, , ,

On the second Tuesday back after the break, it’s Kim of writinginnorthnorfolk.com welcoming you to Tuesday Poetics.

Verbs, also known as ‘doing’ or ‘action’ words, are the muscles of poetry. They give a poem motion, power and tone. According to The Poetry School, we should avoid flabby ones, which include clichéd verbs, unnecessary adverbs and the continuous (-ing) form, which makes verbs passive.

It has become quite a thing to turn nouns and adjectives into verbs – we’ve all done it here at dVerse. But how about using verbs in unexpected contexts? Ted Hughes does this in his poem ‘Hawk in the Rain’ and a good example is when the wind ‘Thumbs my eyes, throws my breath, tackles my heart, / And rain hacks my head’.

Here’s the poem:

The Hawk In The Rain by Ted Hughes

I drown in the drumming ploughland, I drag up
Heel after heel from the swallowing of the earth’s mouth,
From clay that clutches my each step to the ankle
With the habit of the dogged grave, but the hawk

Effortlessly at height hangs his still eye.
His wings hold all creation in a weightless quiet,
Steady as a hallucination in the streaming air.
While banging wind kills these stubborn hedges,

Thumbs my eyes, throws my breath, tackles my heart,
And rain hacks my head to the bone, the hawk hangs,
The diamond point of will that polestars
The sea drowner’s endurance: And I,

Bloodily grabbed dazed last-moment-counting
Morsel in the earth’s mouth, strain to the master-
Fulcrum of violence where the hawk hangs still.
That maybe in his own time meets the weather

Coming the wrong way, suffers the air, hurled upside-down,
Fall from his eye, the ponderous shires crash on him,
The horizon trap him; the round angelic eye
Smashed, mix his heart’s blood with the mire of the land.

The Hawk in the Rain


The challenge is to write a poem, of any length or form, not about an animal or bird, but about a landscape, using verbs in unexpected contexts. I don’t want to see any nouns or adjectives turned into verbs, but verbs doing their job, flexing their muscles, moving your poems across your chosen landscapes.

If you are new, here’s how to join in:

  • Write a poem in response to the challenge;
  • Enter a link directly to your poem and your name by clicking Mr Linky below;
  • There you will find links to other poets, and more will join so check back to see more poems;
  • Read and comment on other poet’s work, we all come here to have our poems read;
  • Please link back to dVerse from your site/blog;
  • Comment and participate in our discussion below, if you like.   We are a friendly bunch of poets.
  • Have fun.

I look forward to walking, running, flying, falling or even swimming in your landscapes.