I’ve been reading Kyle Vaughn’s Lightning Paths: 75 Poetry Writing Exercises, which inspired me to delve into another book study of poetry forms and responses. I’ll be making my way through the exercises and prompts between now and the end of the year.

Today’s writing is a poem with epistrophy. In the first stanza or section, the writer includes a message with hidden meaning or association using figurative language, and in the second, the writer turns up the concreteness a notch without blatantly saying it. It’s like talking in codes and symbols.


a cocoon 
from workweek woes
weekend escape 
fireside chats
roasting marshmallows
stargazing sighs
ready for weeknights
just like these

thinking: how amazing
to turn in the keys 
smile, eat a slice of cake
stop setting alarms 

Made with Padlet

8 Replies to “Epistrophy”

  1. I like that opening line, as though you’re shielded from the workweek…but also having the possibility of emerging more spectacularly. Someone told me last week that I failed retirement, since I’m back to work. They were joking…sort of, but I actually have made my own cocoon from weekend work and evening work, so I think it’s not such a failure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Raise a glass to 2026 for me, too. I love how you were able to make it clear (turn in the keys) yet still keep the reader guessing. A new form to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hmm, must be interesting to already know (or maybe you do not) when you will retire. I will be 60 in a few months and have no idea when I will retire, but like you, that cocoon is tempting!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Kim, I love how the date anticipates what’s to come. I had that dream and most days live it, although subbing necessitates alarms. Of course, fur babies are another form of alarm. Fantastic poem form, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for sharing this poem full of strong imagery. The cocoon, the warm fire, chatting, the stars…
    Wondering when I’ll turn in my keys? Fun to ponder!

    Also excited that your name is on the Anaheim Slicer meet up!! So looking forward to meeting you in person as your personal poetry study is inspiring and impressive. See you soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kim, I remember doing this particular math a few years before I retired from full-time teaching. I never expressed it with such beauty. I love the occasional rhyme and rhythmic alliteration here. The full power of it emerges when I read it aloud.

    Liked by 1 person

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