George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron ByronIn 1985, a British Romantic Period Literature class changed my life. The poetry of Byron, Shelley, and Keats wakened in me a passion for writing. I determined to somehow make a career of it—and somehow feed my children.

Since then I’ve worked exclusively in publishing, first for game companies, now in education. I also continue to write, study, and promote poetry. It’s my opinion that poetry used to belong to the people, until academics stole it. It’s high time to steal it back from them.

Life Lune

Lester : July 23, 2016 12:49 pm : Poetry

Life’s a miracle
Flip the coin
Death’s an act of God

~Lester Smith
#micropoetry #lune

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How Poets Measure Stress

Lester : December 11, 2015 11:16 am : Announcements, Poetry

"All in one .." by #L98, CC by 2.0
“All in one ..” by #L98, CC by 2.0
This week in “The Pastime Machine,” chapter XIV force-feeds more Poetic Edda structure (Icelandic oral poetry of Norse mythology) to traditional sonnet form. The result is intentionally jarring—a matter of competing “feet” and “stress,” what poets call “measure.” (Hence the post title here.)

You may remember from high school English class that sonnets are traditionally iambic pentameter. That means five “feet” to a line, each “foot” an “iamb.” Sometimes teachers express this pattern of stressed and unstressed syllables as “daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM daDUM.”

In this chapter, “Thor set me down, with care to be less rough,” is a good example.

The Poetic Edda is instead trochaic tetrameter. That means four “feet” to a line, each “foot” a “trochee.” I doubt any high school teacher ever bothered defining that for you, but if they did, it would be “DUMda DUMda DUMda DUMda.”

In my chapter, “Stranger! Welcome! I hight Odin.” is a good example.

(For what it’s worth, Poetic Edda structure apparently also likes a conceptual split in the exact middle of each line. I think I’ve managed that, as well.)

So … whenever I have Thor or Odin speak in this section of the novel, I switch to trochaic tetrameter. Everywhere else, I preserve iambic pentameter. (It’s all part of the service.)

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Three New Poetry Titles!

Lester : November 12, 2015 12:03 pm : Announcements, Poetry, Popcorn Press

Dethier - Cade - Joy

From Utah, New Zealand, and Scotland, we’ve recently added three new poetry collections at Popcorn Press!

Reclamation, from Brock Dethier (head of the composition program at Utah State University), is an honest examination of adult repercussions of a childhood trauma, ultimately finding moments of contentment, and even joy.

Chemical Letters, from Octavia Cade (PhD in science communication—New Zeland), posits a scientist waking in a periodic table of elements turned apartment complex, which she must explore to find her self.

Teaching Neruda, from B. T. Joy (a former high-school teacher—Scotland) is a poetic exploration of a diverse range of famous poets, musicians, and visual artists.

We’re honored and thrilled at the opportunity to publish each of these excellent collections. You can find them in print and ebook format alike at Amazon.com, or at PopcornPress.com (in print, with ebook format soon to come).

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