Colleen Chesebro Podcast TTT Poetry Season 4 Syllabic Poetry

Season 4 Episode 28: Colleen Chesebro on the Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry

silver Luna’s soft glow highlights night
sky echoes stars, hoarfrost lace glints
upon fallen leaves of gold
tree shadow skeletons
shiver in the wind
autumn rushes
in the cold

Colleen M. Chesebro
Word Weaving # 1: A Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse

Welcome to Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

Thank you for listening in.

I am your host, Rebecca Budd, and I am looking forward to sharing this moment with you.

I am delighted that writer and poet, Colleen Chesebro, and I are connecting Michigan and British Columbia to discuss the art of current and traditional forms of syllabic poetry.

Colleen believes that the art of crafting poetry strengthens our writing skills.  In her book, Word Craft: Prose & Poetry: The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry, she writes: “When we create poetry, we gain command of language; cultivate a healthy vocabulary, master literary devices such as metaphor, simile, alliteration, hyperbole, and allegory.  We learn to work in imagery.”

Is writing poetry open to all of us?  How do we begin a poet’s journey? Where can we find support and encouragement from other poets?  These are the questions that will be discussed today.

I invite you to put the kettle on and add to this exciting conversation on Tea Toast & Trivia.

Thank you, Colleen for sharing your insights on how poetry allows us to describe the world around us in unexpected ways.   I am inspired by your final words in your book “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry: The art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry: Be bold. Be creative. Write some syllabic poetry.

Listeners you can meet up with Colleen on Word Craft Poetry,  Amazon and Goodreads. You are only an internet click away from the first step on your journey of learning the art of syllabic poetry.

Until next time, keep safe and be well.

Colleen Chesebro on the Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry Tea. Toast. & Trivia.

By Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

57 replies on “Season 4 Episode 28: Colleen Chesebro on the Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry”

I am thrilled to be the first here to listen to this fantastic podcast. My ‘sister’ Colleen, alerted our sister group to the live post. You explained your poetry mission so well dear Sis. And I’m so proud of you for how far you’ve come on this poetic journey. As you said, anyone can write syllabic poetry if they just open the awareness, step out and observe. If I can, anyone can, lol. And Colleen hit the nose when she said writing in these forms is like a puzzle. That’s exactly how I feel when writing one. I write out my thoughts on an observation then I begin condensing, changing words around to fit the story together using the appropriate amount of syllables. Rebecca, I was so happy you got Colleen to interview. Like many of us writers, we prefer to hide behind our words than speak publicly. LOL. And I would highly recommend Colleen to assist with publishing needs. I have been lucky to have her help on many occasions – especially with techy blog issues. You can rest assured if Colleen is working for you. She’ll have your back! Hugs to both of you. ❤ xx

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I LOVED meeting up with Colleen and exploring syllabic poetry, Debby. I am studying her book, Word Craft, Prose and Poetry: The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry, with great interest. Her explanations and examples are clear and well presented, her enthusiasm energizing. I am looking forward to my poetry journey. You can imagine my surprise – I would have NEVER thought that I would be involved in creating poetry. Colleen has the ability to inspire even the most hesitant of us, that there is a poet hiding inside waiting to be launched. Thank you so much for your support and encouragement of these life-affirming an positive discussions. Very much appreciated.

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That’s wonderful Rebecca. I was hesitant, like you. And I don’t always have the time to join in. But the beauty of Colleen’s challenges are that there is no pressure. When you get the urge to hop on to a challenge, you are always welcomed. I look forward to reading what you come up with. And my pleasure. I love your interviews. Hugs xx

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I am delighted that you enjoyed this conversation, Mandy. I had heard of Haiku and Tanka before, but I had never been introduced to the other forms. I couldn’t even pronounce the names. LOL. I continue to learn and learn and learn. Sending hugs and more hugs!

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I had no idea there were hundreds of forms of syllabic poetry. I’ve always admired those who can write meaningful poetry with a minimum of words/syllables. Poetry is not something I’ve had much interest in writing before, but I’m always fascinated by learning about any writer’s process. Congratulations to Colleen for all her success.

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Pete – you and me both!! I had a listing of the forms and then tried to pronounce them in the intro but in the end, Don and I decided Colleen should pronounce them. LOL I have NEVER been interested in writing poetry before and yet, I am ready to embark on a road that I never thought that I would travel. Remember what you said to me recently? We need to take risk and try something new! Thank you for your encouragement.

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Thank you for helping me learn more about Colleen, Rebecca.

The first thing I want to say is how much I like the phrase “Word Weaving.” That’s beautiful.

I also want to mention that I love how teachers have a lifelong impact on their students. Perhaps they never realize how important those early rapid lessons were. I look back at a few teachers whose words still inspire me 50 years later.

I appreciate Colleen pointing out that when done well, the poetry does not call attention to the syllabic structure. I think we see this in many art forms. I know I see it in woodworking. When someone builds a piece of furniture according to a standard form, very few people notice the form.

I read a lot of poetry, and, in many cases, I wouldn’t recognize the specific form if it wasn’t revealed in the title (Tanka Tuesday for example). I have often asked a poet what form a poem was, or if there was a form.

I like that she pointed out how much poetry is out on WordPress. I read some every day, and I have read more poems under Tanka Tuesday than any other.

Thanks again, and I hope you and Colleen have a wonderful week.

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Dan, thanks so much for connecting. Those teachers affect our lives! Don’t we know it? If anyone had told me that when I was retired, I would host a weekly syllabic challenge; I would have laughed. But here I am! I know you and your blog from your door’s challenge. Kerfe shares the best doors, always accompanied by a syllabic poem. I look forward to Thursday doors each week. I appreciate you stopping by. ❤

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Dan – you always have the best comments that bring the conversation together and spark fresh ideas for discussion. For example, your thought “When someone builds a piece of furniture according to a standard form, very few people notice the form.” I never thought of that before. So you have me thinking…

I agree – Colleen has a way of defining poetry as an action: “Word Weaving” and “Crafting Poetry” energizes the activity. When I was in high school, I always considered that poets were ancient, sitting at a table by candlelight using a quill pen. YIKES. Instead, they were young, vibrant, outliers who changed the world with words. When I read poetry out loud to an empty room or under the trees, I sense the words revolving around me. Poetry is more of a verb than a noun.

Many thanks for listening in and for your visit – very much appreciated.

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So many elements of furniture design were/are governed by the Golden Ratio. That was discovered somewhere around 1600, give or take, depending on which source you accept. 400 years later, it’s still a good idea, but one most people wouldn’t recognize. They just think something looks good.

I found it interesting when Colleen was talking about Japanese forms, and how they sound different in that language. Understanding how things developed over time is something that still fascinates me.

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I am delighted you listened in and Darlene! And yes! Colleen’s energy ignites us to think that anything is possible. Do joined me on a poet journey which I plan to begin in September, my favourite month to begin new things….

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Dear Rebecca and Colleen,

A joy to listen to this conversation. Blogging has opened up many new avenues to me. And the friendships allow for unexpected growth. May we all continue to enjoy puzzling our words.


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I am delighted that you listened in, Julies. I agree wholeheartedly – we belong to a compassion blogging community that thrives on the exchange of knowledge and experience. Colleen’s enthusiasm energizes possibilities. I would have NEVER thought of embarking on a poet’s journey. And yet,….here I am. I am excited.

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My own backround in the beginning – I started writing young also. Not any particular form, but as a way to escape, for comfort too. And I haven’t stopped. But I play with many forms and also write flash fiction 🙂

Continued success in all you do. ~Jules

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Thank you for listening in Sally and for your support and encouragement of syllabic poetry. Sorry this response is late – we have been having internet problems in Canada with one of our largest internet suppliers for a few days Needless to say, there is a great deal of discussion. Interact didn’t work, 911 lines were impacted. I had to literally rob my piggy bank to pay for our ice cream cones. Yes – when you can’t get online, going for ice cream is the best thing to do. Sending hugs!

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I enjoyed this interview very much. After all these years, it was wonderful to finally hear Colleen’s voice! Even though I don’t contribute to Tanka Tuesday very often anymore, I have enjoyed learning about syllabic poetry from her, and it was great to hear her discuss and explain her thoughts about it here.

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Much to love in this podcast, Rebecca and Colleen! Hearing about the influence of a teacher, learning that there are more forms of poetry than one could imagine, and being awed by how much the talented Colleen does for the poetry community.

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I am delighted you joined the confirmation, Dave! I very much appreciate you continued supported of these amazing conversations. I first heard about Colleen via Liz Gauffeau when I asked her about syllabic poetry. She introduced me to Tanka Tuesday and Colleen. Colleen encourages everyone to participate in writing poetry. Her enthusiasm energizes. Colleen reminds me of the quote (you know I would add a quote didn’t you?) by W.H. Auden. “A poet is, before anything else, a person who is passionately in love with language.”

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I am excited for you Rebecca, to be starting on your poet’s journal. It is always wonderful to try something new and we never know where it will lead. It was inspiring to hear Colleen speak about poetry with so much passion. I like what you said about poetry coming from an inner place inside us. I also like what Colleen said about getting outside and taking a walk. Living in the moment and seeing all the beauty around us, does inspire poetry! I would like to return here again and listen once more… so many little grains of writing and life lessons here.

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Thank you so much for your insightful comments, Linda!! I agree wholeheartedly that poetry is inspired by our connection to nature, to be mindful of the moments given. I am thrilled that you joined the conversation. Sending hugs!

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Thank you, Rebecca, for the opportunity to hear Colleen share her heart and soul via your podcast. Colleen, what can I say? You are so much to so many. With everything you do to promote the art of poetry as a craft, you help those reticent to express themselves through poetry find their voice. Learning about syllabic poetry from you has helped me realize and experience new joys in writing!

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I am delighted that you listened in and added to this conversation, Annette. You echoed my thoughts about Colleen: “You are so much to so many.” Colleen’s enthusiasm ignites possibilities in those who connect with her. I am looking forward to the adventure ahead. I am glad that we connected!

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Thank you, Colleen and Rebecca, for this delightful and encouraging dialogue about enjoying and writing poetry. Colleen’s words of experience from her own life of writing poetry and of putting words together to make beautiful thoughts line after line, gives her authority to teach us. I believe that Colleen started learning to write poetry when very young which causes me to remember my first experience writing simple lines of poetry in a one room school house in the middle of Nebraska. I was in the 5th grade, fortunately, I had a gifted and patient teacher who coached us off and on during the year. I appreciate these valuable words, Colleen, and will be reading this again and will be searching for your book and will make a purchase! This is a new type of poetry, even at my age, there is so much to learn! ! I want to thank you for being and encouragement!

thank you

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I knew that you would enjoy this conversation, Frances, as I know that poetry has always been a source of joy and reflection for you. Thank you for introducing to poetry at a very young age. I remember how you helped me memorize poems as a child. I have ordered you a copy of Colleen’s book “Word Craft Prose & Poetry: The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry” which should be on my doorstep in a few days! Sending hugs!

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I’m sorry to arrive late at the party. I was saving it to listen with my husband on our scenic drive. I greatly enjoyed the conversation! It was very interesting to learn how Colleen’s poetry practice was born and grew to what it is today. I couldn’t agree more with her statement that the best way to write poetry is to walk outside in nature. The blogging community keeps poetry alive and vital also resonated with me. I wrote my first haiku last weekend, and I’m out today searching for more!

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Liz – you are never, ever late to the party. In fact, the party starts with your arrival. How exciting to write your first haiku!!! I look forward to reading/hearing it!! I find that when I recite poetry in nature, I hear a call back from the world around me. It is as if nature has added a song to the words as they float around me. It truly is an extraordinary experience. Thank you for introducing me to Colleen a few months ago and for your encouragement of life-affirming conversations.

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Hi Rebecca and Colleen, this is a lovely discussion. I never learned about syllabic poetry at school, our teachers focused on rhyming verse and everything I wrote before I met Colleen in late 2016 was in that form. I wrote so much rhyming poetry, I started thinking in rhyme. I started my WP blog in 2016 (August) and I started learning from other poets. I developed a love for from form poetry and also syllabic poetry. I don’t participate in Colleen’s or Charli’s challenges as much any more because my books take up so much of my creative energy and time, but I still like to read other peoples contributions as much as possible. You never stop learning in life. I love Colleen’s double ennead form in 99-syllables and I am 25 poems into a book about African wildlife and the 6th mass extinction in that form. I am aiming for 99 poems in due course. Thank you, Colleen, for everything you do for the poetry community. We all love you and benefit from your mastery of syllabic poetry. Rebecca, thank you for helping to get the word out about the poets and writers of the blogosphere and WP.

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Thank you, Robbie for listening in and joining the conversation. I agree wholeheartedly – you never stop learning in life. You, my dear friend, embrace new ideas and thoughts with joy and expectation. I look forward to every one of your poetry recitations on your YouTube Channel. And now, I eagerly await your poetry collection on African wildlife. My goal is to encourage poets to give their voice to their words. I am delighted that I have connected with Colleen – we are on a grand adventure together.

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Colleen, you are right. I thought poetry was a dead art (which I loved since grade school), until I found WordPress.
Suddenly, poetry is reborn. Now it flourishes.
Rebecca, Colleen is a fab guest. I adore everything she imparted, and perhaps I will write more poetry one day, poetry that is not so wild and unconstructed.
I love that Colleen’s cats are her mewses!
Cheers to both of you, and thank you for this most enlightening podcast! _ Hugs!

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