From the first time I noticed the loop poetic form over on the ShadowPoetry site, I had wanted to try it but somehow kept pushing it off. With the letter L looming large over me, I figured it is time for the Loop as I also try to work in some lost languages with some lemonade to liven me up! No, actually, no lost languages are used in the making of loop poetry this week, but my way of referring to the books for the letter L.
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L is for the Loop
Today’s poetic form is simply called the loop, which defines what the poem’s main scheme is ; which is, a series of lines, where the end of one is the start of another.
So What is the Loop Poetry Form?
I discovered the Loop poetic form at ShadowPoetry and it was created by Hellon. This form has one main rule that definitely needs to be followed – that of the loop, where the last word of the current line becomes the first word of the next line within each stanza. This repeats until the end of the stanza, and begins afresh for the next stanza. The typical rhyme scheme is abcb. There are no other rules or restrictions for stanza lengths, meter, or syllabic counts.
The Loop’s Characteristics
So the loop’s elements are that, at its most basic, it is:
- kind of stanzaic with no restrictions: any number of stanzas, and any number of lines per stanza. Quatrains seem to be a cool choice to start with though based on the examples from the creator.
- looped: or rather lines in a stanza are connected to each other, where the last word of the previous line becomes the first word of the current line. That is, the last word of line one becomes the first word of line two until the last line of the stanza. This is repeated for each stanza.
- rhymed: with a rhyme scheme of abcb
This is how it looks for a 4 line stanza
- L1 – xx…xxx(Aa) —> where A is the actual last word and ‘a’ is the rhyme
- L2 – Axx…xxx(Bb) —> where B is the actual last word and ‘b’ is the rhyme
- L3 – Bxx…xxx(Cc)—> where C is the actual last word and ‘c’ is the rhyme
- L4 – Cxx…xxxb
Suggested variations from the creator of the form (See h/t link below)
- Poets could choose to skip the rhyming aspect but keep the looping (last word – first word scheme) across stanzas of selected length
- The poem can be just one long stanza of any number of (variable or similar length) lines with looping (last word, first word scheme) and skip rhyming (or keep a rhyming scheme of abcb throughout!)
- Mix up couplets with quatrains (4-line stanzas) with looping in the quatrains (optionally in the couplets also). Suggested rhyme scheme from the creator is ab, cc, defg, hh, ii, jklm, nn, oo….
h/t: ShadowPoetry – check out this link for excellent examples of each variation.
Today’s attempt is just the start of what I hope to expand at a later date (and improve upon as well). It is also inspired by the optional and totally fun prompt on NaPoWriMo which goes like this: Today’s challenge is a fun one: write a poem that takes the form of the opening scene of the movie of your life. Does it open with a car chase? A musical number? A long scene panning across a verdant plain? You’re the director (and also the producer, the actors, the set designer, the cinematographer, and the lowly assistant that buys doughnuts for the crew) – so it’s all up to you!
Since one of the oft-repeated stories to my kids is how I used to read on the way home from school, I had to use it for this opening scene as well
One Way to Walk
She walked by the side of the street,
Street she was so very familiar with
With every crack, the potholes as well
Well and good indeed, for she was lost in a myth.
~ vidya tiru @ ladyinreadwrites
Brilliant brilliant reads – one a novel in verse, and another a novel way to use words!!
Title: Lemonade: and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word
Author: Bob Raczka
Illustrator: Nancy Doniger
Publishers: Square Fish
Genre: Children’s Poetry (8 – 12 years, and up)
Part anagram, part rebus, part riddle―the poems in Lemonade: and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word capture a scene from a child’s daily life and present a puzzle to solve. Sometimes sweet and sometimes funny but always clever, these poems are fun to read and even more fun for kids to write
So, did you spend many hours of your childhood by trying to find as many words as you could from one single word? Like, from the word ‘earth,’ you can get ‘heart/ear/eat/art/are/tear/rate/hater/hate/hare/…..’ and so on. Well, I certainly did. I would go on a hunt for words to make words from!! But I never ever thought about using all those words from that single word to create something else.
Oh so fun!! I previously read Bob Raczka’s Wet Cement book of concrete poems and totally enjoyed it. This one is no different, and also so different!! No different in the sense that I once again totally enjoyed it, and so different in the way I enjoyed it and the way Bob Raczka proves his creative word-play skills all over again!
Bob Raczka does exactly that in this book, and adds the creative dimension of concrete poetry or using typography to the same while presenting his poems. Raczka credits Andrew Russ’ one-word poetic form, and shows how we can literally squeeze out one word to create a whole new thing out of it, in this case, brilliant poems. Each poem is presented in two ways, one in the typographical format which lends it a semblance of a puzzle as readers try to figure out the words; and another time in a normal format (whew!).
And let us not forget the illustrations. Doniger’s simple and stark artwork provides the perfect complement to both the unique presentation and brilliant concept.
Umpteen ways to inspire imagination and love (and thus help improve) of words, language, poetry, and writing in general.
Absolute brilliance!! Clever, delightful, ever-so-cool, fun, …. and I am stopping here! However, keep an eye on my poetic form for an upcoming letter!!
Get it here
The Lost Language
Title: The Lost Language
Author: Claudia Mills
Publishers: Margaret Ferguson Books (October 19, 2021)
Genre: Children’s Novels in Verse (9 – 12 years, and up)
Source: e-review copy from Edelweiss
The quest to save the words of a dying language – and to find the words to save what may be a dying friendship – lies at the heart of this exquisite verse novel.
Two eleven year-olds decide to go on a language-saving mission when they realize that many languages are on the verge of becoming extinct. In the process, they lose and find so many other things and people and themselves too.
Friends on a language saving mission?? And a novel in verse?? Of course, I want to read this, and I am glad I did.
Claudia Mills threads in the sweetness found within in families and friendships, and the more complex issues therein along with the efforts required for saving an endangered language as well as other complex issues into one beautiful verse novel. And she does it beautifully. This is a story with a mission and without a villain, and most sweetly, a story with a protagonist who is strong and silent.
Heartwarming, shining with hope and sincerity, and so very real. A book for all ages that you will finish in one sitting and remember for a long time.
And now, I am inspired to save an endangered language myself – by using it – actively…
Get it here
- Chitchat: Celebrating the World’s Languages is a non-fiction book that takes young readers on a language tour around the world
- Let’s Bring Back: The Lost Language Edition: A Collection of Forgotten-Yet-Delightful Words, Phrases, Praises, Insults, Idioms, and Literary Flourishes from Eras Past by Lesley M.M. Blume
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear readers, have you read the featured book? 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 Loop poetic form? Will you attempt one? Hope you try this one or any other I have mentioned so far. You can check them out in the links below: