September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019
My heart is heavy. One of America’s greatest poets.
I don’t often write verse that rhymes. Free verse comes so much easier to me. But I purposely have been trying to rhyme more. Here are a couple of rhyming poems that I’ve written recently:
I Can’t Think
I’m so exhausted I can’t even think.
Too much to do—I need a drink!
No alcohol, so coffee will do.
A brew instead of a brewski or two.
Too many deadlines, too much mess,
Too much to practice, can’t reach success,
Too many promises, too much work,
Firm obligations I’m forced to shirk.
Depleted, consumed, fatigued and drained,
I stagger and trip; my ankle’s sprained.
Pooped and bushed, weary and spent,
My tools won’t work; my broom is bent.
Hours to go till I’ve done what I must,
This horrible day is a total bust—
I’ll be too late to meet my friend.
Will this busy day never end?
The rule is “Nothing after eight.”
This rule is one I’ve come to hate,
For the ev’ning’s when I’m hungry,
Hungry as a junk-food junkie.
So snacking is off the table.
I starve as long as I’m able.
I dream of buttery popcorn
And other versions of food porn.
While reading or watching TV
And drinking my diet iced tea,
I’m craving some cookies or cake;
But instead, my sweets I’ll forsake.
And here is one in free verse. My folk dance group meets on Tuesday nights for three hours. Toward the end of the evening, some of the people get tired and want to go home. I’m usually the person pleading to go on until our time is up.
One More Dance?
Please, let’s not leave yet!
Let’s do another—
Maybe one from Romania,
Maybe one with grapevines
Just one more—
One with leaps and turns
Or a quiet one that walks and sways.
One to an acapella choir of women’s voices
Please, just one more dance
All these poems are for a chapbook contest I’m entering.
Poems © ARHuelsenbeck.
This time last year, I dreamed that ARHtistic License would grow from 350+ to 600 subscribers. As of this writing (Wednesday afternoon), we’re almost there. If you haven’t yet joined our subscribers and you like what you see on ARHtistic License, please help us out by hitting the “Follow” button on the sidebar. Thanks, and welcome to our artistic community!
My hope for 2019 is that ARHtistic License will pass the 1,000 follower mark. It would mean a lot to me if you’d help out by spreading the word, sharing your favorite articles on your social media.
My Top Ten Posts of 2018 tabulated by number of views. Have you seen all of these?
But an article I wrote in 2016 got even more views this year than the Gorelangton interview. Jan van Eyck’s The Crucifixion and the Last Judgment: Painted by a Committee received 543 views in 2018 and 870 views since it was published.
Other older articles that were heavily viewed in 2018:
2. Ballet Feet—what ballet dancers suffer for their art.
3. How to Practice the Piano: Doh! Dohnányi—If you’ve ever practiced these exercises, you know what I mean.
4. How to Make a Meme on a Mac—step by step instructions.
5. Yarn and Beads—about the art of the Huichol people of Mexico.
6. Escaping the Khmer Rouge: Review of Beautiful Hero by Jennifer H. Lau—This autobiographical book has won 5 awards.
7. Happy Anniversary!—wherein I celebrate the first three months of the existence of my blog.
8. Phoenix Art Museum—what my daughter Katie and I saw on a Mother’s Day excursion.
I also contribute guest posts to A Writer’s Path. Here are some of my top articles there:
1. 12 Worst Blogging Mistakes. 808 views.
2. For Bloggers: How to Post Every Day. 543 views.
3. 20 Tools Every Writer Needs. 478 views.
4. 21 Inspirational Quotes for Writers. 416 views.
As I review my creative goals for 2018, I see that I didn’t completely achieve them, but I did make general progress.
I did a run-through of my God of Paradox manuscript with my bible study group, got some excellent feedback, and discovered some real problems that needed to be corrected. I’m almost finished with the rewrite. I’m going to see if my pastor or someone with a theology degree will read through it for me, then I’ll maybe do another rewrite if necessary, or a quick polishing, and start submitting in 2019.
The Unicornologist has been on the back burner, but never far from my thoughts. I’m hoping to solve all my plot problems and do a thorough final rewrite, then seek representation in 2019.
I’ve really stalled on recorder and guitar, hardly practicing at all in the last six months. I’ve been more faithful about piano.
I’ve written some poetry; if I can write and rewrite enough poems in the next couple of weeks, I might enter another chapbook in a contest.
I had a hip replacement in July. For eight months before the surgery I suffered enough pain that I could not dance. (Heck, I could barely walk.) I am happy to say I am dancing once again and helping to teach dances in my international folk dance group.
Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you’d like to see more of on ARHtistic License. What art- and creativity-related topics would you like me to cover? Which artists, musicians, and composers would you like profiled? Which of my articles and features do you like best? Please share in the comments below. And don’t forget to subscribe to ARHtistic License, to hit the “Like” button below, and to share your favorite article (find links to my most popular articles above) on all your social media. Thank you, and have a happy New Year!
But there’s more to poetry than free verse and couplets. In fact, there are almost as many forms of poetry as there are actual poems!
How many of the poetry terms on this list have you heard of? Leave a note in our comments section.
1. Aubade: A poem that ponders lovers separating at dawn. Example: John Donne’s “The Sun Rising”
2. Concrete: Poems that form shapes with words. Example: George Herbert’s “Easter Wings”
3. Didactic: Poems meant to instruct. Example: Alexander Pope’s “The Rape of the Lock”
4. Eclogue: A poem set in a bucolic place (that often discusses urban, social, or political issues). Example: Louis MacNeice’s “Eclogue by a Five-Barred Gate”
5. Ekphrasis: Poetry that echoes specific artwork in another medium (poems about paintings or music, etc.). Example: An excerpt from Homer’s The Iliad
6. Found: A poem created from existing text. See many examples at The Found Poetry Review
7. Ghazal: Carefully rhymed couplets musing on erotic/mystic longing. Example: Patricia Smith’s “Hip-Hop Ghazal”
8. Gnomic: Poetry that embraces aphorisms, proverbs, and maxims. Example: Robert Creeley’s “Gnomic Verses”
9. Occasional: Poem written to commemorate an event or moment in time. Example: Emily Dickinson’s “The Birds begun at Four o’clock”
10. Palinode: A poem that retracts something said in a previous poem. Example: Chaucer’s “Retraction”
11. Sestina: Six stanzas consisting of six lines each, composed in fixed verse form. A repeating set of six words ends the lines of each of the six-line stanzas, but in a different order with each repetition. Example: Elizabeth Bishop’s “Sestina”
Want to learn more about obscure poetry forms? Visit this fantastic website curated by The Poetry Foundation.
Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy Infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar.
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
~Joseph Franz Mohr
Christmas is a good time to consider books (they make great gifts, just sayin’) and other beautiful things.