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Spring: a poetry exercise

Updated on June 13, 2010

Spring I

The following is an exercise in which I have written the same poem in two different forms: the first example is in free verse and the second is in rhyming form.


Icy tendrils
clinging to
shivering bark
melt away
with the
morning
sun

Running

where
purple crocus
peek
through softened earth
their roots
unbound

Rain
coasts
down
new
blades of
grass
and
yawning breezes
scatter
watery
pearls

The
frigid winter
soon
recoils
and lies in wait
for yet
another
year

Spring II

Chasing the icy stragglers away

that cling to the shivering bark,

She laughs and flirts

And beckons the sun to join as she looks for the lark


Inviting the buds of purple and red

To push through the wintry ground,

She bids the sun

Help soften the earth and leave their roots unbound


As rain coasts down bare twigs of brown

And chases the dismal snow

The yawning breezes stretching wide

Scatter the water below


The sun is warm, the wind still chill

But glint of green is seen

Spring's wispy re-awakening

Has tamed the frigid queen


*And yet the widow still laments

As springtime exhibits her mirth

And winter recedes, not wanting to,

Recoiling with spring's rebirth


* ref: Widow's Lament in Springtime by William Carlos Williams

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    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      8 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      I know...about writing poetry. I was caught up in something for the past year that took me away from my writing, especially my poetry. I have to be in a certain "open and free" mental state for poetry. I thought my life would be changing radically by now, but have had to regroup and stay where I am (physically & mentally) for a while longer.

      Thanks for the encouragement....really appreciate it.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 

      8 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      Free Verse is my choice of the two here. I found it far more visual. You don't write (or publish here) enough poetry... it is a pleasure to enjoy your talent. Thanks for sharing.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks Gigi, so glad you enjoyed both poems. Good luck with your free verse writing. It's quite a challenge, after writing poetry that rhymes.

    • Gigi2 profile image

      Gigi2 

      9 years ago from UK

      I normally prefer rhyming poetry, but I couldn't choose between your two versions of this lovely poem. Both are evocative and summon up, for me, a perfect image of spring. I love the picture. I have only just started writing poetry, using rhyme, I am keen to try free verse. Thank you for the wisdom and motivation.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Shalini, Thanks for comments. Interesting...what you said about the differences in the two poems...how each elicits different responses and feelings, although they are basically about the same thing. Amazing what words can do, as we play around with them.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks, Tony, glad you liked the poems. I'm beginning to like free verse better too, now that I'm getting used to writing it.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      Wonderful - both of them! And yet, as I read them, they evoked slightly different visuals in my mind's eye - the first more powerful, the second more laid back.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      Alek - lovely poems! Like the first one better. Have to confess to a slight bias towards blank verse.

      Thanks for sharing these two poems.

      Love and peace

      Tony

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Wow! Thanks for the great comment.

    • LeonJane profile image

      LeonJane 

      9 years ago from Australia

      Great idea and both poems are brilliant!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Where will you be? Do you go every year? I'm headed to Austin Texas soon. I know it'll be hot as hell there. But that's okay, my baby daughter's there. I say baby, but she's in her 50s.

      BTW, glad you like my poetry. Guess we have a mutual admiration thing going here.

    • profile image

      ralwus 

      9 years ago

      shades of Frost! I really like it girl. You're pretty good at this stuff, ya know? I could feel the bark shiver, it's doing that now, here. Dam, I need some warmth. LOL thanks for the condolences, much love, Charlie, Will be heading south in two days now, warmer there, I hope.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks, Peggy, for commenting. Seems like the free verse is winning.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      I liked both but the free form verse was my favorite. Nice job!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thank you for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed the poem

    • thevoice profile image

      thevoice 

      9 years ago from carthage ill

      terrific hub poem its first rate work thanks

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks for the comment. Funny coincidence...I too am a musician...masters in voice from the Chicago Musical College...was a jazz singer in a past life. And I also lean towards rhyming, having written many charts and songs in the past. I am very rhythmically oriented and have a hard time controlling the flow of rhyme and rhythm in my poetry.

      I only recently, past year or so, started writing free verse. I really had to work on it at first. It was quite a challenge. But I seem to have found the rhythm and flow in various combinations of words that don't rhythm, and I think I'm getting the hang of it.

      You should try it. You'ld probably be good at it.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      9 years ago from Washington

      Very interesting and a good learning tool. I lean more towards rhyming but think that is the musician part of me; I agree free verse appears to be more popular but I cannot seem to stop rhyming once I get started. If I write a poem I generally rhyme conversations even for days afterward. I need more practice with free verse. Great hub!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks, Billy. Glad you liked the imagery...that's what I was striving for.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 

      9 years ago

      I really enjoyed the poems - yes you could visualize nicely.

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks, VS, for really good feedback. I'm trying to improve my poetry so it helps to have something concrete from the reader. I guess one's preference, as to these two forms, may have something to do with whether or not they like rhyme. Nowadays, it seems free verse is more popular.

    • VioletSun profile image

      VioletSun 

      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Both were enjoyable to read, and if a poem gives me visuals, the more I enjoy it. My favorite is the free verse version; these words felt good to my senses, I could almost smell the earth:

      "purple crocus

      peek

      through softened earth

      their roots

      unbound"

      Thumbs up!

    • alekhouse profile imageAUTHOR

      Nancy Hinchliff 

      9 years ago from Essex Junction, Vermont

      Thanks, JG. Very much appreciated

    • JerseyGirl profile image

      JerseyGirl 

      9 years ago from Jersey Shore

      Five stars. :)

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