WD Poetic Form Challenge: Luc Bat Winner

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
into adulthood—no
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
studied geography.


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!

  1. “Vietnam: A Lesson in Geography (and More),” by Nancy Posey
  2. “What the Artist Said,” by Taylor Graham
  3. “Whale Song,” by Susan Budig
  4. “The Empty House,” by Daniel Ari
  5. “The Blind Date,” by Tracy Davidson
  6. “Softening,” by Andrew Kreider
  7. “Luke Bats,” by George Smith
  8. “The Source of Pain,” by Jane Shlensky
  9. “Square Dance,” by Sara Ramsdell
  10. “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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21 thoughts on “WD Poetic Form Challenge: Luc Bat Winner

  1. DanielAri

    Thanks for this round, Robert. Luc-Bat is very unfamiliar territory, but I enjoyed it a lot. The way the rhymes string together created an almost siphon-like effect for me that drew out the story. Hard to put this into words. The way the rhymes sustain and recur was like knitting. The few times I’ve knitted yarn, I found it hard to stop because one loop always begged the next. Writing Luc Bat was like that for me.

    Nancy, I really like your poem. Appreciate your tie in to This American Life, too.

    COngrats everyone who tackled this challenge!

  2. dandelionwine

    Congratulations to all and especially to Nancy! Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your most beautiful poem with us, and my thanks to Robert for including me on the list. The Luc Bat brought so many unique pieces into being- definitely a form to remember.

  3. tunesmiff

    Thank you, Sir, for including me in this group of more talented poets… I am honored to counted among them… and to being able to participate…

  4. Michael Grove

    Congratulations to Nancy for the amazing winning poem. The theme fits the form perfectly. BRAVO to the other 9 poets who received top 10 recognition. The Luc Bat is a very interesting form. Thanks Robert for yet another challenge.

  5. Nancy Posey

    Thanks, Robert! I am so honored to have my luc bat selected. I think it’s a great form to teach use of subtle internal rhyme, don’t you?

  6. Ber

    Congrats Nancy worthy winner and to all the other top ten winners in fact everyone who took part. Enjoyed reading them and taking part. Never have done one in this form before very new for me and thanks Robert for setting this task.

  7. Linda.H

    Andrew, unlike you, I found this form incredibly difficult. Not only that but my schedule didn’t allow me time to participate this time. BUT it wouldn’t have mattered because that luc bat, Nancy, is wonderful. You certainly deserve this honor. I am doing my happy dance for you, friend 🙂 YAY, NANCY!

    Congrats to all the other winners as well.


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