Friday, October 11, 2013

Poetry Prompt Day 11 - Using the Sounds Around You

This is a blast from the past, one of my favorite poetry prompts from Julie.  I love how she uses sound in this poetry prompt and I often forget about using sound in my poetry but it is something I love to do. I hope you have fun with it too!

Now here is Julie Jordan Scott talking about sound and writing poetry.

Merriam Webster defines resonance like this: the intensification and enriching of a musical tone by supplementary vibration: a quality of evoking response.

Now add cadence to your writing voice and the result will be even deeper.

What is cadence?

It is the measure or beat of a rhythmical flow.  It is the snapping of fingers in time, the metronome back and forth or backandforth or baaaaaccccckkkkkk and fooorrrrthhhhhhh.

Resonance and cadence are heard in the silence of your reader's mind. It is your words blending
with their consciousness  that will create magic.

We craft our words and we hear ourselves better, we "get" ourselves better, we allow the richness  and wonder of the process to bubble over and through us.

We may be like World Music, we may be like jazz. We may be like country or rhythm and blues. We may sound like Lindsey Lohan or Boy George or  Aretha Franklin.

Lindsey Lohan is not Lindsey Buckingham.

Boy George is not George Strait.

Aretha Franklin is not Frank Sinatra.

Listen to the rhythm and sound of the poem below. Read it aloud to "hear" it better.

Do you hear tires against slightly moist pavement?

The Music of Traffic

The music of traffic:
the cars passing by
swish whoosh moosh
schwaaaaa schwaaaaaa

Barely aware of the heavenly scent
of the garden surrounding her
Home to one of Rodin's  Prodigal.

He is here from long ago, bronze listening.
Poised, considering, summoning life
Swish whoosh moosh
Schwaaaaa Schwaaaaaa -

Bordering Wilshire Boulevard
the cars played their tire-instruments
The peaceful stillness
the muffled emissions
Swish whoosh moosh
schwaaaaa schwaaaaaa

Standing, honoring, breathing
she closes her eyes to feel
soft movement of the cars and
the calling of the garden,
the confidence of Rodin's sculpture.

Each and all surrounded by

The music of traffic
cars passing by, not hearing
not smelling, not taken in -
swish whoosh moosh
schwaaaaa schwaaaaaa

Did you hear the cars driving by in those words?

Take a moment (or five) to close your eyes and listen.

In the silence of your narration, what do you hear? Have a notebook and pencil or pen ready to write after you listen, silently, and quietly enjoy what gifts the sounds around you offer.

When you open your eyes, write what you heard and then write any connections you made from what you heard. How might these sounds be described? How do those sounds connect with your life and with your future reader’s lives?

Sentence Starter "When I listen to the _____, it tells me..."

Word Prompt: Take one of your near silent sounds and use it as your starter.

Bonus: Use onomatopoeia words in your writing.

Some intriguing links to visit:

Sound and Sense by Alexander Pope

Analysis and Examples of Onomatopoeia in Famous Poems

Finally, a video which will help you remember.... a lot of fun. I think I want to learn this song and sing it when I work with... well, for all ages, actually... it is a lot of fun.


Your words feed the hearts of the poets who lovingly volunteer to share their passion for poetry with you.

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