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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Poem Written To A Theme

As promised yesterday, I am posting the poem that won third place in the Theme Division of Kansas Authors annual state contest in 2007. The theme that year was Pen Life As Art. I'm certain there were many different interpretations. 

In my poem, you'll notice that I did not use the actual words Pen Life As Art. Some people feel they must use the exact phrase somewhere in their efffort. I wonder if the judges might prefer that the actual words not be seen in the submission. Instead, they look for the actual interpretation. Depends on the judge, no doubt.

Artists All

Painting with oils,
watercolors brushed across paper,
clay molded by loving hands,
marble chiseled to exquisite form.

Artists ply their trade
by the golden light of day,
by the velvet depths of night
with passion and joy.

One more artist joins the ranks.
The writer brushes words over paper,
molds a story bit by glittering bit,
chisels a novel to survive the ages.

Life stories are gathered
from country roads to city streets,
written from the depths of a heart
bursting with intensity and rapture.

Artists all, masters of creation,
be they painters, sculptors or writers,
leaving footprints on canvas, marble and paper--
heartfelt tributes embraced by mankind.

                                      --Nancy Julien Kopp

Many contests will use a theme; some even ask that a particular sentence or group of words be used. It's good to practice this kind of writing. If you run across a contest that uses this method, you'll be ready to write. You might try googling "writing contests with themes" and see what you come up with. 
This year, Kansas Authors Convention and contest theme is Salt of the Earth. It was chosen, I think, because the convention is being held in Hutchinson, KS, home of a large underground salt mine. It's a fascinating tourist attraction and proved to be a difficult theme for me to write to. At the last minute, I wrote a short story and entered. Sunday, the awards will be announced. 

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