Posted in Poetry

July Challenge

“Casting Bricks to Attract Jade”


Hello my Friends and Fellow Poets.  Welcome to the July Challenge!

(UPDATE:  Scroll to the bottom for a listing of the links to each challenge submitted!)

Many of us have expressed a desire to continue writing and sharing our work with one another during the time when the Poet’s Pub over at dVerse is closed and it fit nicely with a conversation I had with Colin Lee a short time ago.  Idioms are a fascination for me, especially those from other languages and cultures, so when Colin shared a Chinese idiom with me, I had to do a bit of research to find out what it meant and where it originated.  The idiom is “Casting bricks to tease jade out of the master.” I was pleasantly surprised to discover that its origins are in poetry.  Here’s the story from Changing Minds


“…this idea I’m tossing out there is just a brick, but perhaps it will lead one of you to contribute jade.” It’s a humble way to contribute to a conversation…”


“In the Tang dynasty, the poet Chang Jian wanted to the learn from the great poet, Zhao Gu. He wrote half a poem on a temple wall where Zhao was visiting, hoping the better poet would complete it, which Zhao did.”

This got me wondering what it would be like to write collaborative poetry.  The July Challenge is basically this:  Write half of a poem and open it up to fellow Challengers to finish it.  Since we are all fabulous poets, the greater challenge of this will not be the poetry, but the logistics, so I am including the steps.

  1. Write the first half of a poem
  2. Post it on your blog with a link back here to The July Challenge
  3. Include a little something about the form you are using. Is it Free Verse, Sonnet, Quadrille, etc?
  4. If you are using a form, please give a link to a site that explains that form or just give a little refresher.

Example: This is a Sonnet which has 14 total lines, 3 quatrains and a couplet with a rhyme scheme of abab/cdcd/efef/gg.  I am writing the first 7 lines; please write the last 7.

  1. Return here to Jilly’s July Challenge Post and in the comments tell everyone the name of your Challenge Post and a link to it. (Copy & past the URL for the post.)
  2. Browse through the other comments and find someone’s Challenge that you would like to complete.
  3. Copy & paste their 1st half, write the 2nd half, and then post the whole poem. Give them credit for their portion and include a link back to their blog.
  4. Stop back at Jilly’s July Challenge (right here) and share the link to your completed poem in the comments.
  5. Repeat as desired.

I know this is a little bit like going around in blogging circles, so hopefully we won’t get too tied up in knots!

Charley at Life in Portofino did a test run with me on Friday when I posted Sonnet by 2 and he completed it.  There was a bonus added when qbit picked up on the challenge and posted another version.

Please let me know if you have questions!  When in doubt, link everywhere and anywhere you think would help share the fun around.  Everyone is welcome to join in!  We are just a bunch of happy writers having fun with words!

Cheers, Jilly

UPDATE!  Here is a listing (to date) of those who have put out challenge poems for others to complete.  I will add to this list as new half-poems become available.  If I’ve missed anyone, please give me a shout.  Jilly

From Charley:

From Frank:

From Lynn:

From Colin:

From Victoria:

From Jeren:

From Jenna (Revived Writer):  (An exciting 2nd challenge!)

From qbit:

From Nosaintaugstine:

From Petru (petrujviljoen)

From Jilly (the Pre-Challenge example):




A wild soul writing poetry.

123 thoughts on “July Challenge

    1. I did just a bit more research on the form and am working on a second half that I will post tomorrow. I have a book of medieval poetry and once I brought that to mind the meter fell into place for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Jilly’s July Challenge! Got a nice ring to it having your name and the month alliterated and visually rhymed — you’re destined to host this, Jill. Anyway, thanks for being such a good sport.

    This sounds dangerously fun — having a month-long snowball fight in midsummer with bricks and stones and gems and crystals instead! I’ll come up with something simple and Chinesey, I think … Hmm …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh, cool! Ya know, I went to bed kind of early last night and I thought I heard music and laughter somewhere in my dreams. Got up this morning and glanced at the comments and realized y’all were up partying most of the night in the Challenge 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does! Too bad I don’t remember them if I had any. I was hoping maybe something magical would pop up since I finally finished watching the last Harry Potter movie earlier in the day. I’d seen bits and pieces of all the movies before and we recorded them when they were on during the Memorial Day weekend. Of course, I can’t even marathon properly.
        Me: Ooo, let’s watch Harry Potter (or any movie). *gets comfy* …zzzz.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think I was just in a mood the day that first happened. Yesterday it put me in Ravenclaw, which is much more accurate. However, when we all get together to play HP Clue, I play that Slytherin card for the fun of it. “Don’t mess with me; you know which house I’m in!” tee hee

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Aw! That means you are kind and nice and value your family and friends. The clue game is complicated, but fun. HP World at Universal is a blast and a half! They all think you are a Weasley if you are a red-head.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Jilly, I checked out Mr. Linky. I set mine up so many years ago, I don’t remember what to do. All I can suggest is to go to What you want is a simple button linky. You want Wizard then choose WordPress as the blog you use. That’s when you can choose Button Linky and select a password. I think it pretty well talks you through it. dVerse has a more complex one that is paid for but the simple one works well for what I do, though I haven’t used it much since I began to spend so much time on dVerse. Hope this helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keeping up? I’m supposed to keep up? 🙂
      Let’s see, too much coffee in when the sun is in the east, switching to wine when the shadows fall that way, howling at the rising moon, walking in the rain.
      Looking forward to reading your completion of Jenna’s poem!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Wonderful! I’m trying to spread the word that I have a list of the challenges and I am updating them often. The are here on the July Challenge page, toward the bottom. I will add this one and look forward to it!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s