Saturday, February 18, 2012

Poetic Saturdays: As the Sun Set in the Forest

This week, I tried my hand at a new type of poetry form: the quatern. It's a French form that uses a refrain (imagine that!), but has no set iambic or rhyme scheme. The lines should have eight syllables, which is like a triolet. Anyway, it was fun.

as the sun set in the forest, by Robert Lee Brewer

as the sun set in the forest,
she slipped out of her slip. she left
it on a branch and then asked me
to follow. her bells became stars.

when the boomerang moon melted,
as the sun set in the forest,
her trail went cold. i tried to find
which way but only the raven

knows. the moon caught a glimpse of sun
but shadow clouds surrounded her
as the sun set. in the forest,
there was nothing i could explain.

she was naked and i was scared
of not having her promises,
not that i could ever keep them,
as the sun set in the forest.


Newer Book:

by Denise Duhamel (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Maybe the best book to present with a new (to me anyway) form is Denise Duhamel's Ka-Ching! It doesn't include a quatern, but it does play with forms, including 10 prose poems in the form of play money, eBay sonnets, a sestina to Sean Penn, and that's just the first 22 pages (seriously). I first became a fan of Duhamel's after reading Queen for a Day (Pittsburgh), because she had an instantly lovable voice. This collection combines that captivating voice with a poetic playfulness that will left me saying, "Ka-ching!"


Poems Found Online:
  • Oh Summer, Look, by Clifford Hunt from Mudlark
  • 5 Poems, by Angie Macri from Escape Into Life
  • Message, by Sandra Kohler from The Pedestal Magazine
  • The Canal, by Brian Simoneau from Hobble Creek Review
  • 5 Poems, by Jill Jones from Otoliths

Older Book:

Settling Down
by Ira Sadoff (Houghton Mifflin)

"A change comes over me. / My wife and I no longer speak." So begins the title and introductory poem to this collection, which was a used book store find a while back. I'd never heard of Sadoff before this collection, but Settling Down is brilliant. I can't even pick a favorite poem, because every line seems so important and stripped to the bone. For instance, "Everything was barren before I met you. / I could hardly use a napkin, wash my face. / Who knew the difference between a fork / and a plate? So you taught me how to speak / and I didn't have to move my lips," is how "Love Poem for Imperialists" begins, and as with all of these poems I just want to settle down and read on.


Note: Links in this post to books are affiliate links. However, I do not mention these books to make a profit. They are either books I'm connected to or ones I truly love. All other links in this post are not affiliate links.


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Check out previous Poetic Saturdays posts:


Unknown said...

Ka-Ching! is on of the funnest book titles - for poetry - that I've heard (read?) in a long time! Thanks for sharing your stab at a new form, too. Happy Saturday.

Truedessa said...

Interesting writing today, perhaps I could try something like that and see what I create. Anyway, always nice to drop in on your blog.

Val Dering Rojas said...

Just started reading your blog, after recently (and in my case, courageously--oh, the implications! ) purchasing your Poet's Market book--and I must say, I am loving it, in spite of my now $100+ cart full of poetry books on Amazon. I especially enjoy Poetic Saturdays. Your poetry rocks, your explanations of poetic forms are easily understood and the best part of all: I take it as a challenge to write a poem in that day's form--an excellent "un-blocker" and a much needed side trip away from my usual free verse. Thank you!

Anonymous said...


Robert Lee Brewer said...

Thanks, everyone, for commenting!

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