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Poetry Fishbowl Today - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Today
Starting now, the Poetry Fishbowl is open! I will be checking this page periodically throughout the day. When people make suggestions, I'll pick some and weave them together into a poem ... and then another ... and so on. I'm hoping to get a lot of ideas and a lot of poems.

Feed the Fish!

Now's your chance to participate in the creative process by posting ideas for me to write about. Today's genre is speculative fiction. I am especially looking for:

* characters
* settings
* actions
* poetic forms

But anything is welcome, really. If you manage to recommend a form that I don't recognize, I will probably pounce on it and ask you for its rules. I do have the first edition of Lewis Turco's The Book of Forms which covers most common and many obscure forms.

I'll post at least one of the fishbowl poems here so you-all can enjoy it.

Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: hopeful hopeful

35 comments or Leave a comment
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: November 21st, 2007 05:46 pm (UTC) (Link)
Characters: Two birds or bird-like aliens, or one of each
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 21st, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
I actually got two poems out of this, both featuring an avian alien and a Terran bird.

"Unbreakable Barriers" is a shortly-after-first-contact piece that involves a human xenolinguist, a Mawca ambassador, and a cardinal.

"Making the List" is SF humor about what happens when a Mawca tourist follows a bluejay ... smack into a sliding glass door.
cliodhna From: cliodhna Date: November 21st, 2007 05:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Trading innocence for wisdom.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 21st, 2007 06:57 pm (UTC) (Link)
This turned into "Playing for Keeps," a card game related to reincarnation.
beetiger From: beetiger Date: November 21st, 2007 06:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
Character: a child who can see the strands of connection between people.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 21st, 2007 07:39 pm (UTC) (Link)
I put this together with "stealing a car." The result is "Touching the Ties That Bind," a poem about an inner-city boy who tends the connections between people as a way of making the world a better place.
je_reviens From: je_reviens Date: November 21st, 2007 06:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
actions --

- stopping at the drive thru for a Big Mac (use THAT one! ha!)
- learning how to hunt
- stealing a car
- beating your slave/servant brutally
- trying to escape
- reading someone's diary without permission
- coming out of [place] and discovering your [mode of transportation] has been removed [towed] away!
- bullying someone or shaking someone down for money
- building a house
- sweeping the floor

ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 21st, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
You wrote: "- stopping at the drive thru for a Big Mac (use THAT one! ha!)"

The result is "Saved by the Minimum Wage," a poem about a harried parent dealing with an alien employee at a fast-food restaurant.
moosl From: moosl Date: November 21st, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC) (Link)
actions: time travel
From: (Anonymous) Date: November 21st, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC) (Link)



time loop
internet portal
North Star
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 21st, 2007 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Fishbowl

I have put together the concepts of time travel and sloth -- plus my own fond memories of the Just-So Stories -- to get "How the Sloths Got So Slow."
ysabel From: ysabel Date: November 21st, 2007 07:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
I always love takes on the cute, Victorian pixie-fairies that remember that they were once Faeries, and that the Fae were only cute and/or nice when it suited them to be.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 21st, 2007 11:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Okay, this hitched up with "internet portal" to become "Imported Problems." Fairies can travel in some interesting ways. They like butter and milk, honey and eggs.

They don't like substitute food products so much...
(Deleted comment)
beckyzoole From: beckyzoole Date: November 21st, 2007 08:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Poetic form: You can't beat a good villanelle. But how about something exotic, like a Burmese climbing rhyme, or something really challenging like a pantoum?

Edited at 2007-11-21 08:51 pm (UTC)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 21st, 2007 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have combined "after the dream, a sunny window" with the Burmese Climbing Rhyme to create "The Hero Awakens," a haunting tale of someone summoned to another world and then unceremoniously returned after the job was done.

Thanks for the Burmese lead! I love interlaced and repeating forms. Internal syllabic rhyme is one of the few things I find hard; oddly, this was easier for me than Welsh forms. Maybe it's just explained better. I'll have to copy all the forms on that page; they look promising.
newroticgirl From: newroticgirl Date: November 21st, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Sent over here by haikujaguar. I may continue to lurk if you don't mind!

I'll give you a prompt I used in my own journal once for a group story game -- Each person added a sentence to the story. It was fun!


The Clikk were coming, and the translator was dead.
moon_ferret From: moon_ferret Date: November 21st, 2007 11:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oh, that prompt has all kinds of promise. I like that one a lot.
moon_ferret From: moon_ferret Date: November 21st, 2007 11:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Action: Midwifing for the Dead/Dying
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 22nd, 2007 05:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I was all set to say that I've already done this -- which I have, and "The Healers of the Dead" is a favorite -- when one of my characters decided that he wanted me to say something about him. So there's "The Gift of Jathan's Hands."
haikujaguar From: haikujaguar Date: November 22nd, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
After much thought:

crepe shadows

red sweat

And... perhaps a lament (I'm not sure if that's strictly a poetic form or merely a poetic style of content).
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 22nd, 2007 04:14 am (UTC) (Link)
All three of those wanted to be together. I looked up "lament," and it seems to waffle between a content-based name for lyric poetry and some kind of Greek form. I did find a website that described this pattern of flow in the verses: "grief and sorrow, then praise and admiration of the idealized dead, and finally consolation and solace."
The result is concise, but "The Builders of Dawn" is a thumbnail-sized poem about a novel-sized story. It tells of a woman who led her people to the stars and to first contact ... and inspired them to continue beyond her death.

Oh, and she's a redhead. That's not in the poem, but it's still so.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 22nd, 2007 04:53 am (UTC) (Link)

Drawing the Line at Midnight

Okay, my brain is getting tired. I'm planning to draw the line at midnight. If you've got any last-minute prompts, now's the time to post them.

Thank you all for participating. It's been a lovely day and I've gotten a lot of great poems.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: November 22nd, 2007 08:06 am (UTC) (Link)

The Results

During this first Poetry Fishbowl...

12 people posted suggestions.

I wrote 12 poems. (That's not an exact match: sometimes I got more than one poem from the same prompt, and other times I combined multiple prompts into a single poem.)

Of those 12, I posted 2 here for your enjoyment.

There were 33 comments before this one (some mine, naming poems) and I think this is the most action I've had on a single thread thus far.

I consider this a rousing success. I am tired and happy, and going to bed soon. Thanks again. You're a great audience.

Edited at 2007-11-22 08:08 am (UTC)
beckyzoole From: beckyzoole Date: November 26th, 2007 09:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Results

I always thought you were a good writer, but what you've done here today amazes and impresses me. Those poems are good.
35 comments or Leave a comment