{pf: poetry peeps try to byr a thoddaid}

Poetry Peeps! You’re invited to our challenge in the month of July! Here’s the scoop: We’re each taking an empowering and inimitable line from Maya Angelou’s “And Still I Rise,” and from them creating acrostic poems. Each of those forty+ lines are available to poets to create something memorable – grounding, empowering and expansive – of their own. Are you in? Good! You’ve got a month to craft your creation(s), then share your offering with the rest of us on July 29th in a post and/or on social media with the tag #PoetryPals.

Well, first off, you pronounce it beer ah TOE-thy’d, which won’t really help you write one, but hey, The More You Know.🌠 Second, once you get into the byr a thoddaid form, they’re… complicated? But, not actually HARD. I’ve decided that byr a thoddaid are like …long division. You might run out of attention before you finish all the steps (shout-out to my former students), but it is nothing that you cannot handle (Insert authoritative teacher-voice.).

That being said, let’s acknowledge: this seemed like a LOT of steps.

Mistakes were made. Repeatedly.

My process, when dealing with an unfamiliar form, is usually to read a ton of examples. Are there a ton of examples online that I like? No. Would I need to read them in Welsh or something to find a bunch of great ones? Probably. Did I spend more time faffing about on Google than I ought to have? Definitely. I kept thinking I HAD it, when it turned out I was forgetting the near rhyme and just concentrating on the end rhyme. At one point, I rhymed everything to the first stanza, which …could be done, I guess, but wasn’t one of the options listed. I finally pulled off a tiny one, but like that long division, it took longer than I felt it should have:

The season spills a thousand scents,

As summer twilight, liquescent

Shimmers, igniting dreams undreamt. Such light

Sparkles through stars at night.

So, that felt… like a good start, but then I heard people were making two stanza poems from their stanzas, I felt I ought to step up a bit. Also, it was time to pull out the Canva and make-believe I knew what I was doing…

Full disclosure, these are from my backyard nectarine and plum trees, but one of the loveliest things about this area is the many, many sidewalk fruit trees, and of an evening, you will see families – small children, whole rafts of folks in the national clothing of their home countries – with boxes, bags, little red wagons and step-stools, all out to get stone fruit for jam, for eating out of hand, to dry it, and more. It’s …it makes me feel like SOMETHING is going right in the world. Friends, I will gladly take this one thing.

Want to see the attempts of the peeps who also assayed this adventure? Tricia’s is here. Sara’s is here. Laura got inspired here, and Liz’s link is here. Cousin Mary Lee’s is here. Michelle K.’s poem is here. More Poetry Peeps will be added as the weekend progresses, so check back later for the full round-up.

Meanwhile, Poetry Friday is hosted by Catherine, at Reading to the Core. Thanks, Catherine!

And here it is, the end of a week, when just days – or hours – or months ago, you never thought you’d get here. See how much you’ve done with what you’ve got? Remember — like long division, life is nothing that you cannot handle. Take that deep breath of summer sweet, and hold fast. Happy Weekend.

8 Replies to “{pf: poetry peeps try to byr a thoddaid}”

  1. Tanita, i am ready to take in a deep breath of summer sweet that you are offering with such vivid word choices. Your first poem is filling my thoughts with summer sunshine in place of darkened clouds. I would love to capture your thoughts and add then to any gallery I work on for the summer if that is fine with you? I am playing around with the Poetry Sisters June challenge so if anything comes up I will share.

  2. Literally HAD to read this aloud, Tanita. So lush and fruity!! Also, I was comforted to hear you call it complicated ’cause, boy-howdy…!

  3. With that beautiful presentation you’ve made me want to live on your block, Tanita! The opening is wonderful to read aloud, and the ending brings a bigger smile. Reading all these makes me want to try this new form. Each one tells a story, feels as if they might make a great collection.

  4. I’m like Michelle — not sad that I only managed one stanza! But I’m glad you went on to write two, and Canva-ize it, and give it such a yummy title!

    The parade of nations gathering stone fruit from the street trees makes me so happy. And that long division truth…I might need to stitch that.

  5. First of all, I love the single stanza poem. It actually makes me think a little more kindly about summer (my least favorite season).
    Second, I adore the title “Plumtuous.”
    I am smiling at your description of the fruit plucking, and that is truly something worth celebrating. I needed that today.

  6. Love your ending Tanita, made me laugh, which is a sure sign of success with this challenging poem form–And great title too! Glad I squeaked out one stanza. Your fruit harvest looks delish! We have a 3-4 year old peach tree though at this point the squirrels have eaten all but about 3-4 peaches. Hope you are keeping cool, which metaphorically may be difficult after today’s Supreme Court Ruling overturning Women’s Abortion Rights, Thanks!

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