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Mix'n'MatchAnniversaries are great times both for looking back over the year past and for looking forward to what lies ahead. My wife and I have just celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary. As we look back over those 18 years, not everything has worked out the way that we hoped it would, but there have also been some really great surprises along the way too. We don’t know exactly what lies ahead of us, but we do know that we want to face it together.

Thursday at dVerse can be like that; not everything works out the way we hoped, but there are also some fabulous surprises too, as poets across the world rise to Meet the Bar or to try out a poetry Form that they might never even have heard of, let alone written.

Each week a member of the team, or a guest host, researches an area of the craft of poetry, then presents their findings to us and invites us to give it a go ourselves. It might seem quite intimidating for some; it might seem that the team members are all experts in poetry (I’m not, even if the others are … smiles), but the idea is really to encourage our community of poets to tap into their poetic potential in ways that they might not have considered. In other words, the process is more important than the product.

One less pleasant aspect of anniversaries, of looking back, can be realising how many opportunities to do something special we’ve missed because we were too tired, because that day we were not inspired, or just not in a good place in our lives. Quite often these are one-chance-only opportunities; if you miss them then they’re gone forever.

Things at the dVerse pub are different. At this bar, we have a poetry library … smiles. All the previous Form for All and Meeting the Bar articles are still available for you to read, and to respond to if you wish. Just because the Linky has expired, doesn’t mean that you can’t take on the challenge at some later date. And today, that’s what we’re encouraging you to do; to look back over the past year’s MTB and FFA posts and try something new. To make it easier, here’s a list of the past year’s prompts, each linked to the appropriate article:

Meeting the Bar Prompts

Impressionistic Writing
Writing Characters
Beautiful Solitude
Postmodern (Prose)
Steampunk and Enjambment–Huh?
Postmodern (High/Low Art)
Literary Allusion
Erasure Poetry
Writing in the Second Person
Postmodern (Experimental)
The Medium is the Message
Mining the Memory
Graffiti Poetry
Oh, the Places we Live!
Negative Capability
Just Say What You Don’t Mean: Irony
The Unfathomable
Your Voice–Let’s Hear It!
Volition & Velleity
Synesthesia–Sensory Confusion, or…?

Form For All Prompts

On Tritinas
Basic Sonnet Forms
Collage and the Art of the Cento
The Englyn
Physics and the Art of the Villanelle
Than Bauk
Giving Thanks (Acrostic Poems)
The Kyrielle
La Lune (Kelly Lunes and Collum Lunes)
David James’ Karousels and Weaves
On Ghazals and the Ghazal Sonnet
The Poet’s Toolbox
On Midwinter, Magic Realism, and a Trireme Sonnet
The Cinquain
The Librarian, the Poet, and the Snowblower (The Miltonian/Miltonic Sonnet)
From Out of Asia (The Sijo)
Terza Rima and the Terza Rima Sonnet
Paying Tribute, Page and the Glosa
Dada: Poems with scissors
The Rondelet
The Princess’ Poem to her Secret Love (The Sedonka)
Bang, Bang, Bang – Crash! (Old English/Norse Poetry)

Preparing those lists has been a real eye-opener for me for three reasons; first, I hadn’t realised just how many of these prompts I have missed; second, I have a whole new appreciation of just how much work the Meeting the Bar/Form For All team have put in over the past year; and third, seeing these lists (equivalent ones could be produced for the year 2011-12) makes me realise what a rich library of poetry resources we are gathering at the dVerse pub.

So, what is today’s prompt? Well, you have some choices:

i) Looking over the lists above, most of us will see at least one prompt that we didn’t write for. Maybe today is the day for you to rise to that challenge.

ii) Perhaps you can see a favourite prompt here, one that you wanted to go back to and have another go at. Today is an opportunity for you to do just that. However …

iii) Thursday is lab-day – a day to experiment and try out new ideas or combinations of ideas. And that’s what I’d like to encourage you to do – to combine ideas by taking one of the Meeting the Bar prompts and one of the Form prompts and writing a new poem that meets both prompts. You might write a trireme sonnet about the place where you live; you might want to try your hand at an impressionistic quatern or kyrielle; maybe you want to invent the steampunk sijo: it’s really up to you … smiles.

Last, but by no means least, I think it is appropriate to thank the whole Meeting the Bar/Form for All team for all that they have contributed to the dVerse Pub. Without their efforts, I would know much less about the craft of poetry than I do, and my own writing would definitely be much poorer for that. So huge thanks go to Gay Cannon, Victoria Ceretto-Slotto, Anna Chamberlain, Charles Miller, Sam Peralta, Claudia Schönfeld and the guest hosts whom they have brought to the bar. Thank you, one and all – and here’s to the year ahead.

So what do you do now?
• Write your poem and post it to your blog.
• Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below.
• This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog URL and entered your name, click Submit. Don’t worry if you don’t see your name right away.
• Please do read and comment on other people’s work to let them know it’s being read.
• Share your work and that of your fellow poets via your favourite social media platforms.
• Above all – have fun!