Hello fellow poets,
The other day found me on the road with a friend pedaling our bicycles across the rolling hills of Wisconsin. During the three day trip we would bomb down the steep hills at over forty miles per hour tires screaming, wind howling and then crawl our way up to the top of the next. Often at the top the reward was a vista of the empty road ahead as far as we could see bisecting the farmed ordered fields on either side.
There is a moment at the top of a hill, when the hint of a cool breeze or the tiniest coast leaves room for reflection. At one crest when I looked at the ensuing miles it hit me:
“The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
This is a verse of a longer poem that I have always enjoyed. There on the hill it became real to me. It is written in eight lines, called an Octet or Octave. There are many forms of the eight lined verse, but this one with eight syllables per line reminds me of the grid of the country roads, an eight by eight perfect square.
So today, your prompt is to write a poem of eight lines, or comprised of eight line stanzas. You can use any eight line form, such as a Triolet or dance anywhere your eight lined muse leads you. If you can include the road or travel, or write a perfect eight by eight square, then that’s fun too.
Oh – if you recall a moment in your life where a verse from a poem jumped out and became real for you, I’d love to hear about that in the comments.
After writing your poem, post your link below. And in the spirit of community, visit others as well.
What to do after you have written:
• Post your poem to your blog
• Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below
• Read and comment on other people’s work to let them know it’s being read
• Share via your favorite social media platforms
• Above all- have fun!
Hello all –
do you have a moment where your surroundings recalled verse to mind ? I’d love to hear it.
The Course of Our Seasons said:
Each spring when the flowers begin to bloom
I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud By William Wordsworth ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud That floats on high o’er vales and hills, When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils…’
One of the first poems I ever memorized – still love it!
Fun prompt – love Bilbo’s verse – will put my thinking cap on and post something this evening.
On my ride along the fox river, I rode past a cluster of wild daffodils so brilliant and bright as to be iridescent – but I didn’t stop to take a picture. I hope they knew I cherished their loveliness at that moment 🙂
Well the posted poem was my surroundings today … and the road is in there ~ just about! And to cap it all we now have a beautiful sunny evening 🙂
I just peeked – yes they don’t sing do they, but the sunny evening – caps a day nicely!
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Hi – there – I just came out from a concert.. I find bicycling a wonderful moment to capture elements of poetry. I remember once when I managed to memorize a complete Villanelle on my way home fro
Across Wisconsin and it’s hills one could memorize Hamlet 🙂 Lonnnnngggggggg – but fun 🙂
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
And yes I weaved some inspirations form “In Flanders Fields” in my poem too..
I saw that, it made the poem softer – it was a nice touch.
Some of the great battlefields, have a solemn beauty to them – we have been to Normandy, Antietam, and Gettysburg – and found them almost meditative in how one is touched.
Bryan Ens said:
You have used as inspiration one of my favourite bits of poetry. Tolkien was a master at both story telling and poetry writing.
kindred spirits 🙂
Bryan – have your surrounding ever called verse to mind ?
Bryan Ens said:
I’m not sure about my surroundings, exactly, but my mom is a painter. My favourite painting of hers (which she was kind enough to give to me and now hangs in my living room) is a picture of a meandering forest path. This painting has often made me think of the very poem that you and I both seem to love so much! 🙂
Oh – you won’t mind if I give you another “almost Tolkienism” we adopted in my family.
We often use “Sleep the sleep of the content, if logs can be content” – as a play on Sam sleeping in the trees of the Golden Wood
Dreadfully morbid but after sitting with some family members wth my grandmother as she died, at the end, she seemed to wake from her unconsciousness, look around, gasp, and died. I immediately recalled these lines from Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock: “Till human voices wake us, and we drown.” The poem has haunted me since when I first read it when I was 11. TS Eliot is one of my favorite poets.
How strong and vivid a memory – I think we are especially sensitive when near others who are dying.
Glenn Buttkus said:
8 line poems certainly do come in a variety. I had trouble with my computer so posted an hour late but I’m here now, Bryan. I chose a triolet, Octive, Ugalino, & a free verse. Lots of paths diverging who knows where out on the trail today.
I’ll be over to check it out Glenn – I think you have the Western Woods in your veins!
you were in Wisconsin… my neck of the woods… hope you had a great time
I love Wisconsin. We rode from Chicago to New Glarus, just outside of Madison.
Madeleine Begun Kane said:
A fun prompt! Thanks!
When I have to make a major decision, one that is life changing, I normally take a walk to think about it ~ Of course the poem that comes to me, is Frost, The Road Not Taken ~
I am hitting the poetry trail now ~ Happy Tuesday and thanks for hosting Bill ~
any many miles before I rest 🙂
🙂 Also, please don’t forget that its OpenLinkNight this Thursday ~ See you ~
Although I can struggle with firms, I enjoyed writing my eight syllable octet.
So glad! I was hoping it would be enjoyable for people.
I never mind taking another try at a triolet. Smiles.
great Mary – adding the rhyme scheme makes the triolet tricky.
HI, Bill. Thanks for the prompt. I am just so glad to be able participate in the Pub’s prompt again.
These days, the poem that comes to mind is Daffodil by William Wordsworth.
Hi Imelda – I’m glad you’re back. Do you have daffodils over there ?
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
Good morning… Yesterday we had a concert so I came home too late. I love what you can say in 8 lines. Many nice poems here,
I thought so too. What music did you enjoy ?
Well.. if it is any indication how much i know about the ‘science’ of poetry;).. i have to look up stanza on Wiki to determine precisely what stanza means in poetry…
I seriously did not want to pursue any of the science of it when i started this creative endeavor.. but…
Anyway.. i hope that means one flowing line that.. in this instance.. exceeds the margins of ‘the paper’.. or i did not do this correct.. i suppose…
But HA!.. live and learn as always.. where there is something new to do…
I am attracted to all paths in life.. so the bicycle trail.. is what ‘hooked’ me into
every day is a good day to learn a new dance ! 🙂
Kathy Reed said:
I also think of Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” more often than not. I like the provacative prompt, Bill, thanks. Will be back in a bit.
thanks Kathy – we all have choices don’t we – more so than we think.
well, a plane is sort of a road, isn’t it? cool prompt, bill ~
I’m a bit late to the party, but finally here! I’ll have to read and comment later…work to do just now! Thanks for the writing prompt, I love it. In fact, it makes me want to travel!
It’s always a good day when you arrive 🙂
Not sure if I followed a particular form for the octet, but I put forth an effort. 🙂
The road is an inspiring theme, so I got a little lost in that. 🙂
Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” is definitely a fav of mine too.
Good Evening – I am a bit late, but I will get around to reading as many as I can.
thanks for stopping by 🙂