2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

It’s time for our second Two-for-Tuesday prompt. If you’re new to these challenges, you can pick either one prompt or the other. Or decide to do both. Your choice.

For today’s Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

  1. Write a sonnet or other traditional form poem. I specifically mention the sonnet, because it’s day 14 and the sonnet traditionally has 14 lines. But any other traditional form (villanelle, triolet, sestina, etc.) would work as well.
  2. Write an anti-sonnet or other traditional form poem. If you’re anti-form, good news! You can vent about it in a poem–or just write a poem that attacks form and structure of any kind (even beyond poetics). Anarchy poems?



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Here’s my attempt at a Sonnet and/or Anti-Sonnet Poem:

“To Sonnet or Not to Sonnet”

To sonnet or not to sonnet, is that
really a question? In the heart of my
poetic heart is a foam yoga mat
waiting to collect both true and slant rhymes
as I stretch this way and that and break lines
with my fellow poets over sloppy
metaphors and similes, but it’s fine,
because it’s not about the first draft; we
have time to revise when the sun has set
on November and beyond December–
this truth is one we must all remember:
if it’s not perfect at first, don’t you fret.
To sonnet or not to sonnet? O, please,
I’ll write my sonnets with ecstatic ease.


Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of the poetry collection, Solving the World’s Problems (Press 53). He edits Poet’s Market and Writer’s Market, in addition to writing a free weekly WritersMarket.com newsletter and a poetry column for Writer’s Digest magazine.

He loves poetic forms and considers them fun challenges. His favorite forms offer rhymes and refrains–so yeah, he likes French forms a lot. That said, he has better luck publishing poems that are not traditional forms.

Follow him on Twitter @robertleebrewer.


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230 thoughts on “2017 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 14

  1. Brandi Noelle

    The Idea of a Sonnet

    Why is the idea of a sonnet
    a romantic one, be it prosed for love
    with little Cupid hearts drawn upon it,
    professions of the heart pure as a dove?

    Or, is it the dwelling of deep sadness
    that captivates the poet in my soul?
    Broken hearts driven to sudden madness
    lover’s quarrels in which both play a role.

    A sonnet brings images of Shakespeare,
    a master in the art of romancing,
    Or, is it the tragedies we hold dear?
    Both are found to be rather entrancing.

    Whether love or sorrow a sonnet makes,
    it is enjoyed for the journey it takes

  2. Shennon

    Rules don’t apply to me
    Especially not in poetry
    When words strain to rhyme
    And I haven’t got time

    For syllable stress
    It makes me a mess
    I suffer duress
    My meter’s a mess

    Is apt to apply
    So I use snide similes
    Without asking why

    Then with content as poor
    As a coal miner’s wife
    The end comes abruptly
    To save further strife.


    1. ingridbruck

      Michel Peck

      Day 14

       she looked to the east
      waiting for the cold winter sun
      watching the visual feast
      drinking her coffee she was ready to run

      Birds fluttering in snowy branches
      shake off the cold from last night
      making white avalanches
      basking in the morning light

      A small flock of birds filled the sky
      wings pulling at the frozen air
      flapping rhythmically as they fly
      bird songs filled the forests white hair

    1. ingridbruck

      Tradition: Ronka

      Big boys in vest and white shirt jump up and down hitting a volleyball watched by a line of serious little boys on chairs

      I’ve never seen so many buggies parked at one farm
      The horses corralled under a white canopy with food and water to drink
      A temporary room built on the house to hold my people
      All Amish dress in Old Order black and white for this solemn occasion,
      A wedding held as required on Tuesday or Thursday in November or December.

    2. bmorrison9

      Revised to improve the form (hoping the blockquotes indent lines 3 & 4, 7 & 8)

      I Said

      I said no.
      Nothing changed.

      Daddy’s hands below.
      I said no.

      Sixty years on, at his nursing home,
      he apologised, said don’t be estranged.

      I said no.
      Nothing’s changed.

  3. seingraham


    There are no signs of you my darling one, my dear
    In dreams that mar my sleep each and every night
    But I feel ill while not awake and always filled with fear
    And startle wildly clutching air as if I’ve had quite a fright
    How long must I go on, enduring your haunting me?
    Even without form nor substance I still feel you lurk
    What will it take for me to scour your traces totally
    If I pour lye, upon your grave, I wonder, will that work
    I hear your snickers, don’t deny it, you think I’m kidding
    I’ll have you disinterred and stake you through your heart
    Sleep-deprived I could do you worse, you know my bidding
    I’m at a point where nothing’s too hard – I’ll do my part
    How can it be you’re dead and gone for good and all
    Yet I wake afraid you breathe and are just down the hall

  4. Holly

    Seeing red and feeling blue

    Dad was a small town doc who made house calls.
    “Work hard to reach the stars,” he said to me.
    He built an organ to play Bach by ear,
    saw government as freedom’s enemy.

    “Hard work is all you need to reach the stars,
    but welfare payments kill those people’s drive.
    Government will take away what’s ours.
    Just do your best: the only way to thrive.”

    “Welfare payments drain those people’s drive,” he said.
    “Why should I earn for someone else to take?
    If they did their best they’d have good lives.”
    For me, he built a boat to sail the lake.

    Why should he earn for someone else to take?
    Yet it’s from him that I first learned to care.
    I left the boat behind and left the lake:
    found that to do my best must mean to share.

    Despite his right-wing stance I learned to care.
    He was a small town doc who made house calls,
    built a craft to sail the lake we loved,
    and on the organ thundered Bach by ear.

  5. headintheclouds87

    This one is a pantoum, somewhat inspired by this Baudelaire poem – https://fleursdumal.org/poem/142

    Waking Dissonance

    The mind’s candle wanes in hot, stifling air
    Every thought exhumed to a puddle of wax;
    Echoes hang in the ensuing summer rain;
    Dying flames in a dismal downcast below.

    Every thought exhumed to a puddle of wax;
    Dark clouds thunder high above;
    Dying flames in a dismal downcast below,
    The sky’s warm tears fall to the ground.

    Dark clouds thunder high above
    The deep and saddened soil, lifeless and grey,
    The sky’s warm tears fall to the ground;
    The sun has forsaken its role today.

    The deep and saddened soil, lifeless and grey
    Spreads to every inch of field and forest,
    The sun has forsaken its role today
    Leaving minds deprived of a vital light.

  6. Melanie

    Blessed Are The Meek

    An uncertain world where terrorists rule
    Where conflicts ignite and bombs shower down
    The world swings an axis that’s violent and cruel
    Nothing’s secure, beneath troubles we drown
    The rich man has ripped the earth from my hand
    This man on his throne besotted with greed
    Bringing to ruin the life I had planned
    He steals my treasures, the things that I need

    God tells me the world belongs to the meek
    To those in their darkness, His presence seek
    He calls me to trust, to give Him my fight
    For Him to clothe me with power and might
    All worries fade. Concerns? They pass away
    Daily we triumph, His glory display

  7. MET

    A Retired Social Worker’s Tale

    Do not credit me with service,
    For I did it out of love,
    instead I have a lowly tale of lost beauty
    Of people who were deceived lost and broken
    The ones who were tossed aside…
    Sit you down in that broken chair…

    The damage to that broken chair
    Before it was tossed mindlessly aside,
    This chair was made by hands of love,
    Polished every day. A thing of beauty
    It was a straight back maple chair for service,
    Then the owner abused and it was broken.

    The chair was abandoned, abused, and broken
    No more a thing of beauty,
    It was wounded… no longer of any service…
    Wounded it was set aside
    Without polish, it faded without the love
    Into a disgusting broken chair.

    Dust dulled the disgusting broken chair,
    And cobwebs clung to the rungs and we looked aside
    To the bright shining chair of beauty
    Without the stresses of neglect, we could love
    A glance towards the once bright chair now broken
    Dismissed it for what good is a broken chair for service.

    That broken chair once dismissed was brought to me for service,
    I took out some polish and scrubbed aside
    The cobwebs and the dust and found a thing of beauty,
    But to repair its brokenness, this chair
    Needed I find the wounds where it was broken, and
    To do that I must it -love.

    People I know are not chairs broken set aside,
    But like that chair, they were not always broken…
    Just like that chair, to be repair they take love.

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 15, 2017

    1. MET

      While I was out and about yesterday… I worked on this… but nothing seemed to come together… until after midnight… I hope someone gets to read my very hard worked though imperfect attempt

  8. pipersfancy


    Is this “reality” to you—this lie?
    These ups and downs, my black-eyed bruise. You truss
    each shade of truth to bend, contort, deny
    the purpose of this union between us.

    I ask myself…

    Is this the best our marriage can attain—
    this thin facade I cling to, optics more
    important now than love? One hope remains—
    surviving one more day behind this door.

    If I can read you…

    Yet, walking upon eggshells breaks my will,
    defeats the sense of purpose in my life.
    A bird with broken wings can’t fly, and still
    her instinct drives her to escape the strife.

    My life unfolds, though time stands still for me
    in purgatory where lives this memory.

  9. Nancy Posey

    Yes, siree! I have two new great nieces born during the PAD Challenge. Here’s a sonnet for Vivian, born this afternoon:

    Sonnet to a New Great Niece

    When you slid into life, head first, lungs primed
    to make your presence known, your hardy cry
    struck us with joy. Our tears and laughter filled
    the room and overflowed. What passersby
    could help but feel a twinge of envy then?
    You lucky girl, born into love so rich
    and true, far beyond measure, without end.
    Four generations represented–which
    can claim you as our own? We all must feel
    ours is the strongest kinship to be had.
    I see her eyes reflected in your eyes;
    that smile’s a tiny version of your dad.
    And from my vantage point, I hope to find
    some part of you that I can claim as mine.

  10. grcran

    works of non-fiction

    poesy is shelved within the non-fiction
    therefore these words hold true: peace rules the earth.
    disease does not exist. no one is itchin’
    to cheat someone or compromise the mirth.
    starvation’s over. farms rebuilt the soil.
    pollution’s gone; the landfills decomposed.
    people are friendlier; no tempers boil.
    no crimes do we commit. cold cases close.

    what problems still occur, you might well ask
    and are the poets equal to the task
    the writing must anticipate the needs
    great verses translate into wondrous deeds
    and there you are good pilgrim, be a poet
    the world depends on you, so do not blow it

    gpr crane

  11. Earl Parsons

    The Form Prompt

    The prompt for today was to write in form
    We could sonnet or not or write both ways
    For me a form is simply not the norm
    But the prompt is the challenge for today

    A sonnet it made up of fourteen lines
    Each line is made up of ten syllables
    There is a specific pattern of rhyme
    Those are basic sonnet fundamentals

    There are many other forms we could use
    If we do not wish to write a sonnet
    A haiku, tanka, quatern we could choose
    Or have fun with a limerick or nonet

    Whatever we decide, let’s have some fun
    This is the fourteenth line, and now I’m done

  12. PowerUnit


    Becky brings my mug with a glowing smile
    Number one hundred five etched on its back
    sits high on a shelf, the wall is a stack
    of glass beer steins, I could be here a while.
    She slithers her hips through the tight isle
    a tray in one hand she’s developed a knack
    for quieting our team’s excessive yack
    by sliding beers for me and Jack and Kyle.
    Forget about Becky while mugs have beer
    play our games, laugh at trivial mistakes
    until our steins empty, and our thirst grows.
    Tempers heat up and good friends become foes
    then beer is delivered, anger it slakes.
    Line up to pay Becky, settle our owes.

  13. SarahLeaSales

    It Melted

    Here lies Gino Spumoni Supreme,
    whose wifey thought he’d eaten all the ice cream.
    When she peered into the freezer twice,
    finding it puddled behind the Italian ice,
    she went off the beam with an ice cream scream.

  14. MET


    My mind today has
    Been invaded by poems
    That have line limits,
    And rhymes and beats
    Something that goes ta-Da, ta-Da…
    It has been like kudzu
    Has been planted in my brain, and
    It is taking over.
    How will I ever sleep!

    Mary Elizabeth Todd
    November 14, 2017

    For those not from the south… kudzu is very invasive… I actually suspect it has a brain…and can grow a foot a day… Imported from Japan in the 40s to control erosion…

  15. tunesmiff

    G. Smith
    Mourning the morning star we watch the sun
    Rise above the screeching gulls and sea-smoke.
    The tide has turned, starting its shoreward run,
    Washing across the sand, our blanket soaked.

    And we laughed as we scurried up the beach,
    Venus fading with the brightening day.
    As the breaking waves tried and tried to reach
    We decided to run away, run away,

    Back over the dunes, back to the dry land,
    Back to the world, back to the safety of
    Solid earth under our feet, hand in hand,
    Heart to heart, knowing no one else to love.

    When you feel lost, you don’t have to go far,
    Back to that beach mourning the morning star.

  16. RJ Clarken

    Sonnet 65

    “…in black ink my love may still shine bright.” ~William Shakespeare

    A ZaniLa is not a sonnet.
    Shakespeare would’ve had a fit.
    See, my love is bright when ‘ere I write,
    so therefore, Dearest Bard, please permit

    me to try and pen words in this form.
    I will try to do you proud
    when ‘ere I write. See, my love is bright
    and as such, you should know I’m uncowed.

    How to compare thee? That’s the question.
    But, guess what? I haven’t a clue.
    See, my love is bright when ‘ere I write:
    Iambic pentameter, adieu.

    This poetaster eschews scansion
    (obviously) but means well
    when ‘ere she writes. See, her love is bright,
    and here you can see the parallel.

    Your black ink’s like my computer screen:
    You should live twice…in my rhyme,
    See, my love is bright when ‘ere I write:
    even ‘though there’s no sonnet, this time.

    Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press
    this sonnet poetic form.
    When ‘ere I write, ‘though my love shines bright
    I’m afraid that I just don’t conform.


  17. Linda Rhinehart Neas

    Sonnet for ESL 141

    Driving from the neighboring town,
    exhaustion begins to slip under my skin.
    At the halls of academia, I frown,
    then purposely, I raise my chin.
    You each have come from near and far
    simply to learn rapid repartee.
    Like a galaxy of brilliant stars,
    you shine bright before me.
    Linqua englais has enchanted
    your hearts as well as your minds.
    As New Year comes may you be granted
    the dream you each hope to find –
    Acceptance, friendship and liberty,
    in this land of opportunity.

    Who Am I to Complain?

    The hour strikes an octave,
    as the car pulls to a stop much like
    an old mule laboring into the stall at the end
    of a day filled with toil.
    Reflecting back, as I sit sipping tea,
    your faces rise before me like the moon
    peeking through the skylight.
    Your eyes sparkle with the joy of learning
    but deeper into them I see fatigue that comes
    from burning candles at both ends.
    Knowing the trials you have endured,
    I sit straighter in my chair, thinking –
    “How can I lament the work I love to do,
    when you can smile through burdens of sorrow,
    to come to class radiant with the joy
    of conquering this language of power
    in order to become like the Velveteen Rabbit –

  18. MHR

    My first attempt at Villanelle, and I liked how it turned out. Enjoy.

    I say a thousand lies,
    Dipped and crusted with deceit, cut by truth,
    But only one leads back to you.

    I don’t know what I’m doing,
    But I know it passes the time without you so,
    I say a thousand lies.

    And maybe all of them will ring a bell,
    In a gnarly twisted hell,
    But only one leads back to you.

    You’re watching me duck under branches,
    And I’m killing a bush all to avoid the point:
    I can say a thousand lies.

    Only one makes sense to you.
    So you start to follow me into the forest,
    Because only one leads back to you.

    Softly, breathing softly, you’ve caught up to me,
    You stare crookedly in my eyes as I tell you:
    “I can say a thousand lies,
    But only one leads back to you.”


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