Monday, December 1, 2014

December 2014 Poetry Challenge

December has slipped in the door, a reminder that the year 2014 is coming to an end. One way to celebrate New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day is to write a poem. Ella Wheeler Wilcox, who died in 1919, was a popular poet in her day and for many years thereafter, but she was not a literary poet. Her New Year’s poem is not, in my judgment, great poetry. What do you think?

The Year

What can be said in New Year rhymes,
That's not been said a thousand times?

The new years come, the old years go,
We know we dream, we dream we know.

We rise up laughing with the light,
We lie down weeping with the night.

We hug the world until it stings,
We curse it then and sigh for wings.

We live, we love, we woo, we wed,
We wreathe our prides, we sheet our dead.

We laugh, we weep, we hope, we fear,
And that's the burden of a year.

~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

So maybe Wilcox it’s not a great poem. But it provides the December challenge. Was Wilcox right in suggesting that whatever can be said in New Year poems has already been said a thousand times? Can you think of something new to say? Or, if not, can you find a new and more creative way to saw it?

The December Challenge:
Write a poem about the passing of the old year and/or the arrival of the new year, a poem about the defining events of the year that is almost over. Or maybe your poem will express your hopes, dreams or plans for the coming year. It could be a prayer, an ode or a lament. You can use free or formal verse (if you use a form, please identify the form in your email).

Submit only one poem. The deadline is December 15. Poems submitted after the December 15 deadline will not be considered. There is no charge to enter, so there are no monetary rewards; however winners are published on this blog. Please don’t stray far from “family-friendly” language.

Copyright on each poem is retained by the poet.

Poems published in books or on the Internet (including Facebook and other on-line social networks) are not eligible. If your poem has been published in a print periodical, you may submit it if you retain copyright, but please include publication data.

How to Submit Your Poem:

Send one poem only to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for “dot”) . Include a brief bio which can be printed with your poem, if you are a winner this month.

Submission of a poem gives permission for the poem to be posted on the blog if it is a winner, so be sure that you put your name (exactly as you would like it to appear if you do win) at the end of the poem. Poems may be pasted into an email or sent as an attachment. Please do not indent the poem or center it on the page. It helps if you submit the poem in the format used on the blog (Title and poem left-justified; title in bold (not all in capital letters); your name at the bottom of the poem). Also, please do not use spaces instead of commas in the middle of lines. I have no problem with poets using that technique; I sometimes do it myself. However I have difficulty getting the blog to accept and maintain extra spaces.

Poems shorter than 30 lines are generally preferred. Also, if lines are too long, they don’t fit in the blog format and have to be split, so you might be wise to use shorter lines.

© Wilda Morris