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 verse style because the rules are very simple. There is no thyme structure, and the stanzas are unmetered. I call this Bop Poem Insomnia.
The simple rules of Bop Poetry and Insomnia
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 Insomnia.
Insomnia My stupid mind Won’t relax but wants to play. After I woke up from a dream I will never remember. I am in a terrible bind, Because tomorrow is a busy day. I lay here thinking sleep is so elusive. The harder you try to catch it, the faster it runs away. I’ve lay here for twenty minutes, Catching lines of dialogue My characters should say To one another By morning light I will forget all the brilliant words Strolling through my mind Then they won’t sound so perfect. I lay here thinking sleep is so elusive. The harder you try to catch it, the faster it runs away. I could heat up a little milk Or invite Word Daddy to come play Maybe watch a little television Or write this stupid poem I might just return to my bed And silence the characters talking in my head. I lay here thinking sleep is so evasive. The harder you try to catch it, the faster it runs away.
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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