Today’s form is called the wordflair, another invented form which has rules and allows the poet freedom. My books for the letter W include an poetry anthology for younger readers and a story in verse from Nikki Grimes that is a must-read. Plus, it is time for Wondrous Words Wednesday as well!
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The Wordflair Poetic Form
The Wordlflair is a poetic form invented by invented by -Lilac_Thoughts-of Allpoetry. She was inspired to create it out of her love to “put emotion into poetry, and the challenge of following the set patterns of formed poetry.”
So What is the Wordflair?
Wordflair is a refrain form . It is a poem of a minimum of two to a maximum of five six-line stanzas with a rhyme scheme of ababcC where the last line is a refrain. Also, the first line in each stanza is just one single word used to set the mood and theme for the stanza. The form does not require a specific line length or meter, and that is left to the poet.
The Wordflair’s Characteristics
So the wordflair’s elements are that it is:
- stanzaic: made up of anywhere between two to five six-line stanzas (each one talking about the same thing but from a different perspective – see themed below)
- rhymed: rhyme scheme is ababcC
- refrained: the last line is repeated as the last line across all the stanzas and strings the poem together
- themed: in the sense, that the first line of each stanza, which is just one single word, sets up the mood and theme for the stanza.
- either left-aligned or centered
- without any specific meter or line length: this is left to the discretion of the poet
Check out AllPoetry’s Wordflair contest a few years ago for many great examples of the form
This is how it looks
So the basic, bare-minimum two stanza wordflair will look like this, where x…x denotes that the lines can have any number of syllables at the discretion/choice of the poet. Poem itself can be left-aligned or centered.
x…xa (one single word with ending rhyme – a)
x…xa (one single word with ending rhyme – a)
Tips and notes
- Pick a subject, object, or central topic for your poem. Now look at that from various angles, approach it from different perspectives. Write down keywords (maybe adjectives, verbs, or just about any that strike your fancy) to use as the one-single-word that begins each stanza. Then let the rest of the lines take cue from that first word.
- Also, while it is not specified anywhere as a requirement, the creator seems to have often used a single photo prompt to write the Wordflair, so that could be one way to get a start on this poem
My Wordflair Attempt
Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt is to write a duplex – a form created by Jericho Brown. I did attempt one earlier this year, and as I look at it now, I know it needs reworking. I hope to get to it later. For today’s poem, it is going to be wordflair (and off-prompt for NaPoWriMo).
While I initially planned to do a mother-knows-best type poem, my heart went in another direction, and my words sprouted wings of emotion,, so here is my Wordflair with the photo that inspired it in its background (it is one of my teens on the dunes of Oceano)
The W Books
Title: Wonderful Words: Poems About Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening
Compiler: Lee Bennett Hopkins
Illustrator: Karen Barbour
Publishers: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers(March 1, 2004)
Genre: Children’s Poetry/Anthology (6 – 11 years, and up)
Get it here.
Come, words, come in your every color.
Whether we are sharing poems or secrets, acting onstage, or just telling jokes, the words we use are our best friends. Join acclaimed poet Lee Bennett Hopkins in this glorious collection celebrating words in speech, reading, language, and drama and how they influence our lives.
Works by Emily Dickinson, Eve Merriam, and Nikki Grimes make whispers, metaphors, and dreams come alive, while Karen Barbour’s illustrations interpret the magic of language with vivid hues. This is a collection sure to inspire wordsmiths of all ages, over and over. And just maybe there’s a poet who didn’t know it in you!
Each and every poem in this one is a treasure – both in its words and in the brilliantly vibrant and beautiful accompanying artwork. The book, or rather each of its pages, is frame-worthy! I especially loved Karla Kuskin’s Finding a Poem, and now I need to go find more Kuskin’s poems (really, as I hadn’t known of her before this book).
A great starting anthology of poems about words in all its ways for young readers.
Get it here.
Words With Wings
Title: Words with Wings
Author: Nikki Grimes
Publishers: WordSong (September 1, 2013)
Genre: Children’s Stories in Verse (8 – 12 years, and up)
Get it here
In this Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, Children’s Literature Legacy Award-winner Nikki Grimes explores though her celebrated poetry how a supportive teacher can be the key to unlocking a dreamer’s imaginative power through creative writing.
Gabby’s world is filled with daydreams. However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, ‘Gabby the dreamer’ might just become ‘Gabby the writer’ and the words that once carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl’s indomitable spirit, and of a teacher’s ability to reach out and change a life.
A beautiful novel in verse that is a quick read as well. Nikki Grimes has a magical way with words, and that shows in this book. Moving to a new school means Gabby needs to make new friends, but it is definitely tough when she is a perpetual daydreamer, and when words are her wings of imagination!
I loved the way each poem, be it about one of those words with wings (!) or something that tells us of something happening with Gabby, it all pushes the narrative forward; and it does so beautifully, powerfully, and with the message that change is not always negative (even the ones that seem so), as well as how we can learn to focus our strengths (even that of daydreaming) to make everything better.
Overall, a cute and creative way of showing how words can help us fly and soar, and also how parents, teachers, and friends can help us become better versions of ourselves.
A must-read for all (daydreamer or not), and you will finish it before you know (it is a short quick read after all) but it will stay with you for a while (and you will return for a re-read too most likely!)
Get it here
- limicoline (adj): inhabiting the shore; specif., designating or of a shorebird (source)
- word origin: limicola, mud dweller < L limus, mud (see lime) + colere, to dwell
(From the book Wonderful Words featured today!)
Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered, or spotlight words you love. Feel free to get creative! It was first created by Kathy over at Bermuda Onion and is now hosted at Elza Reads.
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear readers, have you read the featured books? Or any similar reads? I would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations. What do you think about the wordflair form? Will you attempt it yourself?
Previous posts for these challenges (the A2Z, NaPoWriMo and UBC) are in links below.
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 Day 9 – H Day 10 Day 11 – I Day 12 – J Day 13 – K Day 14 – L Day 15 – M Day 16 – N Day 17 Day 18 – O Day 19 – P Day 20 – Q Day 21 – R Day 22 – S Day 23 – T Day 24 Day 25 – U Day 26 – V