Monday, September 27, 2010

More info for September's Lesson (links)

Hey everyone!

I wanted to thank you all for joining us in our last workshop which celebrated our 1 year anniversary as a group!

Our next meeting will be on TUESDAY October 19th, 2010 at 7:30pm, I hope to see everyone there, and hopefully some new faces as well!

If any of you are interested in previous lesson sheets, let me know and I can e-mail them to you.

For more information about our last lesson: A Valentine by: Edgar Allan Poe, you can visit the following links which will also provide the translation:

for more info about Frances Sargent Osgood and Edgar Allan Poe, visit the following links:

If anyone has any ideas or suggestions for our workshop, you can reply to this e-mail, it may be fun to have some constructive feedback about how things are run with our workshop.

Please pay a visit to our own website full of fun, educational poetry lessons:


Friday, September 10, 2010

1 Year Anniversary Lesson 9-20-10, Analyzing Edgar Allan Poe

Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop
Monday September 20th, 7:30 pm (Please join us again Tuesday October 19th)
Can you crack the code?
A VALENTINE by: Edgar Allan Poe
For her this rhyme is penned, whose luminous eyes,
Brightly expressive as the twins of Leda,
Shall find her own sweet name, that nestling lies
Upon the page, enwrapped from every reader.
Search narrowly the lines! - they hold a treasure
Divine - a talisman - an amulet
That must be worn at heart. Search well the measure-
The words - the syllables! Do not forget
The trivialest point, or you may lose your labor
And yet there is in this no Gordian knot
Which one might not undo without a sabre,
If one could merely comprehend the plot.
Enwritten upon the leaf where now are peering
Eyes scintillating soul, there lie perdus
Three eloquent words oft uttered in the hearing
Of poets, by poets - as the name is a poet's, too,
Its letters, although naturally lying
Like the knight Pinto-Mendez Ferdinando -
Still form a synonym for Truth - Cease trying!
You will not read the riddle, though you do the best you can do.

**Lesson created by Amanda Konstantine Perlmutter**

Lesson 9, 7-19-10, Found Poem

Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop
**Please remember, no workshop in August. Come back on September 16th 2010**
How to Write a "Found Poem"
If you have to write a poem for school, or if you write poems for fun but feel your creativity drying up, you might want to try a type of poem that is entirely made out of someone else's words. Just as a collage is art made of someone else's images, but cut up and arranged by the artist, so a "found poem" is a poem made of words and phrases found in another text.
Things You'll Need:
• Some kind of text: a letter, newspaper article, old book, magazine article, or even assembly instructions
• Your own creative view of ideas and language
1. Choose a piece of writing that isn't yours. You may be happiest with your results if you choose something that doesn't seem poetic at all. A very old letter, an obsolete set of instructions for technology that no longer exists, a page of advertising copy, a biographical essay, or a news account can all have interesting words and phrases.
2. Study the text. Look for words and phrases that catch your eye, or that seem to contradict each other if you take them out of context. Look for repeated words and see what the text is trying to emphasize.
3. Select words and phrases from the text, and begin to arrange them on your own page. Try to keep them in order, even if you are leaving out phrases or sentences in between.
4. Look for poetic interest in these words. Look for ways to cut and arrange them to point out contrasting ideas or contradictions. Look for images that they provide. Select phrases that unintentionally rhyme, if you choose.
5. The resulting arrangement of these words is your "found poem." Ideally, it should convey its own meaning to a reader, a meaning probably not intended by the original writer of the letter, instructions, or article. If you can make an arrangement that has a meaning about life, love, ageing, wisdom, or any of the other eternal themes of poetry, you've made a pretty fine "found poem."
Tips & Warnings
• Pay attention to line breaks and spacing, and see if you can use these to shift the meaning of the original words.
• Short lines will more often work than long ones, since you want to get away from the original writer's style.
Read more: How to Write a "Found Poem" |

Lesson 8, 6-21-10, Tanka

Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop Monday June 21st, 2010 (**Please join us next time, July 19th 2010 7:30pm**)
The Haiku that that wanted something more…
Tanka is a classical Japanese form of poetry that contrary to popular belief, came BEFORE the more popular Haiku. Tanka, like a Haiku, is generally focused on nature and emotion. Some call it the Haiku with a couplet at the end, because it basically is just that!
• Keep the 1st line 5 syllables
• Keep the 2nd line 7 syllables
• Keep the 3rd line 5 syllables
• And for the couplet (the last 2 lines in this case) each line must be 7 syllables.
• The Tanka poem is 5 lines long but written with a line-space so it is broken into 2 stanzas

If you really like a challenge:
• Try not to end every line with a single syllable word (such as: the, me, I, and…etc)
• Avoid rhyming the last word of each line with other lines (no end-rhyming)
• Try to write 2 Tanka poems and combine them as a 4 stanza-10 line poem!
An Example:
EXAMPLE from :

Line 1: Invisible hands
Line 2: caress my face; have I walked
Line 3: through a spider's web
Line 4: woven this morning to catch
Line 5: flies writhing with my surprise

Lesson 7, 5-17-10, Triolet

Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop
Monday, May 17th 2010 (Please join us next time, June 21st 2010)
Triolet is a French form of poetry from the medieval era.

 The Triolet contains 8 short lines, and 2 rhymes.
 Line 1 & 2 make an observation
 Line 5 & 6 involve a twist or change in idea because it begins a new stanza
 The 1st line must be repeated as the 4th line
 The 1st and 2nd line must be repeated as the 7th and 8th line
 The rhyme format is a-b-a-a-a-b-a-b
 As you can see, the 1st line appears 3 times, which is why it is called a TRIO-let

Breaking down the format:
1.A (Make an observation)
2.B (Make an observation)

5.a (Rhymes with any capital “A” line) ADD A TWIST
6.b (Rhymes with any capital “B” line) ADD A TWIST
7.A(Rhymes with any capital “A” line) REPEAT LINE 1 HERE
8.B(Rhymes with any capital “B” line) REPEAT LINE 2 HERE

A FINISHED EXAMPLE: (Poem courtesy of )

1. A A. The walls are white brick
2. B B. and the door is green
3. a a. For men easy colors to pick
4. A A. The walls are white brick

5. a a. For a woman, a tougher trick
6. b b. With the door an avacado sheen
7. A A. The walls are white brick
8. B B. and the door is green


The Renga Poem, "Nature" written by the Poetry Workshop members

1) Bill: Trees with leaves and trunks
Extinct animas die slow
Evolution starts
2) Martha: The whispering wind visits
The raging rain pays a call
3) Peter: Rain is falling hard
On the already drenched ground,
People looking mopped.
4) Bob: Rains—winds—endless Oh! Surprise—
Walk to subway—sun—miracle!
5) Roz: Beauty of the springtime
After a bitter winter
Leaves, flowers galore
6) Claude: Driving force of wind and rain
No birds fly nor beasts walk
7) Paul: In my lifetime I
Want to do all that I can
For creation
8) Rafaella:Loving, feeling, seeing eyes
Glowing; flowing rivers cleanse
9) Dena: Let it rain on down
The heavens will open up
Rainbows in the sky
10) Kathy: When will this rain ever stop
So I can go out and shop!
11) Amanda: Rain keeps on pouring
The sky a furious gray
Changes every day.

Lesson 5, 3-15-10 Renga

Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop
Monday, March 15th, 2010 (Please join us next time, April 19th, 2010)
Renga is a form of Japanese collaborative poetry that consists of multiple stanzas (ku) that resemble a haiku. Typically, a renga poem is written by 2 or more people (renju/ichiza), but it is meant to be very free flowing and not perfect at all. When writing a renga, there is first a renga gathering (chogyo) and it is conducted by a sosho or sabaki who is familiar with the form. At this gathering, a piece of paper is passed around and everyone takes a turn writing the next stanza, this passing down is called hizaokuri. There must be a theme, usually in relation to nature, change, revolution, or love. Another renga rule is called kukazu which means, the theme must be consistent for at least 2 stanzas, but it cannot go on for more than 5 stanzas. After 5 stanzas about nature, you must begin a new theme, in the same poem! There is no limit to how many stanzas there can be so we can always come back with this topic another time and continue our renga, written by our poetry group….
• The 1st stanza is called hokku (if you haven’t already guessed, hokku sounds like haiku for a reason). The hokku contains 3 lines in a syllable pattern of 5-7-5. Hokku must have the theme and will tie into the final stanza when everything is over.
• The 2nd stanza is called waki and it contains 2 lines in a syllable pattern 7-7.
• The 3rd stanza is daisan and it contains 3 lines in a syllable pattern of 5-7-5, just like the hokku.
• All other following stanzas are called hiraku and they continue the pattern. To simplify things, its as if all hiraku are a pattern of 2 lines of 7-7 (waki) then 3 lines of 5-7-5 (daisan).
• The final stanza is called ageku and it can either tie into the hokku, or be exactly the same as the hokku depending on where you are in your pattern because keep in mind that the hokku is 3 lines, and the ageku may be 2 lines if the stanza before it was 3 lines!
Stanza 1: Hokku- Line 1: 5 syllables
Line 2: 7 syllables
Line 3: 5 syllables
Stanza 2: Waki- Line 4: 7 syllables
Line 5: 7 syllables
Stanza 3: Daisan- Line 6: 5 syllables
Line 7: 7 syllables
Line 8: 5 syllables

All following stanzas continue the pattern of 3 lines, then 2 lines. The syllable pattern also continues. These flowing stanzas are called hiraku.

Last stanza: Ageku - is either similar or identical to the hokku depending on where you are within the pattern.
Lesson created by: Amanda Konstantine Perlmutter

Lesson 4, 1-18-10, Limerick

Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop
Monday, January 18th 2010 (Please join us next time: Monday, February 15th 2010 7:30pm)
Today we’re going to mix things up. The lesson will have a fun side, and a challenging side.
Before we begin, I’d like you all to jot down a few words that rhyme; this will be useful later on in the lesson.
What to remember:
• A limerick is a humorous poem of 5 lines
• The 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines rhyme
• The 3rd and 4th line are shorter lines that form a rhymed couplet
• You can use an internal rhyme or a rhyme at the end of the line. An internal rhyme has the rhyming words within the line and it makes things a little more challenging.
To make the above really simple:
• Keep it funny, playful, and 5 lines long
• 1st, 2nd, and 5th lines rhyme
• 3rd and 4th lines are shorter than the rest. Since they are two lines, it’s considered a couplet. Because they must rhyme, it is called a rhymed couplet----don’t stress over the terminology, just write and have fun with it!
• Rhyme at the end of each line; just be sure that you can distinguish the line 1, 2, 5 rhyme from the line 3, 4 rhyme.
Now to lighten up the mood, I brought in a bag of words. These words are not well known, there will be a definition and synonym (another word of the same meaning) written on the index card. Everyone can pick three word cards. It’s up to you if you want to use the words in your limerick or not. If you aren’t feeling up to the challenge today, feel free to write any form of poetry that you choose, and of course, you can still use the words for inspiration!
Examples of a Limerick
“A Clumsy Young Fellow Named Tim” (as seen on
Line 1: There once was a fellow named Tim
Line 2: whose dad never taught him to swim.
Line 3: He fell off a dock
Line 4: and sunk like a rock.
Line 5: And that was the end of him.

“Untitled” (as seen on
Line 1: There once was a young girl named Jill.
Line 2: Who was scared by the sight of a drill.
Line 3: She brushed every day
Line 4: So her dentist would say,
Line 5: “Your teeth are so perfect; no bill.”

“In Quebec” by: Rudyard Kipling
Line 1: There was once a small boy in Quebec
Line 2: Stood buried in snow to his neck
Line 3: When asked: “Are you friz?”
Line 4: He said: “Yes I is,
Line 5: But we don’t call this cold in Quebec.”

ALL Poetry Lessons Written by: Amanda Konstantine Perlmutter

Lesson 2, 10-19-09 Clerihew

Barnes & Noble Poetry Workshop
Monday October 19th, 2009 (**remember to join us next time: Monday November 16th, 2009**)

-4 lines long
-About a person, it can be someone only you know, or someone famous
-The person’s name should be the whole first line, or part of the first line
-Humorous, but not mean
-2 rhymes: the last word of the first 2 lines must rhyme with each other, and the last word of the last 2 lines must rhyme with each other
-Can be used as a pneumonic device when you need to study famous Americans in history or anything else like that

This form is named for its creator, Edmund Clerihew Bentley, who was an English poet and writer. He lived from 1875-1956 (81 years). Some dispute that he did not create the form, but only made it popular.

One of Edmund Clerihew Bentley’s famous “Clerihews”:
Sir Humphry Davy
Abominated gravy.
He lived in the odium
Of having discovered sodium.

A modern Clerihew:
Terry Bollea, also known as the Hulk,
A wrestler with plenty of bulk
Pinning his opponent, his face turns red.
Everywhere except the bald spot on his head.
(©Copyright K. Sosa

Pay attention to how Sosa used the name in the first line, rhymed Hulk and bulk, then red and head. She kept it humorous in saying he had a bald spot, but was not harsh. Remember that Clerihews are for fun, not to hurt someone.

Lesson 1, 9-21-09 Cinquain/Cinq-Cinquain

Poetry Workshop
Monday September 21, 2009

The Original Form: Cinquain
A cinquain is a poem of 5 lines that does not rhyme.
The syllables in each line must follow the count: 2, 4, 6, 8, 2

Example of the pattern:
Line 1: S S
Line 2: S S S S
Line 3: S S S S S S
Line 4: S S S S S S S S
Line 5: S S

The Challenge: Cinq-Cinquain
A cinq-cinquain follows the same structure as its original form seen above, the challenge about it is, that it takes 5 sets of cinquains to make this poem.
Line 1: S S
Line 2: S S S S
Line 3: S S S S S S
Line 4: S S S S S S S S
Line 5: S S

Line 6: S S
Line 7: S S S S
Line 8: S S S S S S
Line 9: S S S S S S S S
Line 10: S S

Line 11: S S
Line 12: S S S S
Line 13: S S S S S S
Line 14: S S S S S S S S
Line 15: S S

Line 16: S S
Line 17: S S S S
Line 18: S S S S S S
Line 19: S S S S S S S S
Line 20: S S

Line 21: S S
Line 22: S S S S
Line 23: S S S S S S
Line 24: S S S S S S S S
Line 25: S S

These be
Three silent things:
The falling snow. . .the hour
Before the dawn. . .the mouth of one
Just dead.

©Copyright: Jane Reichhold 1996

It was
the way you tried to steal
my schtick and dispense with my shell shuck me. ~ You can’t
co-opt my cool
through sleights of hand, through slights
and underhandedness. You are
still you. ~ Taking
my happiness
could not make you happy
taking what is mine means taking
my pain. ~ Was it
You wanted my life but
if you had asked I’d have gave it
to you.~ My friend
I forgive you
for what you did to us
under possession of envy.
Go heal. ~
©Laura Chase and Domino 2008