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Mike Snider's Formal Blog at the Sonnetarium

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

This will likely be my last post this month, since I'm either working or driving all day tomorrow and Thursday my wife and I head for Merlefest. In fact, I should be packing now, but I want—no, I need—to tell that infinitesimal fraction of the world which reads this blog that, as part of NaPoWriMo, for the first time in more than four years, I've written a free verse poem. I haven't a clue whether it's any good—that's why I don't write the things anymore. The link will only be good for a couple of months. And that is good.


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Sunday, April 23, 2006

Last night I wrote another two ottava rima stanzas for my murder mystery and posted them for NaPoWriMo. Tonight another sonnet—but the first was Italian and this one's English, so I, at least, think I still haven't written two poems in the same form this month. I did take the opportunity to change the almost-on-hold weekly sonnet and to change the sample sonnet from 44 Sonnets (see that little "Buy Now" button on the right?). And if you're obsessed you can see drafts of almost everything at the Draft House.

Tuesday will likely be the last day I have net access, and I know you all feel sorry for me that I have to go to Merlefest. But I'll write (by hand! yikes!) while I'm there and post the results late Sunday night.


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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Two thirds of April is gone, and I haven't repeated a single form, so I'm for it now. Lessee— so far a Petrarchan sonnet, a double refrain ballade, a triolet, an ovillejo, sapphics, a clerihew, an awdl gywydd, a roundel, triple meter quatrains, a rhyming acrostic, a rondelet, a double dactyl, an Italian madrigal, a rondeau prime, a ghazal, a rubliw, a villanelle, a rubaiyat kitty ditty, a bob and wheel after accentual alliterative (the Gawain stanza), and a ballad. Running out of short forms. Promised some free verse. Yikes.


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Monday, April 17, 2006

My daughter Lee Banks Snider turns 22 today. I haven't seen her for two months and 13 years (for the short version of the story go here and scroll to April 20). Last night for NaPoWriMo I wrote Lee a rudliw, an epistolary form named for its inventor Richard Wilbur. What follows is slightly different from either version at PFFA:


Dear Lee,
If you'd agree
to meet before the sea
drowns half of Florida, I'd be
ecstatic (if I live that long) and we
could sit beneath your favorite tree
and mend our tragedy.
Just possibly.
Write me.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

I spent about 5 hours today trying to get the template for my website set up with a graphic I liked, and discovered how little I know of CSS. I had finally managed an approximation when a squirrel killed itself and the transformer feeding these apartments. The power's back on, I've posted the 16th poem, and please check out how the site looks. Let me know what you think.

I think I also figured out how to do podcasts. But I didn't write what I said I'd write about musical rhythm/poetic rhythm, and the Weekly Sonnet looks like it will be on hold until NapPoWriMo is over. They will return, or appear for the first time, or whatever is appropriate.

For those of you who haven't done your taxes yet, nyaaah-nyaaaah I mean, my sympathies.


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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nope. The bottom's likely to be a cat haiku with the wrong syllable count. Tonight a double-dactyl on poor Douglas Hofstadter, which, like all my NaPoWriMo poems, is on display here until May 16.

I apologize for the recent lack of content—NaPoWriMo is eating me alive, and I'm beginning to think it's not much less crazy than NaNoWriMo. This weekend I promise lots of new links, some pruning of dead ones, and that long-expected-by-maybe-3-people post on musical rhythm vs prosody.


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Monday, April 10, 2006

More evidence that National Poetry Month might be doing some good: Slashdot, of all places, features a post on fibs, syllabic poems with line-lengths determined by the Fibonacci sequence, and the comments include an insightful discussion of prosody in Blake's "The Tyger."

I think there'll be a fib from me before it's over. But tonight it's a self-pitying, self-referential acrostic NaPoWriMo poem. Let's hope that's the bottom.


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Sunday, April 9, 2006

Nine days of NaPoWriMo and so far no two poems are in the same form. Heh.

Today was a traveling day after a late night last night with my friend Robert Allen—a night also involving dry Riesling and Johnny Walker—so I thought I'd try a double-dactyl, which has the supreme virtue, in such a case, of being very short. "Autokineticon" is a double dactyl, and Johann von Goethe is most of one, and somehow I'd got it in my head that Goethe had doubted the invention of the automobile because no one intelligent enough to have invented the thing would have mixed Greek and Latin roots in its name, so I thought that might work somehow. The dates seemed wrong though—just how early was the word "automobile"? Unfortunately, when I googled "goethe"and "autokineticon" I discovered that I was the sole source of that particular falsehood. Yikes.

I did get a second stanza from that:

Lexicon! Lexicon!
Sonneteer Michael S
yada yada
yada yada

Googling, alas, for the
autokineticon
Revealed that the story's sole
Source was himself!

but got no further. The good news is I still have the double-dactyl as a fall-back form when I'm in trouble later.

The bad news is that PFFA seems to be down, so I can't post the dactylicious-though-not-a-double-dactyl poem I did write at the NaPoWriMo forum.

And the really good news is that it seems one of my NaPoWriMo poems will be published—twice!—in the next few months.


The other not-so-good news that no one has suggested a topic for the weekly sonnet, so there isn't one yet. The not-so-bad news is that maybe not having a sonnet to write makes it easier to do the NapoWriMo poems—but do you really want to be easy on me? Come on—be mean. I know you want to.


Update 04/09/2006 2318: The site and forum are back up, and the poem posted.


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Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Yesterday a pretty awful triolet, and today a creepy ovillejo: might be an interesting NaPoWriMo for me. Reen at Starnosed Mole has the skinny on blogworld's April madness, and there's a bunch of April fools here.

Poems are appearing in unlikely places this April, so maybe Charles Bernstein was wrong. David Barash, an evo-psych guy, quotes from Robinson Jeffers and from Louis MacNeice's wonderful "Snow" here (via Arts & Letters Daily), and by god if there ain't limericks about the fate of the Taung child here.


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Sunday, April 2, 2006

My second NaPoWriMo poem turned out to be a tetrameter double refrain ballade, so there's goes the sonnet-a-day thing. Maybe a better goal is "no formal duplication in any three consecutive poems"—if I write a sonnet one day, neither of the next two days' poems can be sonnets. And luckily that means no double refrain ballade tomorrow. Drafts of this one are here.

I haven't visited the Poetry Free For All in a while, and I think it's been a mistake. Lots of good poets (some not so good of course) and more variety of style and attitude than at Eratosphere (which is still the best place I know for serious online criticism of unpublished metrical poetry, and I haven't visited there lately either). I'm making a list of poets' sited from the PFFA which will soon be added on the left.

Still working on the musical-versus-poetic rhythm post, which grows shorter by the day. Maybe it will be short enough to read when I finally do post it.


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Saturday, April 1, 2006

Yesterday I watched a conference of military contractors and engineers collide with a Hooters calendar photoshoot (that's not an Aril Fools joke), this week's sonnet theme is cooking, and today begins both National Poetry Month and NaPoWriMo at the Poetry Free For All. The result, my seventh weekly sonnet, is here, and drafts, as usual, are at my Draft House—which probably needs to be moved to the new domain.

NaPoWriMo isn't nearly as insane as NaNoWriMo, but I think I'll ratchet it just a little and make my goal a sonnet every day except next Thursday-Sunday, when driving, taxes, and a visit from an old friend will probably force me to settle for double-dactyls or less.

And traveling makes me cranky.


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