Rhythm and Rhyme Workshop


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  • Rookie Wayne Guy Butterfield (12/13/2005 12:09:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies
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    Hello, all. I was deeply moved by the poem Ernestine recently posted entitled, “Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep.” The last line in particular, “I am not there I did not die, ” inspired me to write the following, with rhythm and rhyme and even a bit of free verse. The thoughts seemed especially appropriate these days, as the latest polls show most Americans now feel they were purposely misled into war.

    Nowhere To Hide

    So it was just lies
    The need to go to war
    Intentionally created
    Secretly debated
    Subtly misleading
    Endlessly repeating
    Lies
    Lies
    Lies

    Yet somehow we fell for it
    The need to go to war
    Presidentially purported
    Congressionally supported
    Journalistically followed
    Publicly swallowed
    Lies
    Lies
    Lies

    Lies about the reasons
    Lies about the treasons
    Lies with every breath
    Lies that led to death
    Over and over
    And over again
    Lies
    Lies
    Lies

    Somewhere the souls of thousands
    Remember our need to go to war
    Somewhere the souls of thousands
    Cry in horror for ever more

    They see through our justifications
    Can no longer be fooled by our lies
    The charade that we wanted to free them
    Permanent bases carefully disguised

    They know the war’s real reasons
    Pivotal power from control of black gold
    Contempt for the views of others
    The value that each life holds

    And they cry out to us now in shock and awe
    To warn of the terrible price we will pay
    If we keep swallowing the lies of our leaders
    Till we join them on judgment day

    Yes, somewhere the souls of thousands
    See the truths we fail to grasp
    And they hear the rattling bones of the dead
    From the graveyards of empires past


    Wayne Guy Butterfield

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    • Rookie Ernestine Northover (12/13/2005 3:58:00 PM) Post reply

      Yes, Wayne, I loved this a lot, I have put a comment on it on your poems site. As I said then the last two lines are absolutely great, and a beautiful finale to the poem. Congrats. Love Ernestine XXX

    • Rookie Mary Nagy (12/13/2005 9:47:00 AM) Post reply

      Wayne, There have been many poems posted about the current war situation but none have moved me as much as this! What an incredible poem! I hope you've posted it. (If you did I missed it...sorry.) ... more

  • Rookie - 161 Points Ernestine Northover (12/7/2005 1:22:00 PM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

    This poem is by Sir John Betjeman 1906 - 1984. He was our Poet Laureate.
    I think Mary would enjoy this one, but anyone else as well.

    Diary of a Church Mouse.

    Here among long-discarded cassocks,
    Damp stools, and half-split open hassocks,
    Here where the Vicar never looks,
    I nibble through old service books.
    Lean and alone I spend my days,
    Behind the Church of England baize.
    I share my dark forgotten room,
    With two oil lamps and half a broom.
    The cleaner never bothers me,
    So here I eat my frugal tea.
    My bread is sawdust mixed with straw,
    My jam is polish for the floor.
    Christmas and Easter may be feasts
    For congregations and for priests,
    And so may Whitsun. All the same,
    They do not fill my meagre frame.
    For me the only feast at all,
    Is Autumns Harvest Festival,
    When I can satisfy my want
    With ears of corn around the font.
    I climb the eagle's brazen head
    To burrow through a loaf of bread.
    I scramble up the pulpit stair
    And gnaw the marrows hanging there.
    It is enjoyable to taste
    These items ere they go towaste,
    But how annoying when one finds
    That other mice with pagan minds
    Come into church my food to share
    Who have no proper business there.
    Two field mice who have no desire
    To be baptized, invade the choir.
    A large and most unfriendly rat
    Comes in to see what we are at.
    He says he thinks there is no God
    And yet he comes....it's rather odd.
    This year he stole a sheaf of wheat
    (It screened our special preacher's seat) .
    And prosperous mice from fields away
    Come in to hear the organ play,
    And under cover of it's notes
    Eat through the altar's sheaf of oats.
    A Low Church mouse, who thinks that I
    Am too papistical, and High,
    Yet somehow doesn't think it wrong
    To munch through Harvest Evensong,
    While I, who starve the whole year through,
    Must share my food with rodents who
    Except at this time of the year
    Not once inside the church appear.
    Within the human world I know
    Such goings-on could not be so,
    For human being only do
    What their religion tells them to.
    They read the Bible every day,
    And always, night and morning pray,
    And just like me, the good church mouse,
    Worship each week in God's own house.
    But all the same it's strange to me
    How very full the church can be
    With people I don't see at all
    Except at Harvest Festival.

    I hope you all enjoy this read. Love Ernestine XXX

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  • Rookie Mary Nagy (12/7/2005 11:04:00 AM) Post reply

    Hey!
    Did everyone hear............

    THE BOOK IS READY! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

    Just go to lulu.com and search for ''Poemhunter Anthology'' It costs under $7 u.s. dollars. :)

  • Rookie - 161 Points Ernestine Northover (12/5/2005 3:58:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I'm putting on here a poem that was featured in a piece on war poetry, you may well know it, but I think it's a very moving beautiful poem, It is by an anonymous writer, but was found in an envelope left for his parents, by Steven Cummins a soldier killed on active service in Northern Ireland, to be opened on the event of his death.

    Do Not Stand at my Grave and Weep

    Do not stand at my grave and weep;
    I am not there. I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow.
    I am the diamond glints on snow.
    I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning's hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry;
    I an not there. I did not die.

    Another one which is I think a lovely poem by Christina Rossetti 1830-1894

    Remember

    Remember me when I am gone away,
    Gone far away into the silent land;
    When you can no more hold me by the hand,
    Nor I half turn to go yet turning stay.
    Remember me when no more day by day
    You tell me of our future that you planned;
    Only remember me; you understand
    It will be late to counsel then or pray,
    Yet if you should forget me for a while
    And afterwards remember, do not grieve;
    For if darkness and corruption leave
    A vestige of the thoughts that once I had,
    Better by far you should forget and smile
    Than that you should remember and be sad.

    Any thoughts on these two poems?

    Ernestine

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    • Rookie - 161 Points Wayne Guy Butterfield (12/6/2005 11:12:00 PM) Post reply

      Both full of lovely thoughts and images, Ernestine. If only the last line of the first could really be true for the many who've died so tragically.... Thanks for sharing them. Best, Wayne

    • Rookie - 161 Points Mary Nagy (12/6/2005 6:00:00 AM) Post reply

      I think they are both beautiful Ernestine! The first one especially, I guess just due to the circumstances of them finding it. What great poems to have on hand when you've lost someone. Very nice. ... more

  • Rookie - 161 Points Ernestine Northover (12/3/2005 1:46:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    Thanks Wayne for admitting you have bravely read all my long poems, but now, funnily enough, I find them somewhat hard to write, and have gone over to the shorter, punch line type poems. Finding new subjects can be a bit daunting, ones which one feels would be of interest to the majority of poem readers. It's writing a poem that holds the reader and stirs their imagination to say, yep that's a good one! How to be a nervous wreck in two words - WRITE POETRY! ! ! ! ! ! ! Love Ernestine XXX

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    • Rookie - 161 Points Wayne Guy Butterfield (12/7/2005 12:11:00 AM) Post reply

      Longer poems always seem harder to me, Ernestine. But when you feel you've finally got it right, bet you'll agree..... it sorta makes you wanna..... WRITE POETRY! ! ! Best, Wayne

    • Rookie - 161 Points Mary Nagy (12/3/2005 8:13:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      Hey! ! How come when sally types short poems it turns into a link? ? That's cool! Does it work if you type Long poems too? ?

  • Rookie Wayne Guy Butterfield (12/3/2005 4:38:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I'm with you re 4 or 5 stanzas, Mary. Maybe even less... especially where the poem seems just plain obscure to me. I might stick with it a bit longer, though, if the rhythm and rhyme are interesting. Still, I think I actually like 'long' poems most when they do work for me. But that seems to require more complex thoughts and images, and a structure that supports their development at greater length. And again for me at least, a more complicated (but well integrated) system of rhythm and rhyme seems to help a lot in creating such a structure, hence lending support to the development of more complex thoughts and images. Score one for rhythm and rhyme?

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    • Rookie Mary Nagy (12/3/2005 4:07:00 PM) Post reply

      I think when the poem is written well you don't even notice if it seems extra long........some poems are so well written you hate to see them end. It is never clear-cut one way or another. I guess t ... more

    • Rookie Herbert Nehrlich1 (12/3/2005 6:07:00 AM) Post reply | Read 3 replies

      Wayne, you came to the right poet......I have plenty of LONG poems on this site. Help yourself. Some of them even work very well. Best H

  • Rookie Wayne Guy Butterfield (12/3/2005 4:37:00 AM) Post reply

    Interesting thoughts about both rhyming and length, Ernestine. I've actually read all of your longer poems on PH, and very much enjoyed them! Strange, though... for me, I've gotten _more_ hits on my longest poem, Songkhla, than any other, and hardly anyone's read my shortest, Cycle. Of course, could be folks were just curious about the title, Songkhla, or wanted to see the photos... maybe they didn't really read the whole poem... which'd certainly be sad for me, since they'd miss the whole point.... Takes us back to Mary's comments about tastes... perhaps some folks simply have _short tastes_? ? ? :)

  • Rookie - 161 Points Ernestine Northover (12/2/2005 4:39:00 PM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

    I think it's good to be able to write in both rhyming and unrhyming, it gives one a variation and a wider scope. Also it's good to have humourous ones, mood type ones, dramatic ones, and love, unrequited love ones, character ones, and not be stuck in a 'one type poem' rut. One thing bothers me though, it is that when one writes 'long' poems say more than 8-10 verses, or should I say stanzas, do people on PH actually take the time to read them or do they prefer shorter writes. I have quite a few long ones on PH and somehow they don't seem to attract comments or votes, and yet I feel they are fairly reasonable to read.(Tongue in cheek) ! ! ! ! ! What do you all think? Love Ernestine XXX

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    • Rookie - 161 Points Herbert Nehrlich1 (12/3/2005 6:05:00 AM) Post reply | Read 2 replies

      I ask you madam' can you spare a dime? And would you take in turn a lovely rhyme? I'd make the rhyme for you to match your smile look at the bird that flew in perfect style. All creatures bi ... more

    • Rookie - 161 Points Mary Nagy (12/2/2005 9:06:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

      To be totally honest.....I like shorter poems better. It's got to really grab me to keep me reading more than 4 or 5 stanzas. If it's good, I'll read even more though!

  • Rookie Wayne Guy Butterfield (12/1/2005 6:38:00 AM) Post reply

    Thanks so much for the input, Mary, and so pleased you enjoyed the poem. You really do a great job of describing how tastes can indeed differ. I'm with you in appreciating both rhymed and free verse. And I feel lucky to enjoy writing in both styles, because some thoughts and images seem to work better for me with rhyme, and some without. Your poems show you are clearly at home with both, but I wonder about those PH members who only write in free verse or rhyme. Would they also see it as just a matter of taste - or something more? It'd be interesting to hear from any who care to respond. And if you or Ernestine or others know of any particular members who seem like good examples, perhaps we could invite them to share a bit of their perspective? ? ?

  • Rookie Mary Nagy (11/30/2005 2:43:00 PM) Post reply | Read 1 reply

    Hi Wayne! I think you've said it when you said it's a matter of taste. You will get some people that think any rhyme is forced and unnatural while on the same poem others will think the rhyme seemed to flow so naturally that it almost seemed effortless. To each their own I say. I'm not a big believer in strict rules of any type when it comes to poetry. I think we risk losing something very special when we start limiting what's accepted. Personally I prefer a rhyming poem and the rhythm just seems to go along with it. I think that's when it really 'sings' to me as poetry should. I have found many poets here that write without rhyme and not only have I found myself enjoying it, but I've also found myself inspired to try some free verse of my own. So, as for your poem.......I love it! I think the last words in each line just add that little touch of drama that brings it to life! I enjoyed this poem very much Wayne. Thanks for posting it. :) Sincerely, Mary

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