It’s Thursday, and you all know what to do — unless you’re new to Poetry Thursday, and in that case, please read our FAQ in the header tab above. If you still have questions, feel free to e-mail us at info at poetrythursday dot org.
And while you’re here, don’t forget to check out the Poetry Thursday Audio Project, also just a click away in the header. We’d love to see more participants contribute an audio post to the project. So if you have a spare moment, you might consider recording something and sharing it with us.
What else can I mention in this post? Oh yes, remember to tell Poetry Thursday happy birthday. As I said in my last post, the project will be one year old this Friday. My, how time flies when we are sharing poetry. This is certainly cause for celebration, so if you feel like wearing a party hat Friday, Liz and I won’t stop you. We’ll have our party hats on, and we might even play those little kazoo thingies or throw confetti or something to mark the occasion.
I’ve been meandering a bit (I’m just so giddy from all the fun), but now would probably be a good time to mention that this week’s (completely and totally optional) idea was prose poetry. If you haven’t read the last post, please do so now. (I’ll be here waiting until you get back.) If you have read that post, then you know we invited you to talk about or write a prose poem this week. But of course, the idea is optional, so feel free to share whatever you please that relates to poetry.
OK, that’s all I have to say. Time to do what we do here every Thursday: Leave your permalink in the comments section so folks can stop by your blog to see your contribution.
Happy (almost one-year-old) Poetry Thursday!
P.S. If you get caught in our spam catcher or comment moderation, don’t fret. The new site is just getting to know you and will recognize you soon enough. We’ll also be checking in frequently to make sure your posts are posted.
Before sharing this week’s (completely and totally optional) idea, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who participates in Poetry Thursday for all you’ve brought to the project. Liz and I look forward to the coming months, when we plan to roll out even more exciting elements that we hope you will enjoy.
I also want to thank Liz for everything she’s brought to the project, including the original idea, which she shared in February 2006, of inviting bloggers to share poetry on their blogs. This week marks the one-year anniversary of Poetry Thursday, and what better way to celebrate it than to give Liz a shout out to let her know how much we all appreciate her sharing that invitation on her blog, an invitation that has gone from a few brave people starting to talk about and share poetry to more than 200 participants making Poetry Thursday the community it has become.
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This week’s (completely and totally optional) idea is prose poetry. I have to admit, as I pointed out on my blog last week, that I’m not entirely sure what a prose poem is. I know there are writers who detest the form and don’t think of it as a true form of poetry. I know that when I have asked several poets to define it, they’ve either been unable to provide a definition or have made it clear they wanted to change the topic.
I also know the basics about prose poems: They have no line breaks, and in that way seem more like prose than poetry. However, they employ the tools of poetry (e.g. metaphor, imagery, rhyme, rhythm) to convey whatever is being conveyed.
It’s clear prose poems walk a fine line between prose and poetry, but beyond their basic definition, what makes a prose poem a prose poem? What makes one a success and another a failure? Writing a prose poem certainly isn’t as simple as removing all the line breaks from a regular poem. It’s also not as simply as writing a short prose piece with a little bit of heightened language. We might know a good prose poem when we see one, but writing one can prove to be incredibly challenging.
This week, you might want to take a look at prose poetry. If you are familiar with this form, you could share your definition of it or talk about what ingredients result in a successful prose poem. You could also discuss why some writers regard this form with such contempt. If you are new to prose poetry, you could look into this form and share what you’ve learned about it. And, of course, you can always write a prose poem and share it this week (or anytime in the future) as your Poetry Thursday contribution.
As you have probably guessed, Poetry Thursday’s new home has been in the works for several months. Dana and I posted the first two posts here as “Poetry Thursday,” so this is my first opportunity to post as “me” here in the new digs. This, combined with the fact that we wanted to keep the move a secret, means that this is also my first opportunity to do what I have been waiting to do for weeks, publicly thank Dana for all the work she has done in creating this incredible site. Her enthusiasm and web-savviness have made it the well-oiled machine that it is. Thanks my friend for all you have done. We are all lucky to be enjoying the results of your hard work.
This week’s (completely and totally optional) idea was all about changes. I have been singing that David Bowie song “Changes” all week; I just can’t get it out of me head. So while I have been stuck with these lines swirling in my brain, I hope you were inspired to explore this prompt.
Whatever you decided to share this week, go ahead and leave a comment here on this post so participants can visit you in your corner of the world.
If this is your first time visiting Poetry Thursday’s new site, check out this post to find out more about what you see in front of you. If you are completely new to the project, check out the sidebar to learn more about Poetry Thursday.
If you have questions, please e-mail us at info at poetrythursday dot org.
Dana and I hope you have fun exploring the new site and checking out other participants’ posts today and every day; because around here, every day is a great day for poetry.
(The scene opens in a spacious and newly redecorated room. It is February 2007, early morning. Dana sits at a desk typing away on her computer keyboard. She pauses to look up a word in her thesaurus. Liz sits in a leather chair engrossed in a book of poetry. They hear a knock. Dana crosses to the front door.)
(Dana opens the door.)
Welcome to Poetry Thursday’s new home. Won’t you come in?
(As the guest enters, Liz gestures toward the many, many seats that fill the room.)
(Dana brings in a tea set and sinks into a cozy purple loveseat across from the guest.)
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Welcome to the new home of Poetry Thursday. This is a big day for us all, because it’s indicative of the project’s growth and momentum. Poetry Thursday now has a real website, one that offers much more flexibility in terms of the presentation and organization of content (and as an added benefit, we won’t have any more pesky Blogger problems to futz with).
Also, this site supports our plans moving forward with the project, which include bringing the community more content and getting participants involved in new ways, both of which will make the Poetry Thursday community even stronger.
Given all the changes here at Poetry Thursday, we thought change would be a good topic for this week’s (completely and totally optional) idea.
We’re certain you will have fun using this word as your springboard into another adventure with poetry, and we can’t wait to see where this idea takes you. It might be the starting place for a poem or the inspiration you need to tweak a poem you are already writing. It might inspire you to share a poem you’ve read that has changed you in some way. Oh, the possibilities when changes are involved.
When you decide to take a break from conceptualizing, writing and/or reading poetry, we do hope you will settle in with a cup of tea (or coffee or water — you get the idea) and look around at the new site. (And the post directly below this one is a great place to start.) We suspect you might actually want to do that right now. Go ahead. We will be right here waiting. And if you have any questions about the site, e-mail us at info at poetrythursday dot org.
Before we go, we want to give a shout out to Andre Tan for all his hard work designing the Poetry Thursday header and button and for assisting with the layout of the new site. Thank you, Andre. We wouldn’t have pulled this off without your talent, skill and generous donation of time to Poetry Thursday.
This is a brief overview of the new Poetry Thursday website, with a fancy graphic (above) to illustrate each new or enhanced feature.
(1) Tabbed header navigation, which means there is less information crowding the sidebar. Now, instead of looking for the Poetry Thursday FAQ, copyright information, participant list and Audio Project (and more) on the right side of the site’s main page, you will find them up here. Just click on any tab to go to the page containing the information you’re looking for. Make sure you read through the FAQ, because it lets you in on important changes that are in the works. (You can also read the “About Poetry Thursday” section at the bottom of the left sidebar for a synopsis of those changes.)
To sum things up, we plan to roll out more content throughout the week on Poetry Thursday starting March 1 — once the dust settles from the move to the new site. We will have columnists (to be announced), feature stories and more. As a result, our process/timelines for posting will be slightly different to accommodate the new content.
One big difference is that, also starting March 1, we will post the (completely and totally optional) idea post on Friday, which gives you more time to prepare your poems for the coming week. And we will post the Thursday post at about 12 a.m. PST Thursday. We know some of you might not like waiting that long, but this schedule allows us to have the flexibility of posting feature stories Wednesday without interfering with the Thursday post. Plus, we had to pick a time, so we settled on 12 a.m. PST as a good one for our schedules. We know everyone will learn to love it.
Also, check out our new e-mail addresses, listed in the FAQ. We now have different e-mail addresses for various types of questions and requests. (The list of e-mail addresses also appears at the bottom of the right sidebar.)
(2) Because we will be posting throughout the week, we’ve created a link in the left sidebar to the (completely and totally optional) idea post. That way, even if this post isn’t at the top of the page, you can get to it easily.
(3) We have spent the last few weeks finding and entering quotes from Poetry Thursday participants. These quotes will change every time you load the Poetry Thursday site, and we will continue adding to the list (after requesting permission to use each quote, of course).
(4) We’re also creating a list of websites and blogs run by well-known poets — or that are dedicated to poets. These sites also change every time the Poetry Thursday site is loaded. We encourage you to check out these sites and discover a new writer (or two or three).
(5) You won’t be able to live without your new Poetry Thursday button. This one links to the new site, and all you have to do is cut and paste the code from the form below the button graphic. How spiffy is that?
(6) We’re teasing you with this one. We know who the monthly columnists will be, but we aren’t going to tell you just yet. You have to wait until we announce them. But in the meantime, we’ve included some placeholder bios that should give you a hint about who they are.
Is it that time already? Almost. So here you go — this is the official Thursday post (posted a few hours shy here in Seattle, actually — FYI, the time stamp on this post is completely fabricated). You all pretty much know what to do, so go do it.
Oh but wait. I’m not quite done yet. Liz and I hope you decided to do this week’s prompt, since we think what Michelle came up with is really great, but even if you didn’t, that’s cool, too.
OK, that’s really all I’ve got.
Except to remind you to read the FAQ. And to tell you to leave your permalink in the comments section of this post. And to remind you to post whatever the heck you want — as long as it related to poetry in some way. And …
OK. I think that’s it. Now go. Comment. Read. Enjoy.
(Just one more thing: Happy Poetry Thursday.)
This week at Poetry Thursday, the (completely and totally optional) idea is brought to you by Michelle at ChelleArt. Last night, I remembered the idea she’d submitted while watching a program about Steven Hawking. Basically, the gist is to “prove” the existence or truth of an object or concept. In Michelle’s words:
I was really moved by a portion of the play/movie Proof, in which a character reads aloud her father’s ramblings from a notebook. He was a mathematician, so of course the writing reads like an equation. As poets, I feel as though sometimes we do limit ourselves to a specific style or voice. I love Poetry Thursday so much because it allows me to break out of the box in which I subconsciously place myself. And so, I think a really different way to break out of the box is to think as mathematicians, to equate. While we do equate our world with words when we write poetry, I think a prompt like this, to see the world as a mathematical equation, might offer a fresh perspective for us.
Michelle suggests starting the poem with something like Let x equal … or Let infinity equal … or whatever mathematical concept you find inspiring. She also pointed out a website with mathematical terms, in case anyone needs more inspiration.
The one thing I would add to this prompt is that I remember that scene in Proof. I was moved by it because it was pure nonsense as far as real proofs go, but its nonsense was moving and brilliant. I would encourage you to make your proof moving brilliant by being a little nonsensical and equating whatever object or concept you choose with things we usually wouldn’t logically associate with the object/concept.
And for those of you who hate math, don’t be scared: Liz and I grade on a curve.