretch ourselves to share
The year’s sweet and salty harvest

Last week Teaching Authors put out a challenge to write a Thanku. I’ve posted my effort above and a cinquain for dessert. It certainly was challenging to find a fresh approach to a holiday that is by definition traditional. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.For more Poetry Friday go to A Year of Reading.

(c) 2012 Elizabeth Ehrenfest Steinglass, all rights reserved