November 8, 2018

Poetry Friday--Introducing the Robin Hood

It's been a crazy year, and I'm so glad that the frenzy of Election Day is over.

I had been particularly bothered by the constant labeling of the media as "fake" or as "the enemy of the people." I thought about how easy it had become to dismiss the watchdog of democracy. Then I thought about what would happen after the press had been devitalized. Would libraries--books--art be targeted next?

In order to distract myself, I played with form. I wanted to write a short poem of hope. A 3-line senyru (haiku form but about human nature) wasn't going to be long enough. I had enjoyed writing a poem using a form that Margaret Simon introduced to us last month called an octaiku (2-4-8-2-4 syllables), but I was looking for slightly more complexity. What I ended up with is something I'm calling a "Robin Hood."

I developed the following rules for a Robin Hood:
subject should be determination, persistence, opposition, survival, etc.

no title

2-4-8-4-2 syllables (the reader should see it as an arrowhead)

punctuation and capitalization is optional
In old Robin Hood movies, Robin showed off his archer prowess by hitting a bullseye and then aiming a second arrow at the same spot. Robin Hood's second arrow was so accurate, it hit the exact same spot as the first, splitting the shaft of the first arrow. That shot became known as a "Robin Hood." I have named my form "Robin Hood," since the arrow of endurance splits the arrow of whatever adversity besets the human heart/natural spirit. Does that make sense to anyone other than me?


Text:

words we
can commit to
memory may be rewritten...
yes, hell will be
survived


Here's one, written on Election Day:

two years...
truth and justice,
empathy, kindness, all but gone
--twenty-eighteen
we vote!



Text:

cold rain
wet fallen leaves
hidden acorns trodden berries
and one cheery
chipmunk

All poems © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved.

Give a Robin Hood a shot (pun intended) and let me know how you do.

It's time to head down to Florida for Michelle's Today's Little Ditty P. F. Round-Up







25 comments:

  1. I'm so excited that my student's invention of a form gave you the inspiration to create one, too. I love the name and its meaning. Definitely will be trying this out. Words can be rewritten! The power of words will never die.

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    1. I think the problem with this form would be to keep the examples of survival fresh.

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  2. Diane, I love the arrow and get it. You're brilliant. xo

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    1. Brilliant? Not so much. A little shiny is all I hope for!

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  3. villains
    reveal themselves
    with willingness to abandon
    rule of law and
    honor

    I like the arrow shape! Very pointed, in more than one way.

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  4. Love the further invention after Margaret's student's idea. Robin Hood takes on heroine status! One of our volunteers at the bookstore is working hard to head to the Olympics in archery, works very hard in her training! Thanks, Diane, inspiring!

    swiftly
    goes the arrow
    takes offense where evil resides
    toxophilite
    prevails

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    Replies
    1. Toxophilite is a great word--sounds insidious, though it's not. Thanks for playing, Linda!

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  5. Great job with these. Totally get it with the arrow. Robin Hood perfection here.

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    1. Thanks, Jama. I'm glad everyone gets the the arrow!

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  6. Well aren't you the inventive one, Diane! And yes, your explanation totally makes sense. Hopefully I'll be back to give it a try for myself. Given my mood, the chipmunk Robin Hood was just what I needed. :)

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    1. Chipmunks are so cute. The weather both real and political won't discourage it (unlike me, when some days both are more than I can stand).

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  7. arrows
    pointed at truth
    miss their mark when voices unite
    (donate to this
    station!)

    I didn't intend to turn this into an NPR pledge drive...but my robin hood had a mind of its own! Thanks for the fun. For some reason I love that your chipmunk arrow points the other way.

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    Replies
    1. Nothing wrong with promoting NPR! I wanted the arrow to point to the little guy, so I justified it right.

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  8. Diane, another new format to try out-congratulations on creating this one. I do like your last i#magepoem with the Robin Hood format. That squirrel is determined for sure. I wrote about scampering squirrels today using background info from Wonderopolis and my noticings outside.

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    1. I would like to showcase this last poem in the Abundant Autumn Gallery. Okay?

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  9. Interesting form you've created, Diane - a perfect length, and the form lends itself to the tight imagery you present. I especially liked that first one!

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    1. I always prefer a short poem to a long one! Writing tight, without losing meaning is an ongoing challenge for me.

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  10. Wow! I love what you've done with the form you created. I look forward to trying it out. We need more determination and persistence and resistance!

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    1. In these times I believe resistance is the key!

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  11. Ha! Well, this "Robyn Hood" is delighted to read these poems, even if I'm late to the party. You are an inspiration as always. (I might have to give it a try when my mental arrows are a bit more sharp.) ;0)

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    1. I know what you mean, my mental arrows are a little rough around edges due to a lingering cold. Two weeks is at least a week too long!

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  12. I got your second arrow keen as it ought to be–splendid new form Diane–had to jump in and try it…
    persist–
    we must always
    fight for truth and democracy
    never give up
    ever!

    Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Michelle, you've done swimmingly! ;-)

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