The Fourth April! Poetry month 2015 is almost here!

W.H. Auden
W.H. Auden | Source

Wait! Stop! Read On!

I have been participating in Poetry Month Challenges for three years and this year will make my fourth. Each year in April I have challenged myself to write a poem a day. This has changed over the years and last year I included essays. To Break away from just poems was a challenge but the work I created was very rewarding.

I realize that this is only February and there is a month and a half until April. I need to get a foot up this year due to many changes in my life so I am starting to plan now. This means that I will publish a poem here and there but my presence here on Hubpages may not be noticeable for the next month.

If you are one of the few that needs a Jamie poem kick everyonce and awhile I will be coming on strong starting April.

If you are curious about where I have been and where I am going with my poetry please read on.

Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell
Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell | Source

Three Years Ago in April.

Most of the poems I wrote for my first Poetry Month Challenge are no longer published on Hubpages. I have moved them over to a slush pile for rewrite or collection.

This was the year I began again. I had been writing poetry for many years and took place in poetry readings and even joined some memorable poetry groups. My creative process was slow and only a few poems were written at a time and many were lost.

My roommate at the time, Thoughtsandwiches for anyone who remembers, started writing wonderful humorous hubs and got me hooked. We both started writing for Hubpages with a gusto and both of us seemed to find ourselves doing rather well.

Thoughtsandwiches has moved on and makes his living as a freelance online writer. I still work in Research Science, but only for a few months more, and write poems more as a hobby than a career.

Anyway, someone introduced to me the National Poetry Month Writing Challenge that required a poem a day. I was excited and put much time and thought into how I was going to tackle this challenge.

I picked up a book on modern poems that used classic forms and opened the book to the beginning of the Appendices. Quickly I worked my way through all the forms until thirty poems were created and published each day that month.

I considered this my first real education in poetry. Granted I have read many poetry anthologies and many poems but I had never really scanned a poem or thought deeply on the uses of different poetic structures.

This was an incredible time and my poetry was starting to blossom. April ended and I found myself thirty poems ahead. I continued to read more on poetic form and decided to do a little research for each poem written afterward.

A crucial lesson was learned. The primary force behind art and poetry is choice and without knowledge ones choices are limited.

Are you going to read as much poetry as possible this April?

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Donald Hall
Donald Hall | Source

Was there a second year?

My second year took on a whole new outlook. My son Elias was a month away from birth and my wife and I looked into homebirth options for VBAC. We also were looking for a home to buy so we could feel more secure with our growing family.

This was a tiring and rough time. I did not mention that we rented a small house at the foothills of Mt. Rose and had to deal with some extremely difficult weather situations. When it came to poetry I refused to not partake in the Poetry Month Challenge.

This was the year I found a new love in sonnets. I began to write sonnets, (English, Italian, Curtail, Couplet) any type of sonnet I could find. I started a love affair with iambic pentameter, a meter that most frown upon.

This new found love affair with sonnets and iambic pentameter started with a reread of an old Fussel text I had kept next to my bed. I was writing two sonnets a week and quickly filled up a Mead binder.

I was proud of quite a few poems that came out of the challenge that year. Some still remain here on hubpages but most of year two also found its way into a revision stack.

Amy Clampitt
Amy Clampitt | Source

And a Third?

Since I had already challenged myself to thirty poems in thirty days I decided to write poems and essays for my third Poetry Month Challenge.

I started April with an essay on form based on Fussell's book. I truly enjoyed the progress of those thirty hubs and felt that I was pushing the limits and learning so much more.

I have to admit that some of the writing was not the greatest and some could have used a little editorial help but all in all I was proud of my accomplishments.

I want to talk a little about sonnets.

There was a few long poems and a few extras but most of the poems I wrote for the third year were sonnets. I describe in my essay on Fussell how there is a chapter dedicated to the art of the sonnet.

An amazing form, the sonnet, within the fourteen lines of a classical English or Italian sonnet there is a change of ideas, a question and answer period, a purposeful addition of drama, and a multitude of choices to make.

The structure is almost purely mathematical in nature. What? You may ask. Mathematical in nature? Well, the first eight lines are usually two quatrains that delineate the idea that changes, the question to answer, or a lead up to drama.

Then the sonnet ends with a sestet, mostly Petrarchan sonnets end this way but not always. The ending sestet explains the idea in detail, answers the question, opens the drama of the poem.

So where does math fit in? The 4+4 of the dual quatrains give the perfect amount of time to deliver and the sestet can be broken in to 3+3 for a more in depth discussion of ideas, answers, or drama.

Let's look at meter. Iambic Pentameter is the common meter of sonnets. Contemporary poetry seems to frown on the sing song nature of iambic feet, but having a firm grasp on the sound that iambic pentameter creates will help to develop an ear for sound when writing other poems.

Also, I feel that in the past, sonnets were written in iambs primarily but for contemporary poetry it is important to know that the writer has the freedom to play with other sounds and other feet that fit within the pentameter.

When you look at the whole picture. Sonnets contain a wealth of information on how to make drama work within a poetic frame and how to work sound and beat into your poems.

It is time to move on.

Here it comes!

Well this takes us to this year. Once again I plan on writing essays and poetry and hope to publish one a day throughout the month. I am excited and hope to see your comments.

We all need to support all the poets here on Hubpages in April and I hope that everyone will take the time to read some of the wonderful poems.

Here is a list of some of my favorite poets here on Hubpages, if I have left anyone out please let me know:






Gypsy Rose Lee




Romeos Quill



Eric Flynn




Dream On

Deborah Brooks


Shyron E. Shenko



Sara Sarwan Riaz



See you in April!

More by this Author


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

If you can commit to writing it, the least I can do is commit to reading it. Good luck with the challenge. I look forward to the treats that await me.

cam8510 profile image

cam8510 2 years ago from Colorado Springs, CO until the end of March

Jamie, I look forward to supporting you and many other poets in April. Great job educating yourself on the various kinds of poetry.

jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV Author

Thanks Bill and thanks cam8510 I hope you have a great weekend. Jamie

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Looking forward to it--Not sure if I will be writing for it or not. I will be deep in rehearsals and I too am trying to get some other pieces published--

manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Nellieanna is totally awesome! Audrey I see that you've got, and Deergha sometimes writes some truly inspired ones. I would like to see more of Sara Sarwar Riaz, still fairly new but with tremendous potential. There are one or two more, but by and large you've covered some great ones.

Looking forward to your April collection. Peace, Bro. Say Hi to Elias and Hannah plus.

jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV Author

Audrey thank you I hope you have a great weekend. Jamie

Manatita44, how could I forget those you have mentioned. Thank you. Jamie

profile image

Smilealot 2 years ago

I'm looking forward to reading and supporting your work in April Jamie. To get 30 poems out in 30 days is some achievement. Thank you for this overview of your Hubpages journey through the April poetry months, it is a very inspiring story.

jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV Author

Your welcome smilealot, I hope you are well. Jamie

radhikasree profile image

radhikasree 2 years ago from Mumbai,India

Poem writing itself is a challenge for me. I spend hours and hours for rhyming lines and words and if I don't get satisfied, I stop crafting it. Taking poetry challenge for a month is definitely a great venture and I wish you all the best.

Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

I enjoyed reading of your approach to poetry month Jamie, and I will be sure to read your poems and support you. I have been writing about one hub a week recently, but I too will attempt to write one poem each day during April. That's myintention but whether I succeed time will tell. Thanks for the mention among your favourites. I am not skilled technically, but do my thing. You included all my favourites as well.

daydreamer13 profile image

daydreamer13 2 years ago

Poetry is beautiful and in most places a lost art. I commend anyone who has an interest in it and a big BRAVO to you for writing it.

jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV Author

I am excited to see your comments throughout April and appreciate you taking the time to read my little intro. Jamie

annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

I shall be looking out for your poetry, Jamie.

I enjoy reading it and I enjoy writing it too.

Not sure that our poetry month coincides with yours but that doesn't matter; the more the merrier!

Thanks for reminding us and bringing poetry to the fore.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV Author

Thank you Ann. I am kinda of fond of April, there is something about Easter that brings a month of poetry together. Especially with the children and candy. I am excited and have already built a skeleton plan on how to make it work. Jamie

Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, I love Poetry Month and I look forward to reading all of the poems you publish! When I first joined HP, it was during Poetry Month, and I had no clue, but just thought there were so many wonderful poets. Thank you for sharing your life's experiences and process in writing poetry.

God bless you and yours always

jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV Author

I am so glad to hear from you Faith, I hope you are well. Jamie

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago

Jamie, Thank you for all the information about poetry. I love your work and look forward to April but I hope you publish more before April.

I have missed you my friend. I am so honored that you mentioned me here, thank you.

Blessings and hugs


jhamann profile image

jhamann 24 months ago from Reno NV Author

Thank you Shyron, I can't seem to get your poem on Advocacy out of my mind. I hope you are doing well. Jamie

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 24 months ago from California

Are you saving up your poetry until then?? I don't know if I have it in me this year

jhamann profile image

jhamann 24 months ago from Reno NV Author

Audrey - I do cheat a little, I have a few long poems that I want to finish so I can mix some long with short and the essays need to have pictures and videos placed so that all I have to do is write. I kinda have a plan of about 20 in a sorta template format so when the month begins I can hit the road running and really only have to worry about the writing. I worry I don't have it in me everyday, not just my writing but everything. But keeping going is what brings me joy in the end. I would be happy to only read a few if you had a few in you. I feel kinda silly because the working poets here on hubpages publish poetry all the time whether it is April or not and really that is much more impressive to me. Jamie

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 24 months ago from California

When I look back at some of what I have published here during April's marathon, I cringe sometimes--I feel like I need a different approach somehow--

jhamann profile image

jhamann 24 months ago from Reno NV Author

Audrey, I cringe all the time at my old stuff, even my new stuff. Sometimes I am so hasty to express myself. I really am pretty hard on myself(so my therapist says). But I keep telling myself just move to the next till later I gotta get these words out. Poetry is really emotionally taxing and not an art for the weak. This being said good or bad it will all be in your "collected poems" soon I know. Jamie

jhamann profile image

jhamann 24 months ago from Reno NV Author

This being said maybe I can offer some help. Maybe you can think of a conversation you want to have with the reader and have each poem be the dialogue. Maybe try mixing stream of consciousness with more formal like you body talking. Just a random thought. I am happy we are talking about this it is very illuminating. Thank you. Jamie

jhamann profile image

jhamann 24 months ago from Reno NV Author

Wait I got another idea maybe pre write sentence prompts for everyday and then free flow when the day arrives. I better calm down here

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 24 months ago from California

You crack me up! I like the prompt idea! Or having different parts of my body talk to each other--or an extended dialogue between lovers??

jhamann profile image

jhamann 24 months ago from Reno NV Author

I can't wait to see what you create! Jamie

ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 23 months ago from North Carolina


What can I say?

You sir, as you have so many other times-

just made my day.


I received my 2015 poster

celebrating National Poetry Month -

April's introduction to the poetic roller coaster:

"Ink runs

from the corners

of my mouth.

There is no happiness

like mine.


have been eating


-excerpted from Collected Poems by Mark Strand

I hope I can take on the April (one poem a day) Challenge. I know it would be good for me, and would be an opportunity for growth.


You are not just an awesome poet/writer, you are someone very special. I think lots of folks have at some point in their educations heard about iambic pentameter; but, I do not know of very many who understand the deeper meaning which you have so wonderfully described in this hub.

My Dear Friend: You Rock!

Blessings, Votes, Shares and Pins


CrisSp profile image

CrisSp 23 months ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

Goodluck and yes, you can count on my support my fellow poet/writer!

Like you, my creative process is really slow these days or maybe just lacking some motivations (as always). So, thank you for the inspirations, motivations and further knowledges.

Also, I remember thoughtsandwiches, I used to follow him.

Voted up and across on this.

jhamann profile image

jhamann 23 months ago from Reno NV Author

Thank you Kim for your support. Love the Mark Strand Poem on the poster this year. Even if you can't get out thirty I hope a few new ones. Jamie

Thank you CrisSp, I am very grateful for your support I can't wait to see what is created. Jamie

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 23 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Jaime - What a great essay - all about the three previous Poetry Challenges and you gave us an education in the sonnet structure and how to use iambic pentameter. I admire your discipline and dedication.

I don't see how I could ever manage it.....unless maybe they were all Fibonacci poems. You know 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, and so forth. Usually those poems provide an image, emotion, whereas other poems which are longer tell a story. Having a bunch of prompts is a good idea as well.

Well I am seriously thinking about it now. Loved the conversation you had with Audrey in the comments section. I am off to try to write a Fibonacci… Take care. Theresa

PS How are your courses going? How much longer before you get your degree?

jhamann profile image

jhamann 23 months ago from Reno NV Author

Theresa-it is so good to hear from you this morning. The last couple days have been pretty hard for me, trouble at work, trouble at home. The kids are well and happy though and these days will pass with time. Fibonacci is such a great form and you have a really great grip on it's essentials. The form itself reminds me of the fluidity of the Universe. School is good I am almost finished with my second semester and will be testing in May for an interview in the spring and hopefully a full time High School job in the Fall. I still have two semesters to finish the first half of my Masters and then after that I have to do my Master's Thesis business. But I love school and I am excited to work as a teacher. I will keep you updated. Jamie

phdast7 profile image

phdast7 23 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Such good news Jamie. Isn't it funny? So many people dislike, even hate school, and we love it. :) Testing in May. I will be thinking good thoughts and praying for a job in the Fall. And I will be reading the Poetry Month entries. :) Blessings. Theresa

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 23 months ago from California

Hi Jamie--I am hoping to hang in there this year! Can't wait to read everyone's work--

jhamann profile image

jhamann 23 months ago from Reno NV Author

Audrey-Started this month with a little Whitman "Songs of Myself" imitaition. I don't know if it went over too well. I have doubts about it. But the beautiful thing is I have 29 to go and one has to go over better. Jamie

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 23 months ago from California

I'll have to look for it--when I looked last, it wasn't up yet

suzettenaples profile image

suzettenaples 23 months ago from Taos, NM

I will be reading your poetry, Jamie. You are a fine student of poetry and what poetry of yours I have read is always well done. See you in April!

Venkatachari M profile image

Venkatachari M 23 months ago from Hyderabad, India

Very exciting to read. I love poetry and music, even though I can't write poetry. I enjoy it very much and eagerly wait for you.

jhamann profile image

jhamann 23 months ago from Reno NV Author

Thank you suzettenaples and Venkatachari M for taking the time to enjoy my poetry this month. It is going to be an exciting month! Jamie

Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 23 months ago

Jamie, I love that you are continuing April's poetry month. I have a lot going on, but plan to jump into an April poem ASAP.

Blessings and Hugs dear friend


jhamann profile image

jhamann 23 months ago from Reno NV Author

Thank you Shyron, it is so good to hear from you. Whatever you create I will certainly enjoy. I hope you are well. Jamie

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