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Hello Folks …
have you ever thought of wanting to teach something … but didn’t want to just write an instruction booklet? So have many poets Shakespeare, William Blake, Ezra Pound, Rainer Marie Rilke … and many others. The poetic form of teaching poems is called the Didactic poem and here’s one by Edna St. Vincent Millay:
Love Is Not All
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Love is not all: It is not meat nor drink
Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain,
Nor yet a floating spar to men that sink
and rise and sink and rise and sink again.
Love cannot fill the thickened lung with breath
Nor clean the blood, nor set the fractured bone;
Yet many a man is making friends with death
even as I speak, for lack of love alone.
It well may be that in a difficult hour,
pinned down by need and moaning for release
or nagged by want past resolution’s power,
I might be driven to sell your love for peace,
Or trade the memory of this night for food.
It may well be. I do not think I would.
So today, let’s explore the Didactic Poem … it is characterized more by its content than its form actually. It can be a sonnet, or free verse, blank verse or maybe a tanka. The important thing is that it carries a lesson of some sort. For more information and oodles of classical examples click HERE. But you can also find a lot of more modern examples at Poetry Soup.
At the beginning of the year, I wrote a brief Didactic poem about how to make a yogurt Cake:
Ah, you liked my yogurt cake
It’s so easy for you to make
I’ll write for you my recipe
For a perfect bake!
You’ll need a jar of white yogurt
The jar you’ll use to measure
2 of sugar 3 of flour
It’s easy you see, a pleasure!
Now look at this:
Count down: 3,2, and 1
whole eggs, tablespoons of oil
and packet of baking powder…
Then you’ll need a pinch of salt
And you’ll grate in some lemon zest…
Add the sugar to the yogurt
Then slowly add the rest
Saving for the very last
The tangy lemon zest –
Stir and stir the mess around
‘Til the batter’s been well mixed
Put it in a non-stick pan,
Pop it then, into the oven,
Which will do for you the rest!
So today’s form is the Didactic Poem … and for inspiration (you may want to choose to use your own artwork – but pls credit your art contributor):
You may write a Shadorma or maybe you’d like to try out the Didactic Poem as a Shadorma … what ever you choose to write please:
TAG B&P’s Shadorma & Beyond and Mindovemisery’s Menagerie. Then add your link to the Mister Linky widget below.
Ciao and have a great week, Bastet!