Colleen Chesebro ran a Double Ennead TUFF Poetry Challenge for Charli Mills’ annual Rodeo for the CarrotRanch writing contests. This was a difficult poetry challenge with lots of criteria involved. I hopped on this one.
Welcome to the Carrot Ranch Rodeo! This challenge is sponsored by the Carrot Ranch Literary Community at carrotranch.com and run by lead Buckaroo, Charli Mills.
Almost everyone knows my love for syllabic poetry; especially haiku, tanka, cinquain, and more. Woo HOO! I’ve got something special wrangled up for this challenge!
For this year’s rodeo, I’ve created a special form called the Double Ennead. The word Ennead means nine, and a double nine is ninety-nine! Carrot Ranch is famous for 99-word flash fiction. Now, the ranch has its own syllabic poetry form written in 99 syllables!
The Double Ennead comprises five lines with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, (33 SYLLABLES per stanza) 3 STANZAS EACH = 99 SYLLABLES, NO MORE, NO LESS!
* The Double Ennead features three stanzas of five lines, each with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, totaling 99 syllables, no more—no less. Count your syllables. Read the instructions carefully.
* For syllable and line count use: writerlywords.com. Your poem does not have to have a western theme. It can be in any genre, and can include any tone or mood. However, it must have a title. Punctuation and rhyming are optional and up to the poet.
* For this challenge, your poem must include five words taken from the found-poem by Cowboy Poet, Charles Badger Clark, called “The Springtime Plains.” You must use the fives words you choose in the order you found them in one of the three stanzas.
The word placement also depends on the line. Pay attention to the placement of these words in your poem.
- Line 1 starts with word 1
- Line 2 ends with word 2
- Line 3 starts with word 3
- Line 4 ends with word 4
- Line 5 starts with word 5
* Submit your five consecutive words from the poem “The Springtime Plains” so the judges can determine the placement of your words. Specify which stanza contains the five words.
* Make the judges remember your syllabic poem long after reading it.
“The Springtime Plains,”
by Charles Badger Clark
Heart of me, are you hearing
The drum of hoofs in the rains?
Over the Springtime plains I ride
Knee to knee with Spring
And glad as the summering sun that comes
Galloping north through the zodiac!
Heart of me, let’s forget
The plains death white and still,
When lonely love through the stillness called
Like a smothered stream that sings of Summer
Under the snow on a Winter night.
Now the frost is blown from the sky
And the plains are living again.
Lark lovers sing on the sunrise trail,
Wild horses call to me out of the noon,
Watching me pass with impish eyes,
Gray coyotes laugh in the quiet dusk
And the plains are glad all day with me.
Heart of me, all the way
My heart and the hoofs keep time,
And the wide, sweet winds from the greening world
Shout in my ears a glory song,
For nearer, nearer, mile and mile,
Over the quivering rim of the plains,
Is the valley that Spring and I love best
EXAMPLE of how to write the Double Ennead:
Line 1 starts with word 1 = wild
Line 2 ends with word 2 = horses
Line 3 starts with word 3 = call
Line 4 ends with word 4 = to
Line 5 starts with word 5 = me
Double Ennead: Five lines, with a syllable count of 6/5/11/6/5, 33 syllables per stanza, 3 stanzas each = 99 syllables.
~ ~ ~
The five consecutive words I selected: “Shout in my ears a” used in the first stanza.
A Pitiful Plague
Shout loud at what it is.
Words and actions in
My head ring clear of the assault on mankind.
Open your eyes and ears.
A call for kindness.
Stifling in ignorance,
Poison fills the mind.
This hate virus infects and sheds viral ash.
Soil, rinse, spin, and again,
The story repeats.
The cure for this madness,
Some will fail to learn,
Only love and kind words can conquer this plague.
For a fresh breath of life –
Love thy fellow man.
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