Monday, April 12, 2010

Activity: Running Dragon

Featured in the April issue of the Instigatorzine is a poem by two writers, Laura McKeon and Melida Rodas, titled, "Amber." "Amber" takes its form and creation from the running dragon style of poetry.

Running dragons are extended haikus, often written competitively between two or more poets. The first stanza is two lines. The next stanza is three lines. This repeats until the end of the poem. The beginning of the poem revolves around nature, spring, or winter. The next poet writes three lines, with one word in the first line taken from one word from the previous line. For example:

The wild tree in sunset blinks
For blindness wakes the moon that wanes

But wanes for sight to come about
For nature burning, churning, forlorn at night
The time for folklore told to stringent lights

Around the middle of the running dragon, characters make their appearance. The end of the poem usually ends on a happy note, with another mention of spring or nature.

This is a pretty fun activity for poets. The more people involved, the more interesting it comes out because both of the voices bounce off each other. Also, the poem will probably turn out to be about something entirely different from what you had in mind. This is good with two writers because it becomes a battle for control of the subject of the poem. So try it!

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