The Anatomy of a Challenge

Over a dVerse ~Poets Pub, Sarah, the host for the challenge, prompts to choose one of the below paint names and use it as the inspiration for a poem:

Trumpet, Tea with Florence, Chemise, Confetti, Goblin,
Mirror, Rolling fog, First light, Hidey hole, Masquerade

We are further challenged to incorporate as many of the words as we can and to have fun. While I can post to my blog at any time, the challenge is only open for two days.

As I responded: Oh, that was said to the wrong person. It is my natural wont when see a list of options with a prompt to select one to try to use them all. 

In other words – thanks for giving me free rein to do what I was likely to do anyway. 😁 And because I am a glutton for punishment, I’m thinking a free verse poem would be easier for this but noooooooo, Muse is all Oooh, look! Sarah posted an extract from Christina Rosetti’s “Goblin Market”, let’s do a glosa! I’m thinking, okay, a tradition glosa works for this, gives me up to forty lines to work all that in. Crap! What did I think that for? Forty lines? Pfft! That’s too many – you can do this in just twenty, c’mon, Rai!

I swear, I can’t with them sometimes – except clearly I can, so I don’t even bother arguing – a shortened glosa it is – I pick two lines to work with:

They sounded kind and full of loves
In the pleasant weather
Goblin Market – Christina Rosetti

My next challenge: hidey-hole – what am I supposed to do with that? Hmm, grey shades of rolling fog at first light came to mind. For some reason I am minded of latter stages of butterfly chrysalis which are more beige than gray, but it stuck. Ah! chrysalis = hidey hole, butterfly – monarch. A visual of a monarch butterfly flittering among purple heather appears and three lines quickly emerge:

Among the violet hued heather
As she emerge from her hidey-hole
In ochre gown mirrored in trim of coal

Excellent, two items from the list are scratched off and I have part of the required rhyme for the endling line. Oh, apparently this butterfly is a female – okay.

Next thing to tackle: Goblin. How do I work that bad boy in? Ah, bad boy! Goblin’s has scared the butterfly, threatened her if she comes out. That helminth! Hmm, worm… And my opening lines appear:

Swaddled in the rolling fog
his ragged chemise color of bog
The goblin worm had filled her with fright
Dare she show upon first light

Scratch four more from the list! I go back and forth like this, until I I’m satisfied. I have met the requirements for a glosa and worked in nine of the ten phrases. What’s the hold out? Tea with Florence. Now ‘tea in Florence’ would have inspired an Italian slant, but it’s with Florence, something different. While I had thought of a couple of lines rhyming Florence, it would break the glosa form and I did not want to do that. I go back and read the requirements for the challenge and am reminded that the choices given can also be used for the title. And problem solved, the monarch has a name, and the poem has a title! Let’s meet:

Tea with Florence the Monarch

It’s not highbrow, not winning any awards. I’m just having fun telling a story in verse. It’s not bad for an hour and change worth of work.


Day 22 of 31 – Let’s see how others are slicing it out today…

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge

15th Annual Slice of Life Writing Challenge
Two Writing Teachers

2 thoughts on “The Anatomy of a Challenge

  1. I love following your thought and creative process. I am not familiar with a glosa so thanks for including the links. Coming up with the title as a way to use Tea with Florence was an inspiration.

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