A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 4

I still have fun with the course (see first post on the topic), but this week has been a bit less enjoyable for me. The feedback for the first assignment was underwhelming, to put it mildly. While one of the reviewers was OK and made an effort, the other one graded complete nonsense and neither read nor understood the instructions nor the questions. Now, if I’d be a paying customer who wants a certificate, I’d make a fuss. As it is: water off a duck’s back. I was a bit miffed though, since I put a lot of thought and effort into my own reviews and grading.

I should have remembered, it’s not untypical for MOOCs to get such wildly varying reviews.

Anyway, this week the topic was rhyme. We learned about true rhymes and slant rhymes, about lipograms and alliterations and the strength that restraint can give to a piece of writing. Now, that’s something flash fiction writers know very well.

The prompts were: write a lipogram (only use words with the same vowel, no other vowels allowed, like hat, cat, sat, fat…) and pick a poem or song, take the end rhymes from this and make your own poem out of them.

Snooks and snakes sneak snotty snails into snooty cinemas for snacks.

Douglas Kearney, California Institute of Arts,

I found these prompts very hard. The lipogram scared me, I think to write something really good like that, you need to have an excellent command of the language and a huge vocabulary. Google helped though, and once I started playing with it, it was fun. The product is nonsensical, but I hope still fun.

The “Biting Rhymes: Rhyming Can Be Hard, Let Someone Else Do It For You” prompt didn’t scare me so much rather than upset me. How can I take a beautiful poem and mangle it with my own meager skills? And of course I didn’t read the instructions properly and didn’t limit myself to the end rhymes as I should have. Maybe I’ll write another one…

Anyway, here are my offerings

Lipogram in U

Drunk Gus hurls stuff
Lulu struck, huff-puff
Run, Hun!

Jump bus, dumb luck
Lulu unstrung, sunstruck
Sunburnt fun

Unfurl bud, up-buck
Lulu hugs lustful Chuck
Plum hun-bun

The 'steal the rhyme' rhymes are taken from Pink Floyd's Shine On Me Crazy Diamond - I absolutely love this song and mangling it hurts... and I took all the rhymes, not only the end rhymes.
Two Losers

When we were young,  
The look in your eyes, 
Was bright like the sun 
in the limitless sky.

Days filled with laughter,  
Ended too soon
We made ourselves martyrs, 
Who howled to the moon.

Our love’s warming light
Our future’s bright visions
Gave way to the night
To words of hurtful precision 

Now look where we are
Still filled with delusion
Not apart, yet so far
From each other: two losers.

Stay tuned, next week will be about rhythm.

3 thoughts on “A Poetry Workshop MOOC – Week 4

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