It’s time for me to switch my poetic styles this month. The winter is dragging on, and I wanted to jazz things up a bit. I came across the Bop Poetry style and thought it sounded interesting. Afaa Michael Weaver created this style at an African American poetry retreat at Cave Canem. I love the simplicity of this style of verse because the rules are very simple. There is no thyme structure, and the stanzas are unmetered. I call this Bop Poem The Forgotten Lady.
The simple rules of Bop Poetry and The Forgotten Lady
The poem is three stanzas long.
The first stanza is six lines long and lays out a problem.
The second stanza is eight lines long and explores or expands the problem.
The third stanza is six lines long and gives a solution or failed attempt at resolution of the problem,
There is a short refrain between the stanzas.
I think this style will be fun to explore. You are welcome to join me while I explore this poetic style. I’m not certain if I can pull off this switch. It is challenging to come up with a new poem every day. I hope you have as much fun reading these attempts as I am writing them. Now, if I can only capture the laid-back feel of the Bop in The Forgotten Lady.
The Forgotten Lady “What’s to be done now That the kids are grown?” she cries. It’s a good question A question about how to spend All of those useless minutes. Time to fixate on the day. Count the seconds as they bleed into minutes. I guess you could take up knitting. A scarf, some mittens, or a blanket. Maybe you could make a quilt Plant a garden with pretty flowers Bake a cake and take it to the poor Spread your wings and fly Whenever you consider quitting. Because life is too precious to waist Count the seconds as they bleed into minutes Her fingers are to stiff to hold the needles These days her bones to cold To over with a single blanket Her wings were too brittle to fly Her eyes were too dim for reading And so she sits and considers Count the seconds as they bleed into minutes
Who is Molly Shea?
Molly Shea is an accomplished fictional short story writer from Indiana who writes short stories and novels about a fictional town called Tecumseh. To read more of her short stories and adventures, click here.
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