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Bygjuce - Poetry Guy

Oh, January.  You are cold and terrible, and I hate you.  I'm so glad you're almost over.  Yet your passing only welcomes a worse adversary: February.  Though it brings the least days, it brings the most cold.  And worse, it has Valentine's Day.  Love it or hate it, it's going to happen.  But it's not the holiday itself that annoys me, or the commercialism, or the constant nagging from the fairer sex to get off the damn couch and take her somewhere other than Taco Bell because this is a special day, but - dammit woman - these coupons expire soon!  No, actually, it's the opposite; the people who hate Valentine's Day piss me off.

The cynics: they're what make February awful.  The people who go out of their way to declare that love doesn't exist, and therefore everybody who practices such superstitious nonsense is to be considered inferior in the eyes of their whiny little blogs.

I'm here to tell you that love does exist.  It's as simple as that.  You can love your spouse, your boyfriend/girlfriend, your family, your friends, and your pet.  And for the ones who don't believe in love, consider this: I was playing with my daughters the other day, rolling around and wrestling on the floor.  I looked into their eyes, and a thought unconsciously entered my head.  Without really thinking, I thought to myself, "I would die rather than let somebody hurt them."

That is love, my friends.  Unadulterated and true.  It's easily the most powerful thing on this entire planet, and I say that with no exaggeration.  Love can heal, save lives, give meaning, and bring happiness.  People will do amazing and wonderful things in the name of love, as well as incredibly stupid things.  But the latter is not our focus today.  Today, we focus on the positive side of Love because Love deserves our respect.

So, here's my challenge.  Now, pay attention because there are options this time:

  1. Write a Shakespearean Sonnet
    Sometimes called Elizabethan or English Sonnets, Shakespearean Sonnets, by nature, are to be written to the one you love.  They also have a very strict form, making them extremely difficult to do:
    1. 14 Lines
    2. 3 Quatrains - A Quatrain is a 4-line stanza where each alternating line rhymes
    3. A Couplet - A 2-line stanza that rhymes.  Comes at the end of the Sonnet
    4. A "Turn" - Also called the "Volta."  Occurs in the 3rd Quatrain.  Usually surprises the reader into looking at the theme of the poem in a new way.
    5. Iambic Pentameter -  10 syllables per line, alternating between stressed and unstressed syllables.  Click here for more details.
    6. Rhyme Scheme - A-B-A-B, C-D-C-D, E-F-E-F, G-G.
    7. Traditionally, the quatrains break down like this:

      Quatrain 1: Introduce the "Problem" or "Theme"
      Quatrain 2: Add upon Problem or Theme
      Quatrain 3: Introduce the "Turn," contradicting the first 2 quatrains
      Couplet: Summarize poem's theme and present a new perspective about the theme

      Sonnet 138

      You see what ol' Bill did there?  In the first 2 quatrains, he introduces the problem: He and his lady are both liars.  But then in the 3rd quatrain he basically says, "Don't we believe each others' lies because we love each other so much?"  Then Willie brings it home by summarizing the entire poem in the witty couplet: We lie to each other only because it makes us love each other more.  Brilliant, Mr. Shakespeare!

  2. Write a Love Poem Without Using the Word "Love"
    This option is far less strict, yet surprisingly tricky.  It pretty much subscribes to the old writing mantra, "Show.  Don't Tell."  I'm sure you've all heard that one before.  Basically, for this option, I want you to show me your love for somebody or something without using the word "Love" anywhere in the poem.  Sounds simple, but is it?  Go ahead and try it.  Feel free to use whatever form you'd like for this poem

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There you go!  Go ahead and try making a Shakespearean Sonnet or A Love Poem Without Using the Word "Love."  And, please, use language that's comfortable for you.  You don't have to try and sound like Shakespeare... unless you really want to.
  1. Send your entries to ninty1985@gmail.com by 2/13/14.  Please include your name or g1 name so I can give you credit.
  2. You do not have to be a g1 to send in an entry.
  3. Men: Be a Man!  Show your poem to the one you love!  It just might change your life.
  4. Ladies: Be a Woman!  You don't have to wait around for anything!  Let that special someone know how you feel about them with you poem!

On 2/14/14, I'll post all the entries into a single post for all to enjoy.  I'll also offer constructive and positive feedback to all entrants.  And, of course, I'll be writing my own poem as well to share.  So, please, have fun!  I can't wait to read everybody's poems!