A pantoum is a Malaysian form of oral poetry that features repeating lines that change meaning throughout the poem.
The essence of the pantoum form is a pattern of repetition of lines.
In the first stanza, none of the four lines repeats.
After the first stanza, the repetition begins:
- The first line of the new stanza is a repeat of the second line in the previous stanza
- The third line of the new stanza is a repeat of the fourth line in the previous stanza.
- The second and fourth lines of the new stanza are new lines, not seen before.
But then in the next stanza, those new lines come back as the first and third lines of the new stanza! So they get reused in their turn.
Paul Brookes is starting a form poetry challenge.
Six six line stanzas
One three line stanza
End words of each stanza are the same, just rearranged. Below is a link that once you have chosen the end words will put them in the correct order for you.
End words are UNRHYMED, unless you wish them to be rhymed.
No stipulation as to line length, but it must be consistent throughout each stanza.
Sestinas are great ti convey CONVERSATION due to the repetition.
I have a choice, either pick six random words that will be the end words for all six of the six-line stanzas, or write the first stanza and use the end line words. I chose the latter. Line length may vary but sonnet crazed as I am I chose a ten syllable line for all my lines. The stanzas are UNRHYMED. I dig deep for a subject, don’t analyse…
View original post 208 more words
Resa wrote this beautiful post about my book!
“In memory of my mother, Sylvia L. Schreiber … your laugh still echoes.”
Merril D. Smith’s mother passed away in the early days of Covid, in the days when there was no holding of hands, no kisses, no embraces and a veil of lonely shrouding all hearts.
Nonetheless, Merril does not pour a bucket of inconsolable tears into her poems, but rather flows with a river, a river that has many rocky climbs to solid land and ancient trees reaching over its waters. It is upon this river she reflects.
I was 10 poems into the book. Then, on one of my street art hunts, I came upon this mini-mural. There is a constant flowing of blue, with abstract flowers and leaves. I thought, this is like Merril’s book.
To me the blue ribbon is the river, with all its tributaries. Everything else, each flower and leaf is a…
View original post 208 more words
I added to this post. Now it’s an actual review. Sorry it took so long, Luanne.
I have updated and added to this post.
So–this arrived last night. I left it on the kitchen table, and I just started reading it–you know, leafing through it the way one does–and I got sucked in. I had to force myself to put it down because I have work to do. It is a powerful, lyrical mixture of poetry and prose, tragic accounts of everyday life–stories from her family history. Well, at least that’s what I’ve read so far. I’ll return for more in a bit.
OK, back to work now!
Luanne Castle is an award-winning poet. You can read more about her here.
So, nearly five years later, I’ll finish this review, which I thought I had done. Though I can’t really argue with my summary or that “You should probably read this.”
Kin Types is a selection of poetry and poetic prose that is based on…
View original post 294 more words
Reblogging this–because how could I not share this beautiful review of River Ghosts by Jane Dougherty?
Today, Top Tweet Tuesday is hosting a review fest for independent poetry reviews. For a while now, Amazon has refused to let me post reviews, insisting that I never bought the book, I don’t have an account, I don’t exist etc etc. It’s frustrating.
Anyway, TTT has nudged me to try a different approach. I have tried posting using my Amazon.fr account, the one I use for buying anti-flea pipettes and ink for the printer. It worked! I think. Still being processed, but this ***** review of Merril D. Smith’s poetry collection River Ghosts might actually appear on the Amzon.fr site soon.
A river of images
Merril Smith has been one of my favourite contemporary poets for a few years now, one of those poets who uses language to paint pictures. Her poems are to be read slowly, admired. They should be absorbed like a painting in a gallery. A…
View original post 227 more words
I’m sharing this review by Marie A Bailey of my book, River Ghosts.
I always feel apprehensive when reviewing poetry, maybe more so than when I’m writing the poetry myself. Some time ago, I took an online writing course, and the instructor mentioned in passing that she liked writing poetry because you didn’t need to explain poetry like you would explain a story or an essay. While that idea frees me to write poetry, it definitely makes it more difficult to review poetry.
Poetry is like music, like art. You can admire the technique, the skill in putting words (or notes or paints) together in a pleasing way. But the poetry I’m attracted to does more than please me. It lifts me out of myself and sets me to ponder ideas and feelings I either hadn’t considered or had been afraid to acknowledge. So ends my long introduction to this review of Merril D. Smith’s book, River Ghosts.
Cover art by Jay…
View original post 489 more words
Curtis Smith interviewed me for Small Press Reviews
Merril D. Smith is a historian and poet with a Ph.D. from Temple University in American History. She is the author/editor of many works on history, gender, and sexuality. Her poetry has appeared in Black Bough Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic, Fevers of the Mind, and others. She one of the hosts of the online dVerse Poets Pub. Her first poetry collection, River Ghosts was published in April 2022 by Nightingale and Sparrow Press. She lives in southern New Jersey near the Delaware River with her husband and cat.
You can find her at merrildsmith.com or on her blog, merrildsmith.wordpress.com. You can find
or through the publisher, Nightingale & Sparrow: https://nightingaleandsparrow.com/river-ghosts-by-merril-d-smith/
Curtis Smith: Congratulations on River Ghosts. I really enjoyed it. I’m always interested in the journey of a first collection. How did you end up working with Nightingale and Sparrow? How has the process been?
View original post 1,032 more words
Join the INSTANT CONTINUING POETRY RELAY FESTIVAL
and lend your voice to worldwide peace!
Spirit Thom gives us a push: let’s combine our creative energies and see what happens! Read the thread of poems begun here (his and mine) and post your own response, in the comments below, taking your prompt from the previous poems. Send this link out to your list. Let’s see how far and wide we can send our words. They matter! & they might just make a postive impact for change for the Highest Good.
BEGINS WHEN YOU RESPOND TO THIS INVITATION(as of Wednesday June 1,2022 CST) Extends when you take responsibility for your poetic communications Grows when you link BY ANY MEDIA POSSIBLE into the growing world of poetic peaceful modes and styles Basically,this initiates a POETIC RELAY-you respond then pass this invite on to any person who might take it further via creating then communicating ways and means in metaphor of their…
View original post 146 more words
Elizabeth Gauffreau has written such a thoughtful review of my poetry book, River Ghosts–and she even made a video! 💙
Merril D. Smith’s debut collection is poetry of the felt but unseen, those moments in life when we feel in touch with something greater than ourselves to which only poetry can give voice. Even then, we can never fully understand it. We just know it’s there, a form of faith we never knew we needed.
The title poem, “River Ghosts,” introduces the idea that our sensory experience of the natural world–”dusty grass,” “a gull’s laugh,” “cloud-light shimmering,” “spring-scented rain”–can evoke memories and dreams we thought we’d forgotten. However, it becomes apparent after reading the entire collection that we can only hear a “whisper in that dusty grass” if we are attuned to the wavelength on which it travels.
Smith does not limit her experience of the natural world to earth and water. A number of the poems look skyward to…
View original post 475 more words