Frogs For Lunch

Happy National Poetry Month! This week I participated in a fun lunch-time poetry workshop with my friend Shutta Crum, sponsored by the Jax Poetry Fest. The workshop was entitled BEYOND HAIKU and introduced 3 short forms that were new to me: Tetractys, Pensee, and Chastushka. The beauty of short forms with very specific structures is that yes, it is possible to draft three during a lunch hour workshop!

Shutta introduced each form and offered a couple of poetic examples, and then gave us time to try our hand (or in my case, keyboard) at drafting a poem in the form. I’ll share (with permission) her slides that describe the rules and my (very rough-draft) responses. Given the limited amount of time, I chose the same topic for each form.

I wanted to use a homophone for the beginning and end of my double tetractys, but couldn’t quite make it work. I do like the shape of the double, which reminds me a bit of a diamante (or maybe a lilypad!)

notes boom–
lily pads shake
as bull frogs tumble into the muck.

Calls reverberate at the moonlit pond,
attracting mates.
croaks the

sleek green songster,
serenades his intentions,
hoping for a moonlit affair.
No rendezvous tonight!
–Buffy Silverman

Wrestling Match
Croaking bullfrogs puff and tumble.
Fighting forelimbs grapple, rumble,
try to claim their pads and stumble
back into the froggy jumble.  
–Buffy Silverman

Shutta is offering the workshop again on April 15, so if your taxes are finished and you’re interested in trying out these forms you can sign up here. And you can find info about all the other (free!) poetry workshops here.

Why, you might ask, did I have bullfrogs on the brain? They are one of the stars of my upcoming book, STARLIGHT SYMPHONY, which will be published on September 10th (a month earlier than originally planned–hooray!) Here’s a sneak peek at the cover that I just found at a certain online bookstore:

Head over to Live Your Poem where Irene offers poetic inspiration every month of the year! In addition to hosting Poetry Friday, Irene has today’s installation of the progressive poem.

23 thoughts on “Frogs For Lunch

  1. Congrats on the new book! And all those fun forms. What a great workshop. I love the rhyme in Wrestling Match. Thanks for sharing the new to me forms.

  2. I like bullfrogs also, and I’ve painted a handful of them. Fun poems Buffy, thanks for sharing all the forms and links too! Your forthcoming book looks intriguing–great cover art, congrats with all!

  3. First, congratulations on the new book. I can’t wait to read it.
    I so appreciate the varied and “new to me” forms. I also love that you’ve written about the same topic in all these forms.
    Thanks for sharing the links to the workshop. I’m going to sign up!

  4. The pond is full over here this week! Thanks for sharing these new-to-me forms. (Some great-sounding workshops during April in Jacksonville! And the internet-verse. I have several haiku poet friends in that area.) I miss the bullfrogs we had out back in Beaufort, but your poems made them come to life again. On a different note, STARLIGHT SYMPHONY looks/sounds wonderful… I feel a purchase coming on. Congratulations!!

  5. Thank you for sharing the forms, which are all new to me! I enjoyed all your froggy poems, especially “Wrestling Match” with its active rhymes. Congratulations on your new book!

  6. Congratulations, Buffy, on your new book. Wrestling Match is such a fun short poem. I am intrigued by the workshop you attended so I checked it out and signed up. Thanks for the info..

  7. Such a shower of poetry in your post, Buffy!
    First, congrats on the upcoming book! I love the title and the whole idea of listening to night begin. I’ll look forward to reading it.
    And thank you for all the poetry resources. I’m trying a lot of different forms and the short ones are challenging to capture all I want to say – an exercise in essentiality!

  8. I love frogs. I used to walk by a steam and as I passed could hear the frogs plunk into the water. Your three poems are delightful, full of such evocative words. These look like fun forms.

  9. I adore a short form and fun constraints. Thanks for the peek into your process. Those bull frogs wrestling steal the show!

  10. Great work with Shutta’s workshop, Buffy! You’re a master poet. And congratulations on your upcoming book! My owl pellets offer still stands if you need any for presentations 😉

  11. Thank you for sharing these forms and the fun examples that you created! Personally, I always love rhyme, and Wrestling Match made me smile. : ) Can’t wait to give them all a try – and to read Starlight Symphony! Congratulations, Buffy!

  12. Buffy, congratulations on Starlight Symphony. Thanks for giving the details of these three NEW forms. I enjoyed reading the three bullfrog poems, and I did sign up for the reprise of the beyond haiku workshop. It’s always amazing to me how I always find new forms.

  13. Enjoyed this lunchtime feast. Fun to see these new forms in action. And congrats on your new book!! Starlight Symphony is such a dreamy title . . .

  14. Thanks for the new forms and congrats on your new book. STARLIGHT SYMPHONY is such a great title. Looking forward to reading!

  15. After a new form from Alan and now two from you, via Shuttave bookmarked your post! And I love your poems—the “hoping for a moonlit affair”ne! Congratulations on Crum, Buffy, I’ is fun to imagi the new book. I know I’ll love it!

  16. Starlight Symphony!!! Congratulations, Buffy! I can’t wait to read it. Meanwhile that “sleek green songster” has my heart… and the wrestling match jumble is so much fun. Thank you! xo

  17. Hi Buffy,
    These reptile rascals as captured by you are riibbeting. I especially luv “Wrestling Match’ as it also wildly splashes the news that there are wetlands where bullfrogs are [locally] abundant – something else, to cheer, besides great poetry.

    Our recent March gray frog find in a rutted overflow road at one of the local state parks didn’t bring me a poem but maybe now if I return to my notes, with your & Shutta Crum’s models, it will. I’m a newish pal of hers via No. Fla poets but have’t been keeping up with my email so glad to know of this workshop goodness.

    April Poetry Month lines, verses & poems to You!

  18. Wow, Buffy! What a delicious lunch time feast you and Shutta cooked up! Thanks to both of you for sharing the details of each form and a mentor poem, too! I’m excited to try all of these–and with a snow day again, I have some extra time to do so. 🙂 Also, congratulations on your upcoming book. I can’t wait to read it!


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