Writing & Reading Poems

What kind of poetry do YOU enjoy reading?  Writing?

Today I am posting a few of my poems for you to enjoy–along with a few written by others.

Short Forms First!

I like short forms of poetry–like the Shadorma, a Spanish poetic form made up of a stanza of six lines (sestet) with no set rhyme scheme. It is a syllabic poem with a meter of 3/5/3/3/7/5. It can have many stanzas, as long as each follows the meter. Little is known about this poetic style’s origins and history but it is used by many modern poets today. This variation of the haiku, which is evident by its syllable pattern, can been seen in use in many writing venues. An example follows each line in parentheses.*

Here’s one I wrote as I flew over Nepal towards India a few years back. The view was magnificent as we flew 36,000 feet above earth, and to view these mountain tops from the comfort and safety of my plane window seem surreal to me at the time. A Shadorma poem was born as I scribbled words hastily into my journal to capture my awe!

The Majestic Himalayas

The Majestic Himalayas–Photo by Linda K. Bridges

Monuments to God

There they stand! (3 syllables)
High above all else; (5 syllables)
Snow-capped, stark, (3 syllables)
Unchanging.   (3 syllables)
Grandeur and beauty is theirs—(7 syllables)
Monuments to God.  (5 syllables)

Majestic! (3 syllables)
Himalayan Range.  (5 syllables)
Sentinels (3 syllables)
Guarding earth—(3 syllables)
Creation on wild display– (7 syllables)
Awaiting Christ’s return.  (5 syllables)

Another, even shorter poetic form I like to play around with is the Japanese haiku.

The haiku is a verse in three lines. Line one has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables and line three has 5 syllables. Haiku is a mood poem and it doesn’t use any metaphors or similes. Usually when Haiku is taught the students are only given the restriction of the number of lines and syllables. It is often about nature and has one word to indicate what season it is about. Haiku can be written as stanzas–or as a single, stand alone poem of 3 lines.

I wrote the following Haiku in January on a gray winter’s morning.  Biting wind and snow forced me to tuck my head deeper into my coat and scarf just as a  Colorado storm hit. Then I saw it! The lone tree, with its bare branches swaying stiffly, frozen by the gusts of wind and snow flurries. For a few brief moments I felt pity for its dormant state.  I composed the following Haiku on my way home in the car–quoting it into my iPhone recorder–lest I forget the mood of that  lone tree standing in the bleakness of this winter’s day. Later, in the warmth of my studio, I made a quick water color, and pen and ink sketch in my sketchbook. What fun!

Unrelenting Cold-a Haiku

Unrelenting Cold-a Haiku Poem


Poetry is a wonderful language all its own!

Laurence Perrine in his book, Sound and Sense, An Introduction to Poetry says that “Poetry is as universal as language, and almost as ancient. The most primitive peoples have used it, and the most civilized have cultivated it. In all ages and in all countries, poetry has been written–and eagerly read or listened to–by all kinds and conditions of people–by soldiers, statesmen, lawyers, farmers, doctors, scientists, clergymen, philosophers, kings, and queens.. . . Initially, poetry might be defined as a kind of language that says more and says it more intensely than does ordinary language.”

People read poetry because it is enjoyable. It evokes emotions–and sends us on  journeys in our minds to find those places again and again. It can take us into the future or to some place we’ve never been before–a mental vacation of sorts. A poem can make us smile, cry, gasp, or even long after something long lost; or better still, awaken a hunger for a deeper meaning, vision, love–what ever. A poem can stir our longings to reunite with our Creator, prompt us to cry out to Him–as happens in Will Armand’s little collection of personal poetic reflections titled, “When Prayer Became Embrace.”

To make a poem,
you have to believe.
You have to feel
that the rough hew
of verbs are sticks
and to believe
that nouns are stones
and that always
words can hurt.

To make a poem,
you have to believe
that the letters
from a child’s box
of Alphabet Cereal
can tumble down
like acrobats
for a birthday wish
to come true.

You have to believe
that sentences
may arrange themselves
to heat the homeless,
caress the loveless
heal the lame.
That your words alone—
forged in solitude—
will one day
answer a prayer
for the lost at sea.

And finally,
to make a poem
you have to believe
that while
the sum of human knowledge
doubles every three years,
the human heart is tender,
fragile, and ever so human.

In closing, here’s a very short poem from the April 2014 edition of Poetry While You Wait, a publication of Pikes Peak Poet Laureate. (http://ppld.org/pikespeakpoetlaureateproject) I hope you pick up a poem and read it today!  Read it twice and share it with a friend! Just for fun.

“Feed me a poem,

Then send me home

. . . less hungry.”


Thank you for dropping by my post today. Come again soon.






*Read more: How to Write a Shadorma | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2331212_write-shadorma.html#ixzz13iXsoKpD

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