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 Life in a Small Town.
The simple rules of Bop Poetry and Life in a Small Town
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 Life in a Small Town.
Life in a Small Town Everybody feels like they got to be Up in my business night and day Expressing their opinion About what I should do As if they actually knew Something about anything Everybody has an opinion about I should live. They all got to fly their freak flag Like it’s a banner of courage When actually it’s a defense Because they made worse mistakes Then I ever dreamed of making Even on my worst days I wouldn’t dream of acting that way Like some glitzy prim donna Everybody has an opinion about how I should live. I have an excellent and simple suggestion One that I think will bring a solution Next time you’re tempted to interfere Try staying in your own lane And I’ll be glad to stay in mine Minding your own business and we’ll be fine Everybody has an opinion about how I should live.
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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