Ladies & Gentlemen, Start Your Villanelles
by Allan Appel | Mar 15, 2013 8:25 am
Posted to: Arts & Entertainment, Fair Haven
When Dennis Farmer dropped by the main branch of the library last week, he saw a room full of African-American men sitting. Just sitting. It appeared to him they weren’t using laptops or reading or doing paperwork for their jobs, as he was. Just sitting.
He was so enraged ... he decided to write a poem about it.
Or at least to get started, thanks to a flyer he saw as he was leaving the main branch lobby. The flyer was for a “Poetry Bootcamp.”
Farmer was among a small handful of would-be bards who came by the Fair Haven branch library community room Thursday afternoon to sort out their pentameters from their villanelles.
Teen services librarian Angelina Carnevale led the group through a packed 30-minute session on rhythm, meter, form, and structure. (If you don’t know the difference between blank verse and free verse, read to the end of this article.)
The writers were then sent to write poems and given prompts if they needed them.
Farmer said the session will help him turn agitation into poetry, although the session ended before he was prepared to begin. He took Carnevale’s business card and said he would be in touch, and submit.
“I was thinking of rhyme only. Now I’ve got more options,” he said.
Click here for details for submitting to the library’s contest.
Oh, according to boot camp poetry drill sergeant Carnevale’s handout: Blank verse (most of Shakespeare is written in this, ye Hamlet ticket-holders) is defined as unrhymed iambic pentameter. That is not to be confused with free verse, which has no consistent meter.
Tags: poetry, Fair Haven branch library
Post a Comment
It was good to see this article, as April—Poetry Month—nears.
Multiple Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute seminars (led by faculty Jill Campbell, Paul Fry, Lanny Hammer, Pericles Lewis, Thomas Whitaker et al.) have focused on the reading, writing, and teaching of poetry.
“The Sound of Words” was one seminar in which teachers developed curriculum units:
Melissa McCormack, “The Sound of Poetry”
“Love and Politics in the Sonnet”:
Carlos Lawrence, “Poetry and Prose…”
María Cardalliaguet Gómez-Málaga, “Voces Latinas”
“The Art of Reading People”
Judi Katz, “...the List Poem”
Waltrina Kirkland-Mullins, “Poetry Alive!”
“Teaching Poetry in the Primary and Secondary Schools”
Zoila Brown, “...across the Curriculum through Poetry”
Christine Elmore, “Presenting Poetry to Children”
Mindi Englart, “Rap as a Modern Poetic Form”
Dina Secchiaroli, “Post-War Poetry in the AP Classroom”
“Reading and Writing Poetry”
Judi Katz, “Haiku”
“The Uses of Poetry in the Classroom”
Mnikesa Whitaker, “Comprehension Strategies and Poetry Basics through Poems about Fathers”
Other poetry volumes:
These resources are available for non-commercial, educational purposes.