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H is for the Hexaduad and for Home and Heart

Today’s poetic form is called the hexaduad literally translating to six pairs. Plus two books that will appeal to the heart, each one very different but yet totally wonderful reads that are must-haves on your bookshelves. By the way, April 9th is apparently National Name Yourself Day (here in the US), so …. pick any other name you would want for yourselves for today! 🙂

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The Hexaduad Poetic Form

If I go by some sources, I have now traveled on from Japan yesterday to Old England; but many other sources state the origin is not clear, so in a way, the hexaduad is from nowhere and everywhere! However, what is clear is the reason for its name – hexaduad – with hexa referring to six and duad meaning a union of two or a pair, hexaduad is the perfect name for this poetic form made up of six pairs of lines!

As for me, I love the simplicity the couplets provide… and the freedom to write more that the six pairs give us 🙂

The Hexaduad’s Characteristics

At its most basic, the hexaduad’s characteristics are that it is:

  • Stanzaic: written in one twelve-line stanza made up of 6 rhymed couplets
  • Syllabic: syllabic structure of 2/2 / 6/6 / 8/8 / 4/4 / 6/6 / 4/4 across the twelve lines
  • Rhymed: rhyme scheme of aa / bb / cc / dd / ee / ff across the 12 lines

My Hexaduad Attempts

Chain Reactions
Guilt, it chews into me,
taking its time – slowly.
And I eat it right back, indulge
in fact, with treats that i splurge
On, until I
Have to say bye
To desserts now cloying
Snacks that are annoying.
Start work to be –
Well – be guilt-free.
~ vidya tiru @ ladyinreadwrites

Sweet(heart) Treats
Watch me”
Her voice sang in delight
As, nimble as a sprite
She scrambled up the mango tree
Laughing, giggling so gleefully
Seemingly in
A race with in-
-visible elves, till she saw – oh –
That perfect yellow ripe mango!
“Mommy, look here,
Dessert to share!!”

~ vidya tiru @ ladyinreadwrites

The quiet
Notes from neglected
Memories – connected!
His fingers glide effortlessly
Like dancers twirling gracefully
Black and white keys
Make melodies
Filling empty spaces
Smiling all the faces.
Fill my mom-heart
With pride – a lot!

~ vidya tiru @ ladyinreadwrites

Further reading and h/t

Pin Me

a pair of red dice showing the number 6 among others on a white background and pin title is Poetic Forms: h is for the hexaduad

The Books

Both of today’s books are reads-in-progress, and while I am about halfway done with Home is Not a Country and about a third for Hirsch’s book, my thoughts about the books are concrete, that is, set in stone already. I have that strong feeling that they will keep me engrossed to the end and not disappoint me in anyway. So instead of a review, I offer my initial thoughts on the books today, and will try to update this post here or offer new complete reviews at a later date.

The Heart of American Poetry

Title: The Heart of American Poetry
Author: Edward Hirsch
Publishers: Library of America (April 19, 2022)
Genre: Poetry / American
Source: e-ARC from NetGalley

In this landmark new book from Library of America, Hirsch offers deeply personal readings of forty essential American poems we thought we knew—from Anne Bradstreet’s “The Author to Her Book” and Phillis Wheatley’s “To S.M. a Young African Painter, on seeing his Works” to Garrett Hongo’s “Ancestral Graves, Kahuku” and Joy Harjo’s “Rabbit Is Up to Tricks”—exploring how these poems have sustained his own life and how they might uplift our diverse but divided nation. 

Having read of Hirsch and poems by Hirsch, largely thanks to spending time on the Poetry Foundation, I knew I wanted to read this book. Also, the fact that I truly loved and enjoyed other books published by the Library of America, including African American Poetry: : 250 Years Of Struggle & Song, added to my must-read-ness for this book!

And I am so glad I requested it from NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Library of America). While I do mention that I am done with reading about a third of the book, the format of this book allows readers to pick and choose from the forty poems selected by Hirsch here. Which is what I did; among the poems (and analysis + a look into the poet’s life) I read so far, a couple of my favorites are Hirsch’s analysis of Gwendolyn Brook’s included poem ‘A Bronzeville Mother Loiters in Mississippi. Meanwhile, a Mississippi Mother Burns Bacon,’ and Longfellow’s ‘The Jewish Cemetery at Newport.;

I am learning a lot from reading his personal perspective of the poem as well as his expert analysis. Through the book, readers can better understand how to read and dissect poetry; that is, though each reader approaches a poem (or anything for that matter) differently, looking at it from Hirsch’s view is providing me a whole new world of viewpoints.

In addition, I am loving all the biographical aspects Hirsch includes for each poet, and the boost to my vocabulary too!! Last but not the least, the book is definitely doing a wonderful job of introducing me to poets and poems I have not read before, so thank you!

In Summary

A must-have for poetry lovers, and for those who want to learn to understand poetry better as well.

Preorder it here and gift it to yourself or a loved one this National Poetry Month

Home is Not a Country

Title: Home is Not a Country
Author: Safia Elhillo
Publishers: Make Me a World (March 2, 2021)
Genre: Poetry for Teens & Young Adults (12 years and up)
Source: Library

From the  acclaimed poet featured on Forbes Africa’s “30 Under 30” list, this powerful novel-in-verse captures one girl, caught between cultures, on an unexpected journey to face the ephemeral girl she might have been. Woven through with moments of lyrical beauty, this is a tender meditation on family, belonging, and home.

I first started reading this book when I chanced upon it while looking at potential nominees for the Cybils Awards. But soon I had to start reading books for the awards as a round one judge, and since I was not judging the poetry books but YA fiction, I had to put this aside, and it got lost in the melee.

My quest for a book for the letter H reminded me of this book, and I am now reading it, or rather continuing it. I read Elhillo’s The January Children last year for National Poetry Month, and was left wanting to read more (and listen more). So I am glad for Home is Not a Country.

How do I start describing the beauty of this book? It is difficult to put into words, and I am guessing I might still be at a loss when I done reading it fully. I love the protagonist’s relationship with her mama and her friend Haitham is definitely one of my favorite characters in the book. I am left wanting to continue reading just a bit more before I stop, or simply pausing to savor the beauty of this book. There is heart and hurt, acceptance and seeking identity, desperation and love, and more I am yet to discover.

In Summary

Simply beautiful!! Get it for yourself, or for that reluctant young reader you know (and for yourself) now. You can

get it here.

And Now, the End of This Post

Dear readers, have you read the featured books? I would love to hear your thoughts (if you have read them) as well as recommendations for similar books. What do you think about the hexaduad poetic form? Will you write one? Do share if you do, I would love to read it!

And if you can suggest a title for my untitled poem, that would be wonderful too!

Day 0 Day 1 – A Day 2 – B Day 3 Day 4 – C Day 5 – D Day 6 – E Day 7 – F Day 8 – G

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6 thoughts on “H is for the Hexaduad and for Home and Heart

  1. Fantastic verses all–this grabbed me: “Guilt, it chews into me,
    taking its time – slowly.” for it is a true reflection of how guilt behaves. Glad to read you gave it back–a well deserved knock.
    Love the mother’s love for child that sparkles throughout.
    Thank you for visiting my blog and for leaving such a warm comment.

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