WD Poetic Form Challenge: Strambotto Winner

The Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge (this time a strambotto) is an opportunity for poets to try a form together and for one of those poems to end up in Writer’s Digest magazine.
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The Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge (this time a strambotto) is an opportunity for poets to try a form together and for one of those poems to end up in Writer’s Digest magazine.

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Here are the results of the Writer’s Digest Poetic Form Challenge for the strambotto along with a Top 10 list.

Read all of them here.

Here is the winning strambotto:

Chant des morts, by Daniel Ari

It's hard to smoke a cigarette without lips.
Too bad, because it's cold and crowded down here,
and a smoke with a joke enlivens the crypts—
above all when all the tourists disappear—
but we've found we don't need flesh to shake our hips
and tamp our femurs on the underworld sphere.
A broken pelvis shakes, a cracking skull flips,
a mound of phalanges clatters from a bier

to tap an echoing gavotte in the mine.
We echo forever in the twisting run
around Latin words left for you as a sign:
you may be one of the few who joins our fun;
or else you'll be elsewhere in your long recline.
It's all one underground, after all, and un-
derstandable to feel our song in your spine
far below Paris, so far below the sun.


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Congratulations, Daniel! I really enjoyed the playfulness of "Chant des morts," both in the subject matter and language. It's not often I get to read a poem with phalanges, a bier, and an "echoing gavotte."

Here’s my Top 10 list:

  1. Chant des morts, by Daniel Ari
  2. View of Flowers Under Moonlight, by Sara McNulty
  3. On Seeing a Grandchild, by William Preston
  4. Strambotto Amore, by Sari Grandstaff
  5. Reach, by Richard Walker
  6. No Colossus, by Tracy Davidson
  7. Garden Yin and Yang, by Candace Kubinec
  8. Rendezvous, by Jane Shlensky
  9. Family Pet, by RJ Clarken
  10. Inspiration, by Alice Stainer

Congratulations to everyone in the Top 10! And to everyone who wrote a strambotto!


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