Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TOPS Glosa poetry contest

As with many things, an example best explains glosa poetry. Here’s “Neglect Creates Holes,” a glosa by Bob Shank on “Cat's in the Cradle” a song by Harry Chapin.

From “Cat's in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin:

A child arrived just the other day,
He came to the world in the usual way.
But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay.
He learned to walk while I was away.
____________________________________

Neglect Creates Holes

opening the newspaper
much to my dismay
I glanced over the story
with the words child and slay
a tear trickled into my coffee
my sugar for today
too busy to read anymore
for my eyes grew sore
the hospital only a moment away
"A child arrived just the other day"

born with a hole is his heart
yet a huge grin upon his face
knowing life was going to be a struggle
he handled it with grace
putting joy within his parents eyes
though many nights they did pray
for him to pull through
that fate would be ever so kind
to allow their son to live and play
"He came to the world in the usual way"

with a pricetag from many medical bills
worthy of later hopes and dreams
becoming a reflection of parental bliss
their joy an ongoing theme
just when he grew strong from so much love
it slowly began to decay
parents have a way of becoming far too busy
they forget their responsibility
to nourish, educate, and even pray
"But there were planes to catch, and bills to pay"

surely a child should understand
what it takes to survive
for a family must work together
so that they may all stay alive
but the cost created a loss
as his heart started to betray
the joys instilled within his soul
when loneliness ruptured the hole
the tear faced father was heard to say
"He learned to walk while I was away".......

- Bob Shank

Note: You can hear "Cats in the Cradle" by Harry Chapin here.  You'll also find links to the Cat Stevens cover of the song, etc.

The Glosa Poem Competition

First Prize: $100, Second Prize: $50, Third Prize: $25, Plus 8 Honourable Mention Awards
All winning entries to receive a fancy certificate, plus all winning entries to be published in a chapbook and will receive 1 free chapbook for every poem included.

All poems must be written in the glosa style.
The glosa is a Spanish form invented by court poets in the 14th and 15th centuries.  It comprises two parts.  The first part – called the texte or cabeza consists of a stanza chosen from a poem by a well-known poet. The poet can be dead or living.
The second part – the glosa proper – is a gloss or elaboration of the texte. Each stanza of the glosa ends with a repetition of a consecutive line of the texte. Both rhyme and free verse glosas accepted.  See another example here.

Entries are not to exceed 40 lines.  This excludes the spaces between the stanzas and this excludes the texte. Poems must be inspired by 3 - 5 lines of a famous poet. {Song writers like Harry Chapin don't qualify.}


Contest fee: 1 poem for $5 or 3 poems for $10
Deadline: September 30, 2010
Complete rules here.  Home page for The Ontario Poetry Society here.

For information about Brian Henry's writing workshops and creative writing courses, see here.

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