I’ve come to realize one thing over the past week or so: I really like the luc bat form. It offers such an off-beat way to turn rhymes while still providing enough flexibility to deliver meaning as well. The top 10 luc bat poems (as well as many outside the top 10) all managed to delight in their own ways, but there can only be one winner.
This time the winner happens to be Nancy Posey for her luc bat titled “Vietnam: A Lesson in Geography (and More).” Here’s her poem:
Vietnam: A Lesson in Geography (and More), by Nancy Posey
“War is how Americans learn geography.”
–from This American Life
We had to search the map
to understand what happened there.
We tried to be prepared,
to know the places where they went–
Saigon, Phnom Penh. They spent
those sweet years meant to grow
small task—having to go to war
in a country so far
away that they had hardly known
its name. Then they were gone
to jungles overgrown, so green
they looked more like a scene
on film, a magazine full-page
spread, just boys at the age
for adventure, not sage enough
to see the risk, the stuff
of nightmares, dreams too rough for boys
imprisoned in Hanoi, or flown
in coffins back to homes,
to families who’d known no more
why they were there, before
or after, some who swore to learn
about that place, who burned
with passions that they turned to zeal,
not sure how they should feel,
confused by Fortune’s wheel, by fate,
by lessons learned too late
and wars fueled both by hate and greed.
Instead we had to heed
our instincts, sate our needs as we
Please congratulate Nancy on her winning poem! And then, go back to the original post to find these other luc bat poems in the top 10!
- “Vietnam: A Lesson in Geography (and More),” by Nancy Posey
- “What the Artist Said,” by Taylor Graham
- “Whale Song,” by Susan Budig
- “The Empty House,” by Daniel Ari
- “The Blind Date,” by Tracy Davidson
- “Softening,” by Andrew Kreider
- “Luke Bats,” by George Smith
- “The Source of Pain,” by Jane Shlensky
- “Square Dance,” by Sara Ramsdell
- “Winter Fire,” by J. Lynn Sheridan
After checking out the top 10 poems, please congratulate those poets–and thank everyone for participating. It won’t take you long to realize that there were many poems outside my top 10 that would easily fit on another reader’s top 10 list. Thank you so much, everyone, for participating!
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