LEADERS - not followers

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


For Big Tent Poetry

This week’s prompt
This week is my birthday week, and one of the things I’m hoping to do to celebrate
is to host a living room salon in which some IRL poetry friends read their favorite poems.
So I thought we could do something with favorite poems here, too.
What is your favorite poem? What about it makes it your favorite?
Does it contain an image that rocks your poetry world? Does it provide a realization that changes you?
Do you admire its poetic devices (metaphor, alliteration, repetition, form, etc.)?
Whatever it is you like about your favorite poem, try to use that in a poem of your own.
(Remember, when you post to your blog — or here — do not paste the entire text of someone else’s poem.
Try to find the text online to link to, if you would like. It’s not necessary to quote the text of the poem;
we’re most interested in a description of what attracts you to your favorite poem.
And if you borrow something significant from the poem — like a line or an image —
be sure to give credit by saying “a poem after ______” or “with a line from ________.”)


Click to hear ‘The Stranger Song’ by Leonard cohen

What words could best convey
What voices never say? Should they
Compare a woman to a rose
A summer flower?

Without the metaphor, the rhyme
The memory gets lost in time
Like friends forgotten, words become neglected
And repetition makes our words effective

The repetition makes our words effective

And time spent changing plans
Perfecting formats, rhythm spans
Internal rhyme; worth every dime
Each patient moment

The finished product on the page
Like finest wine, improves with age
Uncorked, its complex balance never tires us
In years to come, its image serves to fire us

In verse to come, our homage will inspire us


  1. The repetition makes your words effective. ;-) Thanks for the link to Cohen's song. Poems about writing are some of my favorite. Well done.

  2. Thanks Brenda; I couldn't choose a favourite poem - there are so many, for so many different reasons - so I chose a song, by a poet.

  3. I'm the same way, it's hard to single out any one poem as a favorite. So many have had an influence. You've come up with a very good description of what makes a good poem for me also.

  4. Thanks Francis; A few examples of what can make poetry work for me.

  5. You've used the influence of Cohen's song very well, Stan. I sure likes rhythm and rhyme myself! Sorry if you had a prob commenting on mine. Can't see the glitch at my end but Blogger is very selective!

  6. Thanks Derrick; I mentioned it in case anyone had the same problem.
    And a song rather than a poem... I think Cohen is well known for the time and trouble he takes over his choice of words used in his songs as well as his poems.

  7. Especially like this verse:
    "And time spent changing plans
    Perfecting formats, rhythm spans
    Internal rhyme; worth every dime
    Each patient moment

    I have often used music as an influence and a prompt for writing. You do it well. My favorite Leonard Cohen song is Joan of Arc, perhaps because of the poetry within it.


  8. This is very good. Shall I compare thy poem to a
    summer rose burst in rude ripe bloom? Leonard Cohen is first and foremost poet, I agree.
    Wish I had done one to ' Famous Blue Raincoat'
    now.What can I say? Enjoyed Enjoyed Enjoyed this.
    (Enough repetition?:)

  9. Stan Leonard Cohen is one of my favourites!
    you have done a fine job with prompt!

  10. Wow Stan, very well written -- and Cohen, a week doesn't pass thank he doesn't serenade my insomnia, at least for a bit...

    Image & Verse

  11. Thanks to:
    1sojournal; I couldn't think of an approriate poem, so I chose a poet who I admire.
    Rall; I heard you the first time :)
    Pamela; I hope I did him justice.
    Gautami; I had some inspirration...
    Rob; ...but you sleep all the better for it... no doubt.

  12. Happy Birthday! Love L. Cohen as well. And I think you were inspired.

  13. Enjoying the Cohen.
    I like your linking of words and friends
    and, yes, the effective line.
    (not that the rest aren't...

  14. Thanks to:
    Joyce; I often use his influence in my writing.
    Barbara; Familiarity doesn't always breed contempt.

  15. Wonderful choice. Cohen's one of my very favorite songwriter/singers. Your words inspire - do you sing?

  16. Thanks Tumblewords; I just make scary noises - I can whistle a bit though...

  17. I never tire of listen to the songs of Leonard Cohen, whether sung by him or someone else.

    I agree with your last stanza...the finished product improves with age. I always like to look back at my poems from an earlier period in time..and admittedly enjoy (most of) them.


  18. yes, those images that last are the ones that fire us up!

  19. nicely done Stan......hard to BEAT Leonard

  20. Thanks to:
    Mary; The same could be said for many Poems, but I found it easier to relare to a song.
    Carolee; We follow examples to attain our own voice.
    Wayne; A great source of inspiration.

  21. I love what you've done here--and I'm a big Cohen fan, so this was a double treat for me.

  22. Thanks Erin; Glad you enjoyed it.