If you are more comfortable with poetry than I am, you may want to tackle writing a whole novel in verse. This post from Almost an Author lists several novels in verse, covering a wide range of plots. The author recommends them to reluctant readers.
My oldest has had to read two novels in verse for school and doesn’t really like them. Perhaps it’s because my oldest is an avid reader and prefers series like Redwall and Guardians of Ga’Hoole.
Have you read a novel in verse than you would recommend?
I had never heard of tanka, a form of Japanese poetry, until I read this article on Almost an Author. It is a five-line poem, the first three containing the same syllables as haiku: 1st line — five, 2nd line — seven, 3rd line — five. The fourth and fifth lines of a tanka poem each contain seven syllables. The author notes that the themes in tanka are more varied than haiku, which concerns nature. As an exercise, the author recommends write “a haiku first and then” add “the last two lines as reflection on your subject.”
So I’ve tried it with the haiku I posted in last Monday’s Sparks.
In April. the sky
Cries. Out of anger? Sadness?
The earth send flowers.
Now I’ll add two more lines of seven syllables and turn it into a tanka.
I forgot that April is national poetry month. When I worked as a children’s librarian in public libraries, we tied our book displays and programming to the event.
Because I am not a poet, I write poetry when I want to have fun with words. Maybe poets do the same thing with prose when they need a break from their serious writing.
I also like to write poetry because the only person I am trying to please is myself. As I work on my novel, I have to keep in mind all the rules of good writing, the expectations of the audience I am writing for, and the requirement of agents and editors. I am free with poetry. If I share a poem, I hope others will like, but if they don’t, that’s fine.
Even though I write poetry just for fun, I learn techniques I can apply to my prose writing when I read it. My background as a children’s librarian has led me to read children’s poetry more than any other kind. But I think a skilled poet can appeal to kids and adults in different ways with the same poem. I’ll talk about what I have learned from reading poetry next time.