Posts Tagged ‘ barbara young ’

MONDAY PROMPT / November 15

November 15, 2010

This week’s prompt, by Guest Maestro Barbara Young

Formal poetry scares me silly. Still, it’s hard to deny the value of having some sort of structured repetition working on your side, and the Cascade Poem is a form even I can love. You don’t have to rhyme unless it tickles your fancy, and there is no fixed meter. You just repeat each line of the first stanza one time. The lines sort of roll down the poem. Honestly, it’s easier to write one than to explain it.

Begin with a stanza, three or four lines, more if you like. Each of the lines will be the final line of a stanza to follow. The first line ends the second stanza; the second finishes the third stanza, and so on. If your first stanza has four lines you follow with four additional 4-line stanzas. If you want a longer poem, begin with a longer first stanza.

As a chart, a Cascade Poem (with an opening stanza of three lines) would look like this:
1st Stanza: line 1, line 2, line 3
2nd Stanza: line a, line b, repeat line 1
3rd Stanza: line c, line d, repeat line 2
4th Stanza: line e, line f, repeat line 3
And for an example with real lines:
1) you don’t need
2) advanced math
3) or tylenol
a) when you travel
b) don’t pack a thing
1) you don’t need
c) the check in process
d) will require
2) advanced math
e) be sure to bring
f) some asprin
3) or tylenol
You can find more information on this form at Poetic Asides or at Give one a try and I bet you’ll like it, too.

About our guest maestro

Every once in a while we’ll be sharing prompts offered by some of you, our  circus-goers. (Thanks for your generosity!)

This week’s prompt is Barbara Young’s, who blogs at Briar Cat. “I am a Libran from Nashville. Came back to poetry after almost 40 years. After trying five times to write a novel in November, I concluded that I am not a novelist. I have Jim to keep me sane and two cats to make me crazy.”

How prompts work under the Big Tent

We post prompts on Mondays, and you have all week to write your poems, based on our fabulous prompt or any other inspiration. Come back on Friday when you will find a “Come One, Come All” post where you can use the comments section to 1) leave a link to your poem or 2) leave the poem in its entirety.

You’ll have all day Friday (and all weekend!) to post your work and read each others’ work. Take your time. Enjoy all the poems that are new to the world.

Some hints

Hint: We’ve set Big Tent Poetry to Central Time.

Hint: An easy way to check on new post comments is with RSS reader, if you use one. Here’s the address:

Hint: If you are new to our site, your comment(s) will be held for moderation for your first few posts. If you put more than one link in your comment, your comment(s) will be held for moderation. We’re checking the filters often, so don’t despair! That said, if it takes more than a half a day to see it come live on the site, do email us at info (at) (But be patient, okay?)

Circus etiquette

We figure you know how to play in the poetry community, but here are the basics:

Be nice. Have fun. Remember we aren’t a critique forum. We want to support each other as we bring more poetry into our lives. Only provide critique if someone specifically asks for it.

Although we love seeing our badge in the sidebar of your blog, we would appreciate it if you would also link back to the site in each of your poem posts. Linking within your post helps people travel back and forth from your site to the Big Tent Poetry site, and it helps perpetuate Big Tent Poetry “findability” in Google searches — and that helps


Tags: , ,
Posted in RING #1: Weekly Prompts | 9 Comments »