October 5, 2018

Poetry Friday--Happy Octopus Month!

Earlier this week Poetry Friday regular, Irene Latham, published a new book titled Love, Agnes: Postcards from an Octopus. On her blog, Irene declared October to be Octopus month and she solicited octopus poems and art from her readers. I sent Irene an illustrated cherita, which may make an appearance at Live Your Poem sometime soon.

I found that writing an octopus poem was fun, so I wrote two more!

Last Friday, Margaret at Reflections on the Teche celebrated the publication of Irene's new book by having her students write octopus poems. One student, Madison, even created a new form, the Octaiku. Madison explains:
"An Octopus form, or, as I like to call it, a Octaiku (A combination of Octopus and Haiku.) The form is 2, 4, 8, 2, 4 because 2 and 4 can go evenly into 8."
I tried my hand at an Octaiku and here is the result:


© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Original image from The World Book: Organized Knowledge in Story and Picture (1917).

Text:

she dwells
in the deep this
creature of agility and
mistress
of disguises

I took the liberty of disguising my octopus in rather funky camouflage!



© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Original image from "Guide leaflet" (1901) of the American Museum of Natural History (1917).

Text:

Deep Sea Plural

Our language is a puzzle,
this I can't deny.
Is more than one cephalopod
octopuses or octopi?

I'm a big fan of a book by Sy Montgomery, The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration into the Wonder of Consciousness. In it, she tells us the plural of octopus is octopuses, and that's good enough for me. My online Merriam-Webster, though, lists octopuses as well as octopi AND octopodes.

Head over to The Opposite of Indifference where Tabatha is holding the Round-Up today.





22 comments:

  1. Oh, this is wonderful! I love the octiku form. I meant to give that a try....need to get on it.

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  2. I'm glad you like it, Linda. Give it a try!

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  3. I love this! Mistress of disguises indeed! Thanks for sharing. I've been mulling over Irene's challenge as well... thanks for reminding me to get on that!

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    1. Well, the month is still young, but time definitely gets away from us.

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  4. Your blog is always an inspiration and delight, Diane - and today is no exception. But how wonderful that you were first inspired ... by a student! Loving the octaiku. Must try one!

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    1. I enjoyed writing the octaiku and I have another one ready to go for Happy Haiga Day! on Sunday. But, it's not about an octopus!

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  5. I can't wait to tell Madison that you used her new form to write an octopus poem. Your image is striking. Octopus poems have been fun to write.

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    1. I don't write my haiku with a fixed syllable count. But, I thought the exercise in writing this form 2-4-8-2-4 was a nice change/stretch. Tell Madison I said, "Thanks!"

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  6. Madison's clever idea, that Octaiku, works perfectly for you, Diane. Love that "mistress of disguises". As I read about octopuses after Irene's challenge, I was amazed at the many ways they do hide, can move into small places for survival. Love your turn of phrase with the 2nd one, too. I did think it was 'octopi' until Irene's post.

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    1. If you get a chance, please read The Soul of an Octopus. You will be further amazed!

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  7. Both poems are fun! Octopodes...hmmm, never heard of that one!

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    1. Neither have I--now I'll have to be on the lookout for it.

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  8. Fun octaiku--and I hope Margaret's student finds out how her form is spreading! (I have always said octopi, but have no idea why.)

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  9. Love the new form. These octopus poems are great fun. Love the images you chose too.

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    1. The very old illustrations are fun to tweak, and, since they are in the public domain, I can do it abandon.

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  10. Both of these are so much fun. I love the "dwells in darkness”and "mistress of disguises”

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    1. I had originally written "master of disguise," but, it is a rather over utilized term. Then I realized a lady octopus would be a mistress--it's just enough of a change to be effective.

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  11. What an enchanting octopus creature and Octaiku you matched her with-both are charming and mysterious… I like your second octopod poem too–for "Our language is" definitely "a puzzle," thanks Diane!

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  12. I love both these poems--and learning more about octopuses. They are such fascinating creatures.

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  13. "Mistress of disguises" <3 Love that image, too.

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  14. Very fun! Love the new form and your pondering about plurals.

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