Poetic Forms Winner: Contronyms


I decided to do something a bit different this time and introduced you all to contronyms, which are these fun little words which can be interpreted as having opposing meanings.

There’s nothing better in a poem than a little word play.

So last week our winner was Niteowl because nobody else was up to the challenge and this week our winner is also Niteowl, but if you take a moment to look at her poem, I think we can all agree that it’s one of the strongest winning entries so far. I don’t know about the rest of you, but even if I hadn’t spent the last week in my sick bed, I’d have still been wary of taking her on:



An apology for my apologies.
We were a fine model of love
bound to buckle, yet I swore
that we could weather anything.

But even rocks weather,
and belts on the floor could not
buckle our rocking bodies back together.

When you left, I was left
with transparent tears
that precipitated
transparent truths

I had bound myself to you;
you were no model man,
but just fine was enough for me.

In posting her poem, Niteowl states that she tried too hard, but if this is trying too hard, it’s a method to stick by. I love the flow of the words and the movement from one contronym to another, most of them not finding their opposite meanign straight away, but instead laying in wait until she hits you with it a stanza later. I’d perhaps say that ‘apology’ and ‘apologies’ should have been spread further apart, but at the same time, I like how they set the theme for the poem and give a little hint of what the reader’s in for.

The only other part I’m unsure about is the last line which is perhaps the least punchy of the poem. I like the return to fine, but the line feels heavy – overly wordy perhaps. It might read better as ‘but just fine enough for me’ or ‘but fine was enough for me’. A small change, but it might help with the readability.

I really can’t fault anything else in this poem and I love the word play, the neatly placed rhymes and repetitions. It’s a great read and fits snuggly with the theme of love, where sometimes love can by synonymous with hate. Thank you Niteowl!

** Image owned by Enokson at Flickr.


Heather, who goes by Rydia on YWS, has long been an aspiring author. In the early days of her life she attached herself to poetry and would curl up on the playground bench to scrawl down lines of forgotten virtue. Or, more likely, little virtue at all. At the very old age of 11, she joined The Young Writers Club and progressed into the realms of roleplay. Here she constructed characters to fight off dragons or rally to their allies' aid with healing spells; a joint love of gaming heavily influenced this fondness of adventure storybooks. A few more years went by before Heather became a serious novelist and she still considers poetry to be her favourite media for getting those thoughts down on paper. Outside of writing her loves include puzzle books, strategy/ fantasy games, movies, swimming, skiing (when she actually has money), crafty things, baking, food in general, fun pranks and anything involving snow.

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