First things first. A late entry for the previous Nove otto challenge from the cat goddess Bastet herself. Please read, it’s a great addition to the collection.
Now for the challenge. Cleave here is used in both senses— of hanging on or sticking to someone and dividing in two. There’s a name for words that have two completely opposite meanings (like sanction) but I can’t remember what it is. Cleave is obviously one.
A cleave poem is in two halves, two separate poems, one on the left, one on the right, but that make a single poem when you read them together. It sounds tricky…and it is.
BUT there are no rhymes, no rhythms and no set length, so the non-comformists among you who have problems with the strict forms have nothing to complain about. I found it useful to keep it short. The poem below started off as only four lines. I went back to it when I thought I’d got the hang of it. If you start with a good line that you can break in two easily enough and let the two halves go off in different directions, even opposite directions, the sense of satisfaction if it all hangs together as one poem is greater.
Poet’s Corner has posted a link to the Cleave Poetry Webzine which gives the background to the form by its originator. Thanks for that. It’s helpful and interesting.
Here’s an example I wrote yesterday.
Please stay/ the blackbird calls
The night will be dark/ the sun is setting
Don’t take your warmth/ beyond the horizon
Where the light dies/ for the night is waiting.
Remember your promise/ Mine forever
You said it so easy/ you gave me a rose
Sweet as the blackbird’s song/ sweeter than honey
Ended now / its white petals fallen
Like winter’s first snow/ lie soft on the ground.
77 thoughts on “Poetry challenge #24: Cleave poem”
Thanks you very much Jane for adding me to your list of participants! 🙂
My pleasure. I didn’t edit yesterday’s post because probably most people have already seen it.
That was terribly nice of you … many thanks for including me here!
I try to include everybody. Sometimes I forget if it was for a challenge weeks previously 🙂
And that is very understandable … 🙂
Well that’s a doosie
Does that mean you’re up for it?
I have to try don’t I
You don’t have to. But I know where you live…
Nervous laughter Jane
I’ll put it back in the box…until I get that poem.
This seems like it will be a challenge. 🙂
If I can do it, so can you. With knobs on 🙂
I had to look up “with knobs on.” Thank you. 🙂
Sorry. Just one of those daft idioms. You can say ‘with bells on’ either. Steampunk 🙂
I suppose bells and knobs would be a bit much. 😉
You inspired me; I will have to try this form. I particularly liked your lines “Don’t take your warmth/ beyond the horizon – Where the light dies…” That conjures a myriad of emotional responses in me. Love it!
Thank you! The daily cycle of night and day is very powerful. The death and birth of the sun go very deep in our human psyche.
Ooooh…I think I will like this form. I love what you did with it Jane! My favorite line…”Sweet as the blackbird’s song/ sweeter than honey”. You make it look so easy. We shall see! -kat
If it looks easy, Kat, it’s a fluke! I assure you I sweated blood over it. I’ve used that expression a lot lately. Must be nerves.
Oh my! I do love a challenge as you know. Stay tuned! 🙂
Will do 🙂
Seems to work for my current state of being. https://vhosking.wordpress.com/2016/03/30/cleaved-in-two/
First try! I’m going to want to try a less controversial topic, but this got me into the form at least. Thanks for hosting Jane! Kat
Now I know, a Cleve poem, how beautiful this form is.
I like it too. It really stretches your ability to shape words to meaning and vice versa.
Stunning, it has been a while since my poetry bone has been nudged.
Everybody’s trigger is different 🙂
Hi Jane, I could some how draw an equation between your and Secret keeper’s challenge this week…here’s the result
I popped a link on twitter . 😇
Thanks! The more who join in the merrier 🙂
Jane this time Nine waves hatching a rainbow in cleave verse…
Another try…I do like this form. 🙂 ~kat
I am inspired! Love poetry with multiple layers. Thanks Jane for sharing your creative spark.
If it inspires you to write a poem, I’ll be very pleased!
Here’s mine. I may try it again. 🙂
Do. You did the first one so well, I think we deserve another one 🙂
It’s a bit late for me to start thinking about this, but the cleave poem looks more than interesting. I have some ideas for poems based on Norfolk history and I might try cleaving a ‘historical’ with a ‘modern’. I’ll see how I feel in the morning – of it’s sunny I’d like to take some photographs of ‘Daffodil Mile’, a local phenomenon, which might inspire me to cleave something else!
I’m answering these comments in reverse order so I’ve already read your poem. You have a great source of inspiration around you! Enviable.
This one was harder than usual. I think. They’re all hard…
This one was definitely tricky, but when I was lying in exile in the spare room with my cough and one of the cats last night it suddenly came to me!
You’ve given us some great examples… really set the bar.
Mine is about our later years:
Wow! This was a lot of fun. I just found your blog and had to join in. Thanks for sharing. I may have to write more of these.
Thanks for adding your piece to the collection. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Very well done!
Hi Jane! Kat Myrman introduced me to you! The Cleave Poem really intrigued me I had to give it a try. Please accept my humble offering:
beautiful poem in an intriguing form!
I’m so glad I found this one. It’s giving me a lot of fun and seems to be inspiring a lot of poets to try it out.
I definitely will try it soon. Today is too chaotic but maybe tomorrow will be quieter. I want to check out how other people handled it first for inspiration 🙂
There are quite a few in the comments. Some pretty good ones too;
Hi Jane. I’m back after creating something new and challenging. Here it is. https://odaciuk.wordpress.com/2016/04/02/poetry-challenge24-cleave-poem/
I did it!! And yes, I am jumping up and down:)
Another one…this form works in many ways.