Songs of Eretz Poetry Review is pleased to present “The Poetry Diet - Drop a Stanza in Just Two Weeks!” by Cathy Bryant. Ms. Bryant worked as a life model, civil servant, and child-minder before becoming a professional writer. She has won twelve literary awards, including the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Prize, and her work has appeared in over 100 publications including The London Magazine, The Huffington Post, and The Rialto. She co-edited Best of Manchester Poets vols. 1-3, and her latest collection, Look at All the Women, was published by Mother’s Milk Books in 2014. Visit her at www.cathybryant.co.uk.
The Poetry Diet - Drop a Stanza in Just Two Weeks!
Breakfast is blank verse spread with ballads
Or a bowl of elegy and a boiled ode.
For lunch, try a rondelet with herbs such as cento.
Follow with a lay if liked,
Sweetened artificially if necessary.
Vary your cinquains and quatrains
According to season.
For dinner a well-grilled villanelle
With a simple side sonnet and a little steamed prose.
Do beware of prose. It can be hard to stop.
Make sure to keep crunchy acrostics to hand.
For snacks, try haiku.
They're surprisingly meaty
And will satisfy.
Free verse is unlimited.
Drink at least eight couplets a day,
And up to three glasses of freshly-squeezed phrases.
When tempted by fizzy limericks,
Chewy clerihews, chocolate epics and sweet lyrics,
Visualize yourself as a sexy sestina
Rather than doughy doggerel.
This poem is scientifically proven
And has been approved by dactyls
And other members of the metrical profession.
It really, really works.
Poet’s Notes: As a person with a certain baroque charm when it comes to my physique (i.e. I'm fat), I've read quite a few diet books. Their perkiness and breeziness always seem to mask a hint of desperation, too, I reckon, and I wanted to capture that in a poem. Also, this is a diet that you can follow while eating and drinking whatever you like. Really, it should be read while eating pie.
Editor’s Note: What a fun piece of poem! “The Poetry Diet - Drop a Stanza in Just Two Weeks!” has appeared in The London Magazine, on the Marple Poetry Prize website, and in Contains Strong Language and Scenes of a Sexual Nature.