Thursday, September 30, 2021

Poems to Explain Form: Inkling October Challenge

Hello October!

It's officially pumpkin spice season and I am thrilled! Thank you to Catherine at Reading to the Core for hosting this week's round-up of poems.

Re-cycled paper collage by Linda M.

Our Inklings' challenge for October is to write a poem that explains a form. This comes from THE CRAFT OF POETRY by Lucy Newlyn (2021) and, INSIDE OUT:: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises (2020)by Marjorie Maddox 

Is this a Tanka?

Thirty-one small notes

Arise in glorias – birds

Nobles of the sun

Know earth is awakening

All who hear must praise the day

Linda Mitchell 10/1/21

Define Definito

If words are the very illustration

of what you express

A shining idea perfectly coalesced

into eight to twelve lines, more or less

of brief description analogous

to a dictionary, glossary or,

similar reference

highlighting wordplay in poetic verse

Then you have written a definito

Linda Mitchell 10/1/21

Palindrome Poem*

Poems such as these
recycle words
wildflower seed--


  seed wildflower
  words recycle
  these, as such, poems

Rules for writing palindrome poetry*

1. You must use the same words in the first half of the poem as the second half, but
2. Reverse the order for the second half, and

3. Use a word in the middle as a bridge from the first half to the second half of the poem.

To see more Inkling takes on this month's challenge visit:

Mary Lee

Hamish and I wrote a word poem in the style of Nikki Grimes this week. You'll never guess what it is -- see it on Hamish's padlet 


  1. How clever you are! I love this -> If words are the very illustration / of what you express.
    How fabulous! Why, yes, words ARE!

  2. These are so clever and inspire me to want to try the forms. Your reverso is particularly clever!

  3. Bravo, Linda. 3 wonderful poems with great word play and thoughts, plus a poem by Hamish. I know "earth is awakening" when I enter your writing zone.
    The palindrome poem has a special word carefully placed making this poem extra special for your writing community. Enjoy the weekend.

    1. Your pumpkin collage is just stunning enough for a beautiful seasonal card.

  4. Wow, amazing work! I love "a shining idea perfectly coalesced."

  5. Your trio of poems dance and inspire today. I love how you tucked in our group name, "inkling", into your palindrome poem. So clever!

  6. Linda, that pumpkin collage! I love it. And of course the poems are full of life and beauty... your tanka especially makes me want to live inside one! Thank you! xo

  7. Such fun! I can't choose a favorite (including Ox), so I'll just offer appreciations for the perfection of your word choice. Each one shines.

  8. Great job (you are having way too much fun). Love your pumpkin collage too. :)

  9. Ooh, I like all of these, but especially the tanka! (I'm still stuck on last week's project.) Thirty-one small notes/arise in glorias - lovely, lovely.

  10. These are wonderful, Linda! I love the idea of words being wildflower seeds. And did you know that acrostics are derived from abecedarians? So clever of you to use both forms in one poem!

  11. Oh, I love Hamish's poem.
    "a one-syllable
    stepstool-sturdy sound" and "pulling our days behind us" Wow!

    And your form poems are amazing. You have gone above and beyond with creativity this week.

  12. So. Much. Goodness, Linda, with a pumpkin collage to boot! Well done. :)

  13. Wow, Linda, you've really shared a fall harvest of goodies here. Your rhymes in "Define Definito" are especially clever and I love "stepstool-sturdy sound." You are in creative overdrive!!!

  14. Okay, now, how does one person do everything that you do in a week? First I want to grab that pumpkin spice collage as my icon for the month; second I think your tanka of glorias is just gorgeous and we'll allow the extra two syllables; third I am honored that you have given the definito its own definito (gee I love meta) and one filled with gorgeous wordplay at that; and fourth, inklings as wildflower seeds!!! Swoon. I haven't even seen Hamish's poem and I'm already overwhelmed by richness.

    1. doh! I meant to trim those two syllables...have done it. Good eye! And, I don't know why this week's ox poem touched's one of those rare poems that seemed to write itself.

  15. I can't explain why this ox poem made me cry. Thank you.

  16. The collage is beautiful! You (and the other Inklings poets) make these challenges seem effortless with these cool responses to the challenges. Very impressive!

  17. Wonderful poems Linda, I especially like your ending palindrome, and your apples, what a delicious treat too, thanks!

  18. First of all, I *love* the collage. Beautiful. And the whimsy and beauty of your poems today! I'm intrigued by the palindrome form and yours is so cleverly executed (as are the others.) Thanks for the inspiration!

  19. Love, Love, Love all three of these, Linda! What great work you have done! I especially like the palindrome poem. Carol from The Apples in my Orchard.

  20. What a wonderful collage, Linda. It's a marvelous introduction to your terrific trio of poems. I especially love the definito, which I've written a couple of myself. I've never tried palindrome poetry, though. I'll have to add that form to my list!


Friendly, positive comments and feedback are always welcome here. Please let me know I'm not just whistling in the dark!