Happy Friday! Last Friday, my Poetry Friday friend Linda shared an etheree – a particular poetic form, where the first line has one syllable, the next line two and so on, all the way to ten. I had seen this form before but not played with it, but Linda’s lovely poem about her cat (you can see it here) inspired me to give it a go.
Another thing I’ve been inspired by this past year, is my beach visits. I have always found the beach restful and inspiring in equal measure, and in Covid times, those visits have taken on extra meaning. So, when I decided to write an etheree and needed a single syllable word to begin with, there was only once choice. Here is what I came up with:
one day calm, still
the next, crashing waves
one day leaping dolphins
next an exuberant seal
new sights, delights await each time
I visit; but one thing stays the same:
that beach never fails to make me wonder.
When I’d finished, I decided I’d like to also try my hand a reverse etheree – which starts with ten syllables and works back to one. I instantly wondered if I could take that last line of my first etheree and make it the first line of my reverse. You can see I tweaked the first word, but here’s what came out:
The beach never fails to make me wonder:
new sights and sounds on every visit
a seal, a dolphin, screeching gulls
gambolling dogs, chasing waves
that gently roll or else
loudly crash and bash.
So much to take
And then, just when I thought I was finished, I realised that I’d left something out – the people who share the beach with me. Nearly every day I see my beach-friend Dave, walking his dog Mitch, and there are other regulars – some I know by name, some I know by sight, and some people I see there just once. And, of course, especially in the last year, I have loved sharing my beach through photos and videos shared here on my website and through social media, with people far and wide. It’s been a real privilege to share what I see, and to hear from people who have enjoyed those glimpses. So, one more etheree, again begun with the last line of the one before
and walk on
sandy shores and
see what I can see
hear what I am hearing
even if you are with me
only through a camera lens.
Technology bringing you along
makes my own experience much richer.
Thanks Linda for inspiring me to try this form. I know I’ll be using it more – and sharing it in the classroom, too.
Thanks too to Molly, who will be hosting the Poetry Friday Roundup. I can’t wait to see what new inspiration I collect from my fellow poets this week.