Old Fashioned Method Of Viewing Eclipse Of Sun Using Paper Occasion, Event, and Ritual Poetry Forms

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Occasion, Event, and Ritual Poetry Forms

“Ooooooo. Aaaaahhh,” my kids exclaim as we head to the Habitat for Humanity thrift store with our donation of gently used clothing. Twinkling lights decorate the houses like baubles, and figures of Santa, his reindeer, and lightly decorated trees decorate the front yards. Some streets look like they were mistaken for New York or Las Vegas, they have so much light, but Florida has to somehow compensate for the lack of snow.

The December holidays are upon us and they bring many events, rituals and events depending on your family’s culture and traditions. I thought this is the perfect time to describe these types of poems and forms of poetry.

Sometimes poetry

More than a form of poetry, ‘occasional poems’ document an event. While they are often written about special occasions, like weddings and birthdays, they can also be about winning a contest or making cookies with grandma.

BRIEF HISTORY

As long as there were times, there were also poems. Whenever you look at the written language and literature of a culture in history, you will probably find that someone wrote a poem about an event.

MUST HAVES

–Write about an event, that is.

Can There Be or What is the Poet’s Choice in All This?

–Any form (or no particular form) just follow the form rules if you use one.

–Any rhyme (or no rhyme), unless a form is used, then you follow the rhyme of that form.

–Any meter (or specified meter) unless a form is used, then you follow the measure required for that form.

–Length can be long or short. However, if you use a form, that form may specify the length.

Ritual Poem

At first glance, a ritual poem may seem like an occasional poem. We have special things that we do every morning and night that are ritualistic in nature. A ritual poem is very spiritual indeed; a way to connect with your God.

BRIEF HISTORY

Like the ritual poetry above, ritual poetry is as old as sacred rituals, and can be found in many places.

MUST HAVES

There are two versions of the ritual poem. One is to simply mention a ritual, something spiritual, or a sacred place. The second is as a list of ritual instructions. Handbook of Teachers and Writers of Poetic Forms includes a fantastic modern example of this type of poem, as well as a list of instructions. Here is that part:

Inspired by a recent retreat, a student wrote this ritual poem:

Eclipse Ritual

1. Turn off the lights and hand out paper moons to everyone.

2. Show your face like the sun and give him the moon.

3. Say DARK DARK DARK DARK and close your eyes.

4. It’s called the DISTRIBUTION OF THE PRIZE.

5. Then blend in by wearing dark clothes.

Here are a few things to remember when writing this type of ritual poem:

1. Decide what you want to happen.

2. Examine all aspects of the subject.

3. Think of activities to illustrate some of these aspects.

4. Write each task as a command.

5. Count the order.

6. Let yourself go.

(Padgett 157)

Can There Be or What is the Poet’s Choice in All This?

As you can see with the example above, you don’t have to write a religious ritual if you don’t want to, however, you will want to choose a moment that might convey a spiritual feeling.

Event poetry

Event poetry is another form of poetry that is a numerical list. In ritual poetry, there is some kind of ritual involved. However, an event poem does not appear to be an event.

BRIEF HISTORY

“Event poems emerged in the late 1950s, along with the art form called ‘Event.'” In fact, an event poem can be seen as the written equivalent of an Incident” (Padgett 74). Events were unplanned games, where strange things happened. Event poetry takes an ordinary object and lists extraordinary things to do with it.

MUST HAVES

–Something that is written.

–Starting lines with verbs. Without the verbs of being (he, im, in, was, were, etc.). Only action here!

— At least three lines.

–Something you would normally do or not do with the subject of the poem.

An example from my favorite book of poetic forms:

Pineapple event poem

1. On a cold winter day, cut a pineapple in half and wear both halves as earplugs.

2. Cut the skins of 100 pineapples and put them under the ground like sticks.

3. Cut five small round lozenges on the skin of the pineapple and sew them as buttons on your jacket.

4. Look at the pineapple. It looks like the torch of the Statue of Liberty.

5. Feel the pineapple. It feels like a suede sneaker on an oversized child’s foot.

(Padgett 75)

Can There Be or What is the Poet’s Choice in All This?

–Everything.

–Any length longer than 3 lines.

–Rhyme or not (although most don’t).

PLEASE READ

Try using this type of poetry as a way to practice your creative thinking, or a fun way to beat writer’s block.

Reference Notes:

Padgett, Ron. Handbook of Teachers and Writers of Poetic Forms. 2nd NY: T & W Books, 2000.

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