Friday, October 5, 2012

A WAR NONET

Ever heard of a nonet?

Me neither.

At least not until my Writers' Digest magazine arrived. In the "Poetic Asides" column by Robert Lee Brewer, he offered a description (9-line poem in which the first line has 9 syllables and the last line has 1 syllable and all the lines in between have one less syllable than the line before). AND Mr. Brewer offered a challenge.

Well. I do like a challenge.

Plus, I've been reading (listening to) this really good book called THE YELLOW BIRDS by Kevin Powers. It's set during the war in Iraq. I've probably listened to the opening paragraphs of this book ten times. The way he writes about war? Heartbreaking and beautiful.

So here's my nonet, completely inspired by THE YELLOW BIRDS. And if you read or listen to it yourself, you might just recognize a phrase or two!


poem removed by author to be published elsewhere


If you try one, send it to me. I'd love to read it! And don't forget the lovely Laura Purdie Salas has Roundup!

17 comments:

  1. I just ordered The Yellow Birds for the library. I'll have to snag it when it comes in. I like your nonet--it may be a challenge in my future, too!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Diane -- please share, if you do write one. I'd love to read!

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  2. Stunning poem, Irene. I'm intrigued to read The Yellow Birds, and happy to learn of a new form.

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    1. Jama, thank you for stopping by, and you won't regret The Yellow Birds.

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  3. I've heard of nonets before, but had forgotten about them! You may have just given me another form to include in my current colelction. Nice work, Irene - really like this.

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    1. Matt, I'd love to read what you come up with! Thanks for stopping by.

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  4. I have n it heard of this form before....but your poem was just beautiful, and haunting...war feasting on fear. Exactly.

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    1. Thank you, Tara. It's hard to write about war. (Kind of like writing about love!) It's all been said, and yet it needs to be said again and again.

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  5. Well done, Irene, scary, but well done. I looked up The Yellow Birds & Amazon says it came out on Sept. 11th. Coincidence? Thank you for telling about it, and for the nonet. It looks like quite a challenge, crafting just those right words.

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    1. Yes, Linda, I bet NOT a coincidence on that Sept. 11 pub date. I really enjoyed the book. I bet you will too. Thanks for stopping by!

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  6. I wrote a nonet about a whirlwind my Environmental Club students and I witnessed. I liked this form for my poem because it sort of looks like a whirlwind...and it sort of peters out the way the whirlwind did. It started in the top of a tall cottonwood, and we thought it was a noisy flock of birds at first. But then it pulled a bunch of birds? no, leaves!! down off the tree and traveled across the soccer field before being dissipated by a chain link fence.

    A flock of birds appeared from nowhere
    in the top of the cottonwood.
    Noisy swirling...flock of birds?
    No -- wait -- that's wind spinning
    leaves frantically round,
    down, cross the field,
    do-si-do,
    all fall
    down.

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    1. Mary Lee, I love your nonet! Perfect example of form for a REASON... thank you so much for sharing!

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  7. My list of poetic forms I'd like to try gets longer and longer with each Poetry Friday -- I need to start keeping a list.

    You nonet is powerful. I love the image of war feasting on fear.

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    1. Thank you, Katya, and i know what you mean about the growing list!

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  8. Yes - very powerful, Irene. I hadn't heard of the form - thanks for sharing! Love Mary Lee's, too.

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    1. Thank you, Robyn! Mary Lee's is fantastic!!

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  9. With these two great examples, I want to try a nonet. I learn so much and get inspired each Poetry Friday!

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