Paint Chips and a Line of Verse

This week we are in the L section of the poetry dictionary and there were a few fun options to choose from. I did consider limerick, but my cousin Ron already wrote limericks last week. The lai and the lai nouveau were viable options. I’ve written one or two before, but I opted to not go that route. Light verse would have been humorous, but I just wasn’t in the mood. So I decided on a entry that may seem a bit odd. The line, defined as follows:

LINE (also called verse, stich) An aural and visual stretch of words; the basic compositional unit of a poem written in verse.

Aloud, in a song or a recited poem, a line is like a melodic phrase, lasting a certain length before the piece “turns” to the next line or ends. On the page, a line is a typographical unit, a horizontal row of words. If it ends arbitrarily when it reaches the right margin, the text is prose. If, however, it ends where the writer requires it to end, the text is verse (meaning written in discrete linesor versesdetermined by the poet, not a typesetter). In poetry, a line can (and often will) continue beyond the right margin, as in the long-lined poems of Walt Whitman; in this case the continuation is indented beneath the first part of the line.

The poet can determine a line’s length in several ways: (1) by using a regular meter, such as iambic pentameter, which requires that a set number of syllables (ten) and stresses (five) must accumulate before the line ends; (2) by ending the line on a rhyme word, whether or not the poem is in meter; (3) by following a cadence, an unmeasured surge of rhythm; (4) by choosing a line’s length visually, making it either similar to the nearby lines or different; (5) by imposing a line break, either where a pause occurs or between words usually grouped together (such as a prepositional phrase).

the poetry dictionary, pg. 159.

The Challenge

Your challenge today is to write a single line of poetry. It can be a short line or a long line like Whitman’s work. I’d like you to use at least two of the paint chip words in your line. Let’s see how much we can say in just one line.

The paint chip words and phrases you have to work with are margarita, aquarium, grass stain, avalanche, castle, thistle, and bright idea.

I know it’s sort of an odd collection of words and phrases. But you only need write one line. (I’m chuckling to myself, because I know that writing briefly but honestly is often much harder than going on and on.

My Line

I don’t recall the exact order I drew the paint chips from the deck, except that margarita was the first.

The margarita paint chip unleashed an avalanche of emotion on a day when 
        getting out of bed proved to be a less-than-bright idea

Your Turn

Now it’s your turn to write a stellar line of poetry. If you want to be a rebel, you can write more than one line but be very intentional about where each line of your poem ends. Post your line in the comments. Or if you want to post a longer poem on your blog, put a link in the comments and share just one line of it here. I’m looking forward to what you all have to share.

I am a Jesus Freak, and I don't care who knows it. I am a wife, mother, sister, aunt, daughter, and friend. My blood family is only part of the larger family of Christ that I belong to. I love to write, especially about my dear Savior.


11 Responses

  1. You are right Linda. It is easier to write much than little.

    Amateurs thought it was a bright idea to scale the mountain, but the steeper they climbed, the crackling beneath their feet joined in chorus with the sound of the avalanche, and suddenly, it was too late.

  2. You have inspired me . . .I thought of another. 🙂

    Falling on the freshly mowed lawn after one too many, she recalls something about margsritas removing grass stains instead of just causing them

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