Hildegard wrote a perfect post for April and National Poetry Month! (Should I say “International” since she lives in Canada?) Teasing about torturing your brain for fun, she suggests that crossword puzzles, Sudoku, and even Lumosity can be a gateway drug to juggling words and, gasp, secretly enjoying structural rules!
Here’s the link to Six Fourteenths of a Sonnet. Read the whole thing. It’s charming and delightful. An excerpt:
We do it all the time, disregarding the danger of acquiring time-consuming, relationship-destroying addictions (for which I prefer the euphemism “expert status”). What are we doing so recklessly? Crossword puzzles! Sudoku! Riddles! Cognitive-training games like Lumosity! Some people even succumb to solving Rubik’s cubes, and playing chess!
It’s all well and good, because the general population seems to have given these types of activity the stamp of “normalcy.” Everyone sticks to the rules to solve the problems.
But what if you’re one of these subversive types whose game is to juggle words, secretly, endlessly, often late into the night, on one hand agonizing over the challenge of making them fit into a particular set of rules, and on the other hand cheating by sneaking in new rules? The only place you can get away with that is in the arts. Today I’m specifically referring to Poetry. The beauty of it is, if you change the rules, you might even be credited with having created a new art form! Ha, try to do that in chess!
Sonnet Sudoku should be a thing! Sit on your couch or lay in bed for those few minutes working on puzzles of a literary sort!
And, isn’t writing one of few things both individual and corporate, private and public, and though relatively common utterly unique? Regulated more by traditions and readability than the market, it’s an arena of unparalleled freedom and exploration . . . and yet, constrained in such a way that it can be shared through letters, form, and even punctuation. Awesome.
Thanks again, Hildegard!