****NOTE: I have decided to extend the submission period three extra days. Submissions for Poetry Challenge entries will now be accepted Tuesday, February 1st through Thursday, February 10th.
Entries received after February 10th (American date of time for those living abroad) will not be considered.
Again, read and adhere to the guidelines listed below. I do wish everyone good luck, and I look forward to reading your poems.
Below this announcement/prompt you will find the poem “Possibilities” by Wisława Syzymborska, which is an excellent example of a list or inventory poem.
Here are the details for the List Poem Poetry Challenge again:
I would like to challenge my followers to create their own list poems of preferences and to submit them to me for consideration to be posted on this blog.
Not only will I choose poems to be posted, I will also select one poem from the overall group for the inaugural “Poet’s Choice” award.
Winner of the “Poet’s Choice” award will receive a hardback copy of Pablo Neruda’s Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair, which includes illustrations by Jan Thompson Dicks.
Selection will be based on the following criteria & guidelines:
1. You must be one of my followers to enter.
2. Only one entry per follower will be accepted.
3. Your poem must have a title, and there are no length requirements (but know when to stop!)
4. The poem must be a list poem of preferences, preferably in free verse. Be sure to read the list poem example “Possibilities” at the end of this post to get a concrete idea of what is expected in terms of form.
***NOTE: Your list poem of preferences is not required to contain anaphora (the repetitious phrase, “I prefer” at the beginning of some lines), but the poem must be a list or inventory of preferences. So, be creative in the process!
5. The poem should possess originality - Be sure to use fresh language and images free of clichés and trite expressions.
6. The poem should exhibit sound quality - I’m not talking about “sing-songy” perfect end rhyme throughout the piece (though end rhyme is acceptable if used skillfully) but rather sonic (sound) devices like alliteration, assonance, consonance, and imperfect (near/slant) rhyme. Be sure to handle these devices with care; do not let them become overbearing or annoying to the reader.
7. Entries will ONLY be received between Tuesday, February 1st - Thursday, February 10th, and MUST be submitted as a word document attachment and sent to the following email address:
8. Entries submitted before or after the official submission period will not be considered or read.
9. Again, your poem must be submitted as a word document attachment. Be sure to include your tumblr blog name only in the upper right-hand corner of the document. Poems without a tumblr blog name in the upper right-hand corner will not be considered or read.
10. The “Poet’s Choice” award winner and other poems to be posted will be announced on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2011 (American date of time for those living abroad).
You now have the guidelines. Good luck and have fun writing your list poem of preferences!
Again, be sure to read Wisława Syzymborska’s list poem “Possibilities” for an example of the kind of poem I am looking for.
I encourage each of you to REBLOG this post to ensure that others see this.
And now the poem:
I prefer movies.
I prefer cats.
I prefer the oaks along the Warta.
I prefer Dickens to Dostoyevsky.
I prefer myself liking people
to myself loving mankind.
I prefer keeping a needle and thread on hand, just in case.
I prefer the color green.
I prefer not to maintain
that reason is to blame for everything.
I prefer exceptions.
I prefer to leave early.
I prefer talking to doctors about something else.
I prefer the old fine-lined illustrations.
I prefer the absurdity of writing poems
to the absurdity of not writing poems.
I prefer, where love’s concerned, nonspecific anniversaries
that can be celebrated every day.
I prefer moralists
who promise me nothing.
I prefer cunning kindness to the over-trustful kind.
I prefer the earth in civvies.
I prefer conquered to conquering countries.
I prefer having some reservations.
I prefer the hell of chaos to the hell of order.
I prefer Grimms’ fairy tales to the newspapers’ front pages.
I prefer leaves without flowers to flowers without leaves.
I prefer dogs with uncropped tails.
I prefer light eyes, since mine are dark.
I prefer desk drawers.
I prefer many things that I haven’t mentioned here
to many things I’ve also left unsaid.
I prefer zeroes on the loose
to those lined up behind a cipher.
I prefer the time of insects to the time of stars.
I prefer to knock on wood.
I prefer not to ask how much longer and when.
I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility
that existence has its own reason for being.
By Wisława Szymborska from Nothing Twice, 1997
Translated by S. Baranczak & C. Cavanagh