Got to love all the layers of life, right? The good, the bad, and the everything in between. You have to take the tears with the smiles. Carl Sandberg once said,
“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.”
And that is true.. Life and its comparison to an onion brings to mind another quote, this one is from Sandra Cisneros; I discovered it during a writing class I took a couple of years ago at a local community college (and oh what fun it was to be in a classroom after so many years!). Anyway, back to the quote:
I also read and enjoyed this poem titled ‘The Layers‘ by Stanley Kunitz; and don’t miss reading it for yourself through the provided links that will take you to Poetry Foundation’s page for this poem and its poet. Kunitz lived a layered life indeed, as is visible from this poem. I know I am eager to read by Kunitz who became the tenth Poet Laureate of the United States at the age of ninety-five~~
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Poetic Sundays: The Cascade Poetic Form
This week, I picked the Cascade poetic form as it came to mind when I thought about layers, and the reason I thought about layers was because I noticed it is World Pangolin Day later this week. The pangolin is a threatened species due to demand for its scales. I (sadly) noted that the pandemic period saw an increased illegal hunting and poaching of this gentle creature, and hope that raising awareness helps protect it and ensure it is not hunted, period.
What is the Cascade Poetic Form?
Created by Udit Bhatia, the Cascade form “is all about receptiveness, but in a smooth cascading way like a waterfall”. There is no set meter or rhyme scheme. The defining feature of the form is that the lines of the first stanza are repeated as refrain lines in subsequent stanzas to give a “cascading effect”.
You can make this poem as short or long as you want it to by decreasing or increasing the number of lines in the first stanza.
The Cascade’s Characteristics
So the cascade’s elements are that it is
- stanzaic: composed of any number of stanzas (determined by the number of lines in the first stanza, which is up to the poet); so will have 4 tercets, 5 quatrains, 6 cinquains, 7 sixains etc.
- unrhymed: note the exception is the refrain. The rest of the lines do not need to rhyme.
- refrained: the lines of the first stanza are repeated as refrain lines in subsequent stanzas
So this is how it looks
For a cascade where the first stanza has three lines, (S –> Stanza)
or for a cascade starting with a four-line verse
and so on….
At the Beach
They walked together, holding hands
Greeting the horizon, on glorious sands
With a hug and a kiss to seal the deal,
They walked together, holding hands..
The golden day sunk into shades of dusk
Greeting the horizon, on glorious sands.
~Vidya Tiru @LadyInTiruWrites
You can read a previous attempt (coincidentally, a Valentine’s poem!) here.
Further reading and h/t
On My Blog & at Home
My recent posts since and including my last Sunday Scribblings:
- Sunday Scribblings #95: Something Old and Something New
- Great Galentine’s Day Reads For You
- California Academy of Sciences: An Amazing Whole World Under One Roof
- 50+ Great Family Friendly Movies for Valentine’s Day
My DD turned 16!! We had a small celebration at home and cut a cake with family members joining us via WhatsApp video. I am so glad for technology that allows us (and especially in the last two years) to be connected.
On My Blog and Elsewhere in the e-world
I promised mini reviews last week and they never made it through here on my blog (though I did try it a bit with the Galentine’s Day reads). So you will see a few this week for sure.
Before I forget, the Cybils award winners will be announced on the 14th of February!!
Looking forward to having our son home this Friday evening as they have a three-day weekend with President’s Day which also kicks off my DD’s week-long ski/winter break. She will be off snow-camping later next week, and it promises to be an icy-adventure indeed!
This Week’s Celebrations
Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)
- Literary birthdays this week of February include: Frederick Douglass on the 14th; Miranda July on the 15th; Maureen Johnson on the 16th; Andre Norton, Meena Alexander, and Dorothy Canfield Fisher on the 17th; Lisa See and Toni Morrison on February 18th; Amy Tan, Helen Fielding, Jeff Kinney, and Marissa Meyer on the 19th; Richard Matheson and Sally Rooney on the 20th of February
- International Book Giving Day is celebrated with Valentine’s Day every February 14th, so give your loved ones a book, any day this week is fine too!
- Hearts and chocolates abound so it is natural that the 14th of February is National Cream-Filled Chocolates Day
- National Gumdrop Day is on the 15th of February
- The 16th is National Almond Day
- February 17th celebrates the humble cabbage with National Cabbage Day. So use it, make it a part of you dinner tonight
- The 18th apparently is National Drink Wine Day (what do you prefer: red or white?)
- February 19th is National Chocolate Mint Day (though I must say I am ready for chocolate mints anytime, any day!)
- The 20th of February ends the week with something wonderful for your sweet tooth; it is both National Cherry Pie Day and National Muffin Day
- February 14th being the second Monday in February, marks International Epilepsy Day ; it is also National Ferris Wheel Day
- The 15th of February is World Hippo Day and International Childhood Cancer Day
- Given it is Random Acts of Kindness Week, it makes sense to celebrate National Do A Grouch a Favor Day this week (on the 16th of February)
- World Anthropology Day is celebrated on the third Thursday in February (17th this year)
- The 17th of February is also National Random Acts of Kindness Day
- Feb 18th is Pluto Day marking the discovery of this now dwarf planet
- The third Saturday in February is World Pangolin Day and celebrates one of the most wonderful and unusual mammals – the pangolin
- February 20th is World Day of Social Justice and this year’s theme is Achieving Social Justice through Formal Employment
- The 20th of Feb is also National Love Your Pet Day, National Comfy Day, and National Leadership Day
- National Jell-O Week – Second Full Week in February
- Random Acts of Kindness Week – Week of February 17
- Great Backyard Bird Count – February 18 – 21, 2022
- Brotherhood/Sisterhood Week – Third Week in February
- 10 Great Books To Celebrate World Anthropology Day
- Just Mercy: A Great Book & Movie For World Day of Social Justice
- 13*2 Books to Gift for Kids of All Ages for Valentine’s Day
- Love is in the Air – Gift Ideas, Quotes, and etcs
Wrapping up my Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. And do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?
Linking this to the Sunday Post over at the Caffeinated Reviewer and the Sunday Salon
5 thoughts on “Sunday Scribblings #96: Love All the Layers of Life”
Thank you for sending us to the fantastic Stanley Kunitz poem, The Layers. Here’s my favorite part:
Oh, I have made myself a tribe
out of my true affections,
and my tribe is scattered!
I feel like I have done that, making a tribe out of my favorite readers.
Great poetic form this week!
Poetry is such an amazing art form, you can really create beautiful imagery with only a few lines. Great post and lovely poem choice.
I think I wrote one of these kinds of poems in high school. I don’t think I kept any of them though, sadly.
You are definitely right about loving all the layers of life. We may have different experiences but they all help us grow as persons. Love your poem “At the Beach”.
I really like the cascade style in poetry; it really has a lovely flow. I always learn some things when I read your posts.