April 2022 Poetry Challenge

Welcome to the April edition of the Fake Flamenco Poetry Challenge. Last week I took my first full week break from blogging in a year. After two days in Minneapolis and three days in the north woods with family, I feel refreshed. This month our form is called Prime (Numeral) Verse –my first time inventing a form. Prime Verse is syllabic poetry with similarities to the Nonet (which decreases 9 syllables to 1) and Rictameter (which goes up and down by twos from 2 to 10 and descends again). Prime Verse starts at 5 syllables, goes to the next prime number 7, the next which is 11, down and up again. The last couplet is the only set that rhymes and is 5 and 11 syllables. Nine lines in total; 5,7,11,7,5,7,11,5,11. See the example below. The waves of increasing and decreasing syllables can make for a nice rhythm. Try this new form and see what you think! Theme: The wonder of experiencing the universe or the earth.

Reto poético de abril

Bienvenid@s al Reto poético de Fake Flamenco de abril. La semana pasada pasé mi primera semana completa de vacaciones en un año. Después de dos días en Minneapolis y tres en los bosques del norte con familia, me siento renovada. Este mes, la forma se llama Verso número primo–la primera vez que invento una forma poética. Verso número primo es poesía sílabica parecida al Nonet (que desciende de 9 sílabas a 1) y Rictameter (que sube y baja por dos de 2 a 10 y desciende otra vez). Verso número primo empieza con 5 sílabas, sube al próximo número primo 7, y el siguiente 11, entonces baja y sube de nuevo. La copla final es la única que tiene rima, y consiste de líneas de 5 y 11 sílabas. Nueve líneas en total; 5,7,11,7,5,7,11,5,11. Ve el ejemplo más adelante. Las ondas de ascender y descender el número de sílabas produce un ritmo interesante. Escribe la forma y ve que piensas. Tema: El asombro de un encuentro con el universo o con la tierra.

Setting Sun/Poniente del sol Photo: R. Cuningham

Prime Verse April 2022

How Can We Sparkle?

Whiff of Melting Snow
Distant suns I have not seen
Fill the darkened sky and ignite my dreams, I
Could not wish upon a star
When none I had gazed
Ancestors viewed more than we
Wonder filled both their slumber and waking dreams.
Jaded only can we be
When the glory of the night we cannot see.

–Rebecca Cuningham 4/4/22

Verso Número Primo abril 2022

¿Como íbamos a brillar?

Olor a nieve
Soles distantes no vistas
Alumbran el cielo oscuro y mis sueños
No pidiera un deseo
Por nunca verlos
Los antepasados sí
Con sueños asombrosos día y noche.
Solo hastiados
Cuando gloria nocturna ignoramos.

–Rebecca Cuningham traducción 4/4/22

Solar Light Photo: R. Cuningham

Note: Two nights of our trip to the Northern Minnesota woods, the night skies were clear. The last evening was one of them. When I went outside, the stars were a physical presence, as if they were embracing me with tenderness and love. I realized this experience was missing from modern life, to feel touched by the stars and part of the immenseness of the universe. That inspired my poem.

Nota: Dos noches de nuestro viaje a los bosques de Minnesota del norte, los cielos estaban despejados. La última noche era una de ellos. Cuando salí de la cabaña, las estrellas tenían una presencia física, como si me estuvieran abrazando con ternura y amor. Me di cuenta que esta experiencia nos hace falta en la vida moderna, sentir la presencia de las estrellas y como parte de la inmensidad del universo. Estas ideas inspiraron mi poema.

Hearth Fire Photo: R. Cuningham

The Challenge

Write a 9-line Prime Verse about experiencing the wonder of the universe or the earth in English or Spanish, deadline: Sunday 4/10, noon CST. G-rated please. If you are a blogger, please publish your poem on your website with the hashtag #ffpoemapop and link to this page by 4/10. If you are a poet at large, please post your poem below by April 10. I’ll publish a post with your poems next Tuesday, April 12!

El reto poético

Escribe un Verso número primo en nueve líneas sobre un encuentro con el universo o la tierra en español o en inglés, fecha de entrega: el domingo 10 abril, mediodía (Chicago). Para todas las audiencias por favor. Los escritores que tengan su propio sitio web, favor de publicar tu poema en tu blog con la etiqueta #ffpoemapop y haga un enlace a este artículo antes del 10 abril. Los escritores que sean damas y caballeros andantes, favor de añadir tu poema a los comentarios abajo antes del 10 abril. ¡Publicaré un artículo con sus poemas el próximo martes,12 abril!

¡Gracias! ¡Olé! –Rebecca

Minnesota Sky/Cielos de Minnesota Photo: Tony Webster

Rebecca Cuningham

53 thoughts on “April 2022 Poetry Challenge

  1. A somewhat skewed take onthe theme.
    He arrived today
    although none saw him coming.
    He had been here before, been quickly ignored,
    despite his pleas and prayers,
    they twisted his words
    to suit their venal desires,
    his message forever lost in translation.
    They were not ready,
    and in their hate fueled world, they might never be.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m amazed at how quickly you produce a good poem, Lou. Although it is not ebullient and joyful, it has a significant message. I will weave it into the progression of poems to temper overly sweet wonder. Thanks, Rebecca


  2. I also write poems….like since I was 10 but I find it hard to follow this scheme.. I’ll give it a try though. I’ve just been on a wonderful island in Croatia where my inspiration came back to life…I wrote poems, stories, did some drawings and paintings. One day maybe you can organise also something where you give people freedom to write as they wish – I could bring to that competition a lot of things. Good luck with your projects!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for your comments and interest in the poetry challenge! Many poets seem to like variety in the forms from month to month. The prime verse is special to me because it is the first time I’ve created my own form. 🙂 Syllabic or rhyming poetry may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I hope poets will have fun with this new twist on verse.


  3. “Ancestors viewed more than we” struck a chord with me. I wish we could get rid of all the light pollution for just one night so I could see the stars my ancestors saw. I’m old enough to remember being able to see the Milky Way, but I doubt I’ll ever see it again. Lovely poem, Rebecca.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Janet for touching on the central tenet of the poem, a place or time when stars are visible and how it shapes the humans we can be. The countryside still has gorgeous stars if we go out to meet them. 🙂


  4. Hi Rebecca so glad you had a deserved break 😊 I published my poem but still struggle with tech. Sorry it is a bit sad.
    The wonder of our Earth.
    A sensitive eye
    Looks through our eternity
    In wonder spinning, spining sea, ground and sky
    Bluewhitegrey, brownblackgrey, RED
    Our planet eye Earth
    A beautiful eye in tears
    Cry my Earth eye you are honest when you cry
    Your blues, browns, greys, RED How I long to wipe your eternal sad eye.
    Sandy from England.

    Thank you Rebecca.

    Liked by 1 person

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