Thursday, January 1, 2015

Month of Poetry #1: A New Year's Day Sevenling

January has arrived, with a cloudy face, but here it is nonetheless ... which means it's time for Month of Poetry again!

Australian writer Kathryn Apel co-ordinates the Month of Poetry challenge each year, in which participants are set the task of writing a poem each day for the 31 days of January. I always find this a very rewarding exercise, and I try to use it as an opportunity to practice different poetic forms, both ones I find more difficult / less natural (eg. sonnet, sestina, rondeau, nonnet, ballads) and my favourite / most natural forms (haiku, villanelle, blank verse, free verse).

I will post my Month of Poetry efforts here, except for the 5 Saurdays in January when I will be posting them to the closed Month of Poetry blog (Saturdays are challenge days!) If I accidentally make something beautiful, I might withhold it too for further work towards submission elsewhere. Most of them will end up here, however.

Today, to kick off, and to host my traditional New Year's Day poem, I've made a sevenling. Wikipedia defines this form thusly:
Lines one to three should contain three connected or contrasting statements, or a list of three details, names or possibilities. This can take up all of the three lines or be contained anywhere within them.
Lines four to six should similarly have three elements (statements, details, names, or possibilities) connected directly or indirectly or not at all.
The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or an unusual juxtaposition.
While there are no set metrical rules, because of its form, some rhythm, meter and/or rhyme is desirable. The visual structure of the form is two stanzas of three lines, with a solitary seventh line last line.
Sevenling should be mysterious, offbeat or disturbing, giving a feeling that only part of the story is being told.

A New Year's Day Sevenling

Three things breathe colour into this New Year -
Shelled peas, fresh and tiny; the sharp smell of vinegar
A half-ripe lemon from the careworn tree.

Meanwhile, the world grows hotter
Refuge-seekers are denied, and above it all
the one percent sit, ascendant.

our posits of survivability variable, between citrus and armies.

- Kathy, 1/1/15


  1. Interesting form - great for highlighting the huge disjunctions of life.

    1. Yes, I quite like the form, I might try a few more of them.

  2. This is great.
    I love sevenlings. I've written a couple for MOP, both times about Una. In case you're interested: