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The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poetry Fishbowl Open!
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.

New Features

I'm venturing into cyberfunded creativity. If you enjoy what I'm doing and want to see more of it, please feed the Bard. The following options are now available:

1) Sponsor the Fishbowl -- Here is a PayPal button for donations. There is no specific requirement, but $1 is the minimum recommended size for PayPal transactions since they take a cut from every one. If you make a donation and tell me about it, I promise to use one of your prompts. Anonymous donations are perfectly welcome, just won't get that perk.

2) Buy It Now! -- Gakked from various e-auction sites, this feature allows you to sponsor a specific poem. If you don't want to wait for some editor to buy and publish my poem so you can read it, well, now you don't have to. Sponsoring a poem means that I will immediately post it here, with the name of the sponsor (or another dedicate) if you wish; plus you get a nonexclusive publication right, so you can post it on your own blog or elsewhere as long as you keep the credits intact. You'll need to tell me the title of the poem you want to sponsor. I'm basing the prices on length, and they're comparable to what I typically make selling poetry to magazines (semi-pro rates according to Duotrope's Digest).

0-10 lines: $5
11-25 lines: $10
26-40 lines: $15
41-60 lines: $20
Poems over 60 lines, or with very intricate structure, fall into custom pricing.

Additional Notes

1) I've been posting replies to prompt posts telling people which of their prompts I'm using, with a brief description of the resulting poem(s). If you want to know what's available, watch for those.

2) You don't have to pay me to see a poem based on a prompt that you gave me. I've been sending copies of poems to people whose eddresses I already have. If you want to see the poem inspired by your prompt, give me your eddress; I recommend using {at} and {dot} to discourage spammers. These are for-your-eyes-only, though, not for sharing.

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 Paganism and other Earth-based belief systems. I am especially looking for:

  • deities

  • holy days

  • sacred sites or objects

  • memorable events

  • 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. The rest will go into my archive for magazine submission.

Tags: , , , ,
Current Mood: busy busy

33 comments or Leave a comment
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estaratshirai From: estaratshirai Date: January 16th, 2008 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

I didn't know you were on lj until you posted this to paganfinance. :D
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)


I didn't know you were here either. Yay, yay! I have added you to my Friends list.
tonithegreat From: tonithegreat Date: January 16th, 2008 06:50 pm (UTC) (Link)
Here's a place that is sacred to me, and possibly also important to some Cherokee and Creek people; Blood Mountain up in north Georgia.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thank you!

First prompt of the day, and the result is "Earthblood," a free verse poem celebrating the sacred mountain. 22 lines: Buy It Now $10
janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: January 16th, 2008 07:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
Trickster deities?
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 08:45 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have put this together with "an old church that's now used as a theater" to create the free-verse poem "Polyhymnia Hits Back," about the return of the old gods. 33 lines: Buy It Now $15
estaratshirai From: estaratshirai Date: January 16th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
A conversation between the NA and Mexican deities, and the "Old World" gods who have arrived on their shores.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC) (Link)
I stacked this with prompts from janetmiles, lizamanynames, and geek_dragon. "Divine Diplomacy," written in couplets, captures the first meeting between Old World and New World deities ... and the tricksters crashed the party. Too funny not to post.
beckyzoole From: beckyzoole Date: January 16th, 2008 07:28 pm (UTC) (Link)
A god who has never been recognized or worshiped

An old church that's now used as a theater

Heroic couplets

Mardi gras
lizamanynames From: lizamanynames Date: January 16th, 2008 07:34 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hope I'm doing this right... Bhudda, Haiku, St. Elizabeth of Hungary, first day of school

(those do NOT have to be the same poem)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)

Carryover reply

dingoes posted elsewhere:

poetic form: Sonnet (I think they're called that in english too)
Site: the blot-place (ritual viking place) of a infamous viking.

I'd like to see it if you write it :)

The resulting sonnet is "The Danegeld's Maker," about the adventures of Skagul Toste. 14 lines: Buy It Now $10
geek_dragon From: geek_dragon Date: January 16th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) (Link)



in a thunderstorm

kdragoness at gmail dot com
moosl From: moosl Date: January 16th, 2008 08:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
Prompt #1 (you'll want to have your speakers turned on)

Prompt #2

Prompt #3
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Using the lion image from your prompt, I came up with a free verse poem, "transplanted totems," about animal spirits from Africa and Eurasia coming to America. 24 lines: Buy It Now $10
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 09:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Poem: "Divine Diplomacy"

Thanks to estaratshirai, janetmiles, lizamanynames, and geek_dragon for the prompts.

Divine Diplomacy

When the Old World gods
followed their followers to the New World,

the locals were not best pleased.
“Do something!” the goddesses said to their husbands.

So the gods painted themselves up
and went to negotiate with the newcomers.

“Why are you here?” said the American gods,
“and why should we let you in?”

“You have to let me in!” said Lugh.
“I can do everything.”

Buddha rubbed his golden belly.
“Let me in and I’ll make you fat and happy.”

Jesus wrung his pierced hands and said,
“I don’t know, I just came to save the world.”

“Well, I suppose we could consider it,”
the American gods began.

Then Pan bawled, “Hellooooo, ladies!”
dove off the boat and ran after the maidens.

“Hey! Those are my maidens!”
yelled Coyote, throwing magical turds at Pan.

“Food fight!” yelled Loki,
pushing a pie in Thor’s face.

It all went downhill from there, but on the way home
the American gods thought of a few new ideas.

“So how did it go?”
the goddesses clamored.

“Well,” said Tezcatlipoca,
“at least their hearts are in the right place.”
estaratshirai From: estaratshirai Date: January 16th, 2008 10:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Poem: "Divine Diplomacy"

Hee! That last couplet. Oh dear. :D
stonetalker From: stonetalker Date: January 16th, 2008 09:34 pm (UTC) (Link)


(Forgive me if I'm not using this right, I'm new here!)

My idea would be something on the Great Serpent Mound in Ohio not as a historical site but as a living entity.

janetmiles From: janetmiles Date: January 16th, 2008 10:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Ideas

I know you! May I add you to my LJ friends list? (I'm Janet-from-Knoxville, the one who comes up to visit for Samhain.)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 10:17 pm (UTC) (Link)

East Meets West

In another community, talithakalago posted:

Sestinas are my favorite poetry format. So that is going to be my
first suggestion of the day.

And to get the ball rolling, my second is going to be Janus and Vesta.

Well, they fared a *little* better this time. I combined Janus and Vesta with a previous request for haiku from lizamanynames, and Lugh from geek_dragon. The result is a set of 8 haiku about:

Buddha and the camera
Buddha in a Zen garden
Lugh in a Zen garden (see below)
Janus in a Zen garden
Vesta and Kuan Yin
Loki and kabuki
Pah, Buddha, and Selu
a snow-filled keyhole as metaphor for the mind

Any one haiku: 3 lines, Buy It Now $5
Whole page: 24 lines, Buy It Now $10

* * *

in the Zen garden
there is nothing to be done
Lugh mumbles, “I’m lost.”

* * *

estaratshirai From: estaratshirai Date: January 16th, 2008 10:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: East Meets West

I...love this one. It needs to be a T-shirt.
veronica_milvus From: veronica_milvus Date: January 16th, 2008 10:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Are you still working? How about a poem on building Stonehenge.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 17th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, I'm still working. I'm getting tired, though, and will probably stop in another hour or two.

I put your prompt together with talithakalago's request for a sestina (that being one of my favorite forms too). "Dancing with Stones" touches on the practical, spiritual, and cultural dynamics of assembling one of the world's great monuments. 39 lines: Buy It Now $15
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 16th, 2008 11:29 pm (UTC) (Link)

From the Creativewriter Community

writerwench posted this prompt:

I've got a really obscure topic for you - Tane the earth-god, who
separated his mother Papatuanuku the earth from Ranginui, the sky-god,
his father, and so created our world...

The legends of the Maori are many, various, and beautiful.

From it, I wrote a free verse poem, "Out of the Darkness," that uses this Maori myth to demonstrate the importance of letting go. 49 lines: Buy It Now $20
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 17th, 2008 01:20 am (UTC) (Link)

Sonnet variations

pearls_and_blow wanted a Beltane poem, which I combined with ideealisme's prompt on the "mock sonnet" form developed by George Meredith. "Bringing Beltane" is a mock sonnet about the activities of the fire festival. 16 lines: Buy It Now $10
33 comments or Leave a comment
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