A review by Maria Gibbs of Seal Mother ~ A Selkie Tale in Verse by Rose English

WOW what a beautiful review thank you so much, I am so glad you enjoyed the book Maria.

‘Seal Mother ~ A Selkie Tale in Verse’

Currently available in paperback at a REDUCED PRICE. Click the image below to check it out. RRP £4.99 on Amazon UK currently down to £1.20 but not for long.

190507 Amazon UK discount £1.20

Maria’s full review can be seen by clicking the link below. Check out her books too and her blog posts whilst you are there you will not be disappointed.


Seal Mother: A Selkie Tale in Verse by [English, Rose ]
*****Five Stars*****

I devoured this short story, so skilfully written by an author who I have the utmost respect for. She doesn’t write for the masses, she doesn’t stray into writing what is popular or in fashion. Rose English writes from the heart about things that capture her vivid imagination and she weaves a story so beautiful that it feels as though she has placed her hands around your heart and is squeezing gently.
Seal Mother is a tragic tale of love, betrayal, loss and heart-breaking decisions.
It’s a children book, but don’t let that stop you from reading it as an adult. Let Rose’s poetical verse sweep you into a maelstrom of emotions as you forget your existence for a while and ride the waves with Seal Mother and her emotional journey.

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#NaPoWriMo Day 30 Final Day


#NaPoWriMo Day 30 and the last day of the Poetry Challenge

Today’s video resource is this short film in which the artist Iris Colomb “translates” the minimalist poems of the Russian poet Eta Dahlia into gesture drawings. This is another great illustration of the way that poetry and other art forms can intersect and inspire one another. This video also shows that the rhythms and sounds of poetry can cross language boundaries, allowing a form of communication beyond the merely literal.

And last but not least, now for our final (but still optional) prompt for this year! Taking a leaf from our video resource, I’d like you to try your hand at a minimalist poem. What’s that? Well, a poem that is quite short, and that doesn’t really try to tell a story, but to quickly and simply capture an image or emotion. Haiku are probably the most familiar and traditional form of minimalist poetry, but there are plenty of very short poems out there that do not use the haiku form. There’s even an extreme style of minimalism in the form of one-word and other “highly compressed” poems. You don’t have to go that far, but you might think of your own poem for the day as a form of gesture drawing. Perhaps you might start from a concrete noun with a lot of sensory connotations, like “Butter” or “Sandpaper,” or “Raindrop” and
– quickly, lightly – go from there.

Happy writing!

190430 Raindrops 2

Picture by Mareefe from Pixabay


The raindrops
nourish the little

Copyright © 2018 Rose English


Thank You for visiting and thank you to the NaPoWriMo website for some great prompts


#NaPoWriMo Day 29 ‘Calm Before A Storm’

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#NaPoWriMo Day 29 Poetry Challenge

The penultimate (optional) prompt! The poet William Wordsworth once said that “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” For Wordsworth, a poem was the calm after the storm – an opportunity to remember and summon up emotion, but at a time and place that allowed the poet to calmly review, direct and control those feelings. A somewhat similar concept is expressed through the tradition of philosophically-inclined poems explicitly labeled as “meditations,” – like Robert Hass’sMeditation at Lagunitas,” the charming Frank O’Hara prose poem, Meditations in an Emergency,” or Charles Baudelaire’s Meditation.”

Today, I’d like to challenge you to blend these concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully. You might try including a dramatic, declarative statement, like Hass’s “All the new thinking is about loss,” or O’Hara’s “It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.” Or, like, Baudelaire, you might try addressing your feeling directly, as if it were a person you could talk to. There are as many approaches to this as there are poets, and poems.

Happy writing!

Nonet Poem


Calm Before A Storm

190429 Calm Before A Storm Nonet

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

For ease of reading click the image above or read the words below.

Calm Before A Storm (Nonet)

Tranquillity, calm before a storm.
Weather turns, wrong word out of place,
emotions stirred. Dark clouds burst
thunder crashes, lightning
flashes, once – then gone.
Anger spent, ‘til
once again
there is

Copyright © 2018 Rose English


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#NaPoWriMo Day 28 (WIP)


#NaPoWriMo Day 28 Poetry Challenge

The video resource today was suggested by longtime Na/GloPoWriMo participant Elizabeth Boquet, of Oaks to Acorns. She and a fellow group of poets in Lausanne, Switzerland, have been engaging with the concept of meta-poems – which are poems about poems! In this video, the poets Al Fireis, Lily Applebaum, Dave Poplar, and Camara Brown discuss Emily Dickinson’s We learned the Whole of Love.” You can find additional background and video discussions of other meta-poems here.

And now for our daily (optional) prompt. As you may have guessed, today I’d like to challenge you to try your hand at a meta-poem of your own. If you’re having trouble coming up with a poem about poetry, and would like to take a look at a few examples, you might check out the Wallace Stevens and Harryette Mullens poems featured in the article about metapoetry linked above, or perhaps Archibald MacLeish’s Ars Poetica or Kendel Hippolyte’sAdvice to a Young Poet.”

Happy writing!

A Short Haiku

Sonnet Haiku

I am actually still playing with yesterday’s sonnet prompt but I thought this would fit here nicely for today a poem about poems.

Sonnet (Haiku)

Sod it, sonnets are
too much messing. Iambic
pentameters suck.

Copyright © 2018 Rose English


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#NaPoWriMo Day 27 (WIP)

Sadly still working on this one

Spider web

#NaPoWriMo Day 27 Poetry Challenge

Today’s video resource is this droll tutorial that promises to teach you poetry techniques in 30 minutes. It may seem a bit silly, but there’s a lot of technical detail packed into that half hour! If you’ve always had trouble distinguishing alliteration from assonance, or understanding how the heck to “scan” a poem for metrical stress, this may help clear things up. At they very least, it will make you smile.

And now for our (optional) prompt. Our video resource for the day promises to teach you everything you need to know to write a Shakespearean sonnet, but I’m not going to ask you to do that, exactly. Instead, I’d like to challenge you to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet. Here’s all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. You can pick a line you like and use it as the genesis for a new poem. Or make a “word bank” out of a sonnet, and try to build a new poem using the same words (or mostly the same words) as are in the poem. Or you could try to write a new poem that expresses the same idea as one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, like “hey baby, this poem will make you immortal” (Sonnet XVIII) or “I’m really bad at saying I love you but maybe if I look at you adoringly, you’ll understand what I mean” (Sonnet XXIII). If you’re feeling both silly and ambitious, you might try writing an anagram-sonnet, like K. Silem Mohammad has done here.

Happy writing!

Today’s Inspiration Shakespeare Sonnets 33 and 98

Sonnets are not the easiest things to write and I find myself still working on this one, a ‘remixed’ Shakespearean Sonnet. I have chosen to work with two sonnets basing my poem around Sonnet 98 about grief for an absent friend. Below is an image of the word clouds I am working from click the image to visit the FREE website. Opens in a new window. Great for breaking down poems like the Shakespeare sonnets to create random words for inspiration.

Word Bank Sonnets 33 & 98

Shakespeare Sonnet 33

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain-tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy;
Anon permit the basest clouds to ride
With ugly rack on his celestial face,
And from the forlorn world his visage hide,
Stealing unseen to west with this disgrace:
Even so my sun one early morn did shine
With all triumphant splendor on my brow;
But out, alack! he was but one hour mine;
The region cloud hath mask’d him from me now.
Yet him for this my love no whit disdaineth;
Suns of the world may stain when heaven’s sun staineth.

Shakespeare Sonnet 98
From you have I been absent in the spring,
When proud-pied April dress’d in all his trim
Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing,
That heavy Saturn laugh’d and leap’d with him.
Yet nor the lays of birds nor the sweet smell
Of different flowers in odour and in hue
Could make me any summer’s story tell,
Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew;
Nor did I wonder at the lily’s white,
Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose;
They were but sweet, but figures of delight,
Drawn after you, you pattern of all those.
Yet seem’d it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play



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#NaPoWriMo Day 26 ‘Once Upon a Summer Dream’


Poetry Challenge Day 26

Today write a poem that uses repetition. You can repeat a word, or phrase. You can even repeat an image, perhaps slightly changing or enlarging it from stanza to stanza, to alter its meaning. There are (perhaps paradoxically) infinite possibilities in repetition. Want to look at some examples? Perhaps you’ll find inspiration in Joanna Klink’sSome Feel Rain or John Pluecker’s So Many.”

Happy writing!

Kevin McIver butterfly-776378_1280.jpg

‘Once Upon a Summer Dream’ ( Pantoum)

Once upon a summer dream,
in a meadow fragrant, sweet
by a gently flowing stream
Mother Nature’s creatures meet.

In a meadow fragrant, sweet
dancing butterflies and bees,
along with other creatures meet
lured by scents upon the breeze.

Dancing butterflies and bees,
are close now to that special treat.
Lured by scents upon the breeze,
in the seasons pleasant heat.

Before them now the special treat,
golden nectar from the flowers
sticky in the seasons heat
a pleasure to devour.

Sipping nectar from the flowers
listening to the flowing stream.
This gift from God they all devour,
right here amidst their summer dream

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English


Basic Guidelines for How to Write a Pantoum

  1. Remember that a pantoum is similar to a villanelle, with lines repeating throughout the poem
  2. Contains a series of quatrains (stanzas of four lines), that rhyme abab until the final stanza (you’ll see why in number 5)
  3. Repeat the 2nd and 4th lines of each stanza as the 1st and 3rd lines in the stanza that follows. For example:

Stanza 1 lines: A B C D
Stanza 2 lines: B E D F
Stanza 3 lines: E G F H
Stanza 4 lines: G I H J

  1. Continue for any number of stanzas
  2. Switch it up in the final stanza: last line grabs 1st line from very first stanza, 2nd line grabs 3rd line from very first stanza

Final Stanza lines: I C J A

  1. Get fancy? Alter your repeating line meanings by punning, moving punctuation, changing context, or substituting one or two words without losing the overall sense that it is the same line
  2. Unlike the villanelle, which can be fairly comic if one wishes, the pantoum tends to ruminate. Great for when you are feeling out-of-sorts.

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