Wednesday 15 June 2011

The Garden

Sonnet, rondeau, villanelle, pantoum, haiku, acrostic -- I tried my hand at all of these poems when I took an online poetry course at Mohawk College five years ago. One poem was particularly challenging: write a poem of 20 lines in which each line that appears in the poem must repeat itself later in the poem. Before I took the course, I always thought of poetry as artsy-fartsy. However, after writing poems like "The Garden" (below) I gained a new appreciation for the genre. Poetry writing can be so mathematical. Often each line of a poem has a certain number of syllables. Often poems follow a certain rhyming scheme. As many poems have a formula, so too does a mathematical equation. Regular poetry writing keeps your mind sharp.

A poem is a great way to capture a moment or a memory like a sunset or a sleigh ride. It's also a great way to honour someone like a war hero or a loved one. No Remembrance Day school assembly would be complete without a recital of "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae. At Christmas time, we sing "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" based on the poem "Christmas Bells" written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow whose son was seriously wounded in the American Civil War. Shakepeare's "All the World's a Stage" is still quoted today. Robert Frost's "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" is a staple for many poetry courses as is "The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe.

Enrich your writing experience by composing a poem. You won't be able to stop at just one.

The Garden

When I open the garden gates,
What beauty do I see?
A feast for the senses awaits
In each flower and bush and tree.

What beauty do I see?
The colours are vibrant and rich
In each flower and bush and tree.
And the bluebird has found his niche.

The colours are vibrant and rich;
I've never seen such scenery.
And the bluebird has found his niche
Amidst this garden of greenery.

I've never seen such scenery
Underneath the harvest moon.
Amidst this garden of greenery,
The bluebird sings a tune.

Underneath the harvest moon,
A feast for the senses awaits.
The bluebird sings a tune
When I open the garden gates.

Painting courtesy

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