Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Sunday, 3 August 2014

A Towering Talent

Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Giant by Frank Worth

Elizabeth, a hot young thing,
takes up some string
and twirls it round 
above the ground.
It helps her memorise her lines;
the knotted twines,
the lariat,
She’s soon off pat.
And when she comes to play her scene,
with Jimmy Dean,
she casts her spell; 
he’s snared as well.

© Marilyn Brindley

Thanks to Tess Kincaid for the prompt on The Mag, where we are encouraged to keep our muses alive and well. Ive been absent for a while but this image was right up my street. 

I like to give myself an added challenge  with the format, so this The Minute It's a recent form invented by an American, Verna Lee Hine Gardner and based on the number of seconds in a minute.
  • The syllables are spread over twelve lines: 8 in the first, fifth and ninth lines and 4 syllables in all the other lines. 
  • It's written in iambic rhythm (di-dum)
  • it is punctuated as prose, in that capital letters only appear after full stops and not necessarily at the beginning of lines.
  • It rhymes in couplets a,a,  b,b ,c,c, d,d, e,e, f,f.
(from 'The Poet's Craft' by Sandy Brownjohn.)

I first used it last September on ‘Trapped’ and I rather like it.


  1. Very clever! (and so was Elizabeth!)

  2. An interesting format, if I am imagining it in my head as it is supposed to sound. Is iambic rhythm just a different way to say iambic parameter or is there a difference in the two, your di dum example seems very much like iambic parameter.

  3. Good post, and I must read that book by Sandy Brownjohn. She taught my daughter poetry years ago in a kids class that ran on Saturdays.

  4. Rock Hudson may have a word or two about that! Nicely done.

  5. I'm not familiar with The Minute, but it is interesting to learn that new forms are still being created. Your poem is quite fun -- the last line is perfection.

  6. Hello Marilyn,

    How intriguing this format is. We can totally empathise with the idea of using a structure to bring together one's ideas in a disciplined way. It certainly helps to pare everything down to the essentials, the perfect poetic form!

    Elizabeth Taylor really was of the Golden Age in that she literally filled the screen with her presence, never mind the violet eyes. So, so difficult to replace....

  7. I know few forms.

    I really like your poem. Liz was someone our generation will remember. Maybe my love of horses began with National Velvet.

    What a lady.

    What a poem.

  8. Great poem and a good way to learn lines and catch husbands . . . . lol
    Cheers :) Eddie

  9. I hear James Deen is a pornstar these days ? My how things have changed

  10. This is beyond clever. It's so powerful, (Verna's goal was poetry that's easy to understand and hard to forget, and you've aced that here.

  11. You also inspired me and given me that extra push to join in too, I hate arriving to the party or work or anything late, but I had to give this form a try. http://twincitiesblather.blogspot.com/2014/08/the-mag-3-august-2014.html

  12. She ensnares and bespells indeed. I love the idea of thinking that the swing, swing, swing, hum, hum hum of the lariat helped her memorize her lines. Brilliant.

  13. She captivated half the world's population... all the men!

  14. Clever and true...glad your back Nell. :-)

  15. Full marks for your ability to use a poetic form to full advantage. :-)