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 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.
Pingback: Seascape with Lighthouse – writing in north norfolk
Good evening intrepid dVerse poets, one and all. Today we will be exploring landscapes by flexing verbs. Thirsty work that requires refreshment. Beer or cider, I think. We have barrels and bottles behind the bar, and there should be fabulous words and imagery to get the conversation going!
Hi Kim! This is quite an interesting prompt. I will be back later to post mine.
I’m looking forward to it, Toni!
Hello Kim and fellow dVersers! 🙂 Love the prompt today…flexing our verbs! A cool gray day in Boston so I’m doing some knitting and look forward to imbibing some good words. I’m feeling a little spice — so perhaps a margarita with a slice of lime?
Coming up, Lillian! We’ll try to brighten up your cool, grey day.
Pingback: Landscape of Summer Flowers – Poetry, Short Prose and Walking
Frank Hubeny said:
Hello, Kim! I hope I did the verbs right with the landscape. Thanks for the prompt!
Thanks for your poem. I’m just about to read – I was busy replying to some comments!
Pingback: Mist creeps – Jane Dougherty Writes
Oh Kim….this is proving to be a wonderful prompt! Have just been reading folks’ posts and the verb flexing is quite obvious. You’ve done some good motivating here 🙂
Thank you, Lillian! Fabulous poems all round, I think! I’ll have to go to bed soon but will be up early to read and comment some more before I go off to talk to a local creative writing group. Then I’m meeting two very dear ex-colleagues for lunch at a Felbrigg Hall, a local National Trust estate. I’m so looking forward to a few hours out and about. 🙂
Well, it’s my bedtime, so I’ll be off for now. But I’ll be back early in the morning to read and comment on more fantastic poems with verbs in unusual contexts. Nightly bye!
Hey all! I’m learning to explore my emotional landscape, so quite excited by this prompt, thanks for offering it. My title is a play on an ancient Rolling Stones song, and the poem is informed by Bjork. I hope you like it, I feel there is more in the idea then what came out…
I love the idea of exploring the emotional landscape, Eric. I’ve just got up so I’ll be over to read it shortly.
Victoria C. Slotto said:
I very much enjoy this prompt. Today, I’m dealing with an “issue” but will try for tomorrow or OLN. Thanks, Kim.
i hope everything is OK, Victoria. I look forward to your poem 🙂
Victoria C. Slotto said:
Pingback: FINGER OF GOD (for D’Verse poets) | kiwissoar
Maureen Sudlow said:
struggled with this – off the top of my head…
UP at 5.30 – I’ll be reading and commenting very soon and I look forward to your poem, Maureen 🙂
We have just had torrential rain in Perth, Western Australia, where I am for the moment and it inspired my poem. Not sure if I got it right but it was fun trying.
I’ve just got up and will b e reading in a bit – I look forward to it, Ros!
Pingback: Rooted to Woe | sumanar/lekha
Pingback: Freedom’s Actions | revivedwriter
Pingback: Flexing verbs – for dVerse | fmme writes poems
Ha! There was an article about Devon in literature in Saturday’s guardian. Ted Hughes lived down here for a bit (I’ve followed him round the country…) and there is the best description of Devon damp I’ve ever seen, just tossed out casually in the article. Nice prompt – though my time at dVerse has exposed me to a lot of quirky verbs.
We’re a quirky lot!
Pingback: Londonscape – Tell Tale Therapy
Laura Bloomsbury said:
am a sucker for quirky Thomasesque verbs but have enjoyed both the restraint and the muscle flexing in this marvellous prompt…and Ted Hughes’ mastery of the verb is indeed legend.
I’m glad you enjoyed it, Laura!
Pingback: Violation–dVerse Open Link Night | Victoria C. Slotto, Author
Pingback: Londonscape – PoetryPix