Thursday, January 30, 2014

January 2914 - Poetry Challege Still Open

From El Mirrador (the outlook) above San Miguel de Allende, GTO, Mexico, you can look down on the city and see its most iconic structure: La Parroquia de San Miguel Arcangel It has been called a "cotton candy church" by some, perhaps because it takes on soft colors in certain light. If you sit in El Jardin, the plaza on which it is located, it looks like a Gothic cathedral, but it a parish church, is not a cathedral. And only the façade is Gothic. The church was built in the 17th century, but in the 1880s, it was decided that a new façade was needed. An indigenous architect, Zeferino Gutierrez, was hired to head the project. It is said that he was shown postcard pictures of European cathedrals. Either he was enamored of them and decided he wanted to create a church that looked Gothic, or he was instructed to do so (stories differ). Whatever actually happened, he designed the front of one of the best-loved and most-photographed churches in Mexico - the most iconic structure of San Miguel de Allende.

There are many iconic structures in the world which have inspired poets in the past, and can still serve as inspiration for poets in our day. Yet there were fewer entries in the January challenge than is usually the case, and the judges determined that none was a winner. So if you didn't find time to enter the challenge by the January 15 deadline, you have a second chance. Or if you entered but your poem didn't win, you can revise it and try again.

Stun me with your poem about a building that is iconic: the leaning tower of Piza, the opera house in Sydney, the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, St. Basil's Cathedral in Moscow, the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul, Burj Khalifa in Dubai - or an iconic building closer to home. The challenge will be left open until a winner is declared. Follow the direction in the previous post, except for the deadline.

A new challenge will be posted on February 1. Good luck!

The picture below is of the Washington Monument, an iconic structure in Washington, DC, taken from inside the Jefferson Monument, another iconic structure. 


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

January 2014 Poetry Challenge – an Iconic Structure

I recently reread “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus. Lazarus read her sonnet at the dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1886. The statue was a gift from the French people to the US, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of American independence. I consider it an iconic structure because it is immediately recognizable by people all over the US and around the world. Here is the poem:

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles.  From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips.  "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

~ Emma Lazarus

There are many other iconic structures around the world. I went on-line, looking for poems about some of them. Here are links a few that I found.

St. Louis Arch – “Symbol” -

Other iconic structures include the Kaaba at Mecca; The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem; Buckingham Palace in London; the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain; the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials and the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.; the Taj Mahal in Agra, The Needle in Seattle, Washington; and the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) in Chicago; the Empire State Building in New York City; St. Peters in the Vatican; the Coliseum in Rome; and St. Mark’s in Venice.

Sir John Betjeman’s poem “In Westminster Abbey” is not about the Abbey. Rather it a satirical commentary on the behavior and attitudes of an upper class British woman who attends a worship service in Westminster Abbey—another iconic structure—during World War II. You can find that poem here:

January Challenge:

The January Challenge is to write a poem about an iconic structure. It can actually be about the structure, or it could be about something that happened in (or on) such a structure (such as Betjeman’s poem). For purposes of this challenge, a park, plaza, or square is NOT considered an “iconic structure.” Nor are sculptures such as the faces on Mount Rushmore.

Submit only one poem. Your poem can be free or formal verse. If you submit a form poem, please specify the form. The deadline is January 15. Poems submitted after the January 15 deadline will not be considered. There is no charge to enter, so there are no monetary rewards, but winners are published on this blog.

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 you poem has been published in a periodical, you may submit it if you retain copyright, but please include publication data.

How to Submit Your Poem:

Send your poem to wildamorris[at]ameritech[dot]net (substitute the @ sign for “at” and a . for “dot”. Be sure to provide your e-mail address. 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, and 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 those techniques; I sometimes use them myself. However I have difficulty getting the blog to accept and maintain those features. Please include a short bio with your submission.

© Wilda Morris