NaPoWriMo

NaPoWriMo logoAgain this year, I’m taking on National Poetry Month and turning it into National Poetry Writing Month! Like last year, I’ll be writing and posting one poem per day for the entire month of April. Here are the prompts I’ll be using… All prompts except #13, #20, and #21 are gratefully taken from #30dpc. The exceptions are borrowed from poetryprompts.tumblr.

Day 1: Write a short poem (5 lines or less). Be sure to include at least two strong images. Don’t over think it, just do it!

Day 2: Write a poem with pen and ink, quickly, without lifting your pen from the page. Post image if possible. No edits.

Day 3: Write a poem to someone and share it with them.

Day 4: Found poetry. Look to Craigslist, newspapers, Twitter, anywhere for unintentional poetry. Using the original text, punctuate and use line breaks to turn it into a poem.

Day 5: Make something. Anything! Write a poem about your spontaneous making experience.

Day 6: Write a poem from Mars. Describe ordinary things in unfamiliar ways, as through the eyes of someone from another planet unfamiliar with our culture/objects/emotions.

Day 7: Write an ode to one regret that you have.

Day 8: Find a short poem (one page or less) that you love. Cross out every fourth word. Replace the crossed out words with your own choices.

Day 9: Write a poem while doing something else.

Day 10: Listen to an excerpt of Joe Brainerd’s “Remember”. Write your own version.

Day 11: Find a poem you love. Translate it in some way. It could be from its original language to another. It could be from one voice into another voice. Rewrite something contemporary in a way that makes it sound old or something old into modern English.

Day 12: Write a limerick for a stranger.

Day 13: “Stichomancy is one of the oldest forms of divination (at least 3000 years old in fact), in which the querant opens to a random page of randomly selected book in a library, to find an excerpt that applies to the situation at hand.” Whether or not you believe in stichomancy as a form of divination, try getting a random book passage and use one of the sentences from the passage in a poem.

Day 14: Terza rima was created by Italian poet Dante in the late 13th century for his epic poem The Divine Comedy. It’s composed of “tercets woven into a rhyme scheme that requires the end-word of the second line in one tercet to supply the rhyme for the first and third lines in the following tercet.” It’s sometimes considered too difficult to use this structure in English, but do it anyway! Write a poem in terza rima.

Day 15: Experiment with a poetic form. Break all the rules!

Day 16: Do you find it difficult to express one sense (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) more than others in your writing? Paying special attention to that often ignored sense, write a poem with exaggerated sensory detail.

Day 17: Use volta (a poetic turn) in a poem of any length (it can be a sonnet, or not).

Day 18: What’s your favorite color? Jot down three adjectives that describe that color. What’s your favorite animal? Write three adjectives that describe that animal. What’s your favorite body of water (general or specific)? Jot down three adjectives that describe the feeling it evokes. Now, imagine yourself in a white room, no windows, no doors, no noise. Three adjectives that describe the feeling that evokes. Now, write a poem using all of your adjectives in any order.National Poetry Month 2014 poster

Day 19: Write a poem about something you hold sacred.

Day 20: Write a confessional poem.

Day 21: While in a public place, write down occasional sentences you overhear from others’ conversations. Use at least one of them in a poem.

Day 22: “All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.” –Hemingway. Write a short poem that is also the “truest sentence that you know.”

Day 23: Write a poem that fits on a post-it note. Stick it somewhere public. Post a picture.

Day 24: Compose a poem out loud. Use a tape recorder, smartphone, or have someone write it down for you.

Day 25: Write a poem inspired by a YouTube video. Be sure to share the link to the video that inspired it.

Day 26: Circle all the verbs in a magazine article. Use as many of them as you can to construct a poem.

Day 27: Spend time with an object you feel connected to. Write a poem using the object to construct an extended metaphor.

Day 28: Write a poem that’s 140 characters or less. If you’re on Twitter, tweet it!

Day 29: Write a prose poem.

Day 30: Write a poem where something (big or small, abstract or concrete) comes to an end.

Poetry 17, 2014

Guinevere’s Sijo

There is a lake in England hiding among the knolls and trees
lost in green and blue between earth and sky. Sunk at the bottom
is a stone which reads: Here Lies Arthur, the Once and Future King.

———
Prompt: Use volta (a poetic turn) in a poem of any length (it can be a sonnet, or not). NaPoWriMo

Poetry 16, 2014

Morning

When I wake up,
my mouth
is cracked and dry;
the hour is
a thermometer
under my tongue,
and I can’t quite
spit the sun from
between my teeth.

———
Prompt: Do you find it difficult to express one sense (sight, hearing, taste, smell, touch) more than others in your writing? Paying special attention to that often ignored sense, write a poem with exaggerated sensory detail. NaPoWriMo

Poetry 15, 2014

Cento for Angela

Shall I compare her to a summer’s day? [1]
The grass below; above, the vaulted sky [2]
Unclasps her warmed jewels one by one: [3]
Darkness there, and nothing more. [4]
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place [5]
To follow knowledge like a sinking star [6]
Sailing on a river of crystal light [7]
We felt the minutes crawl [8]
Still falls the Rain—Dark as the world of man, black as our loss— [9]
What’s done is done, and she is dead beside. [10]

———
1. William Shakespeare, “Sonnet 18″
2. John Clare, “I Am”
3. John Keats, “The Eve of St. Agnes”
4. Edgar Allan Poe, “The Raven”
5. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Crossing the Bar”
6. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, “Ulysses”
7. Eugene Field, “Wynken, Blynken, and Nod”
8. Oscar Wilde, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol”
9. Dame Edith Sitwell, “Still Falls the Rain”
10. Robert Browning, “The Bishop Orders His Tomb at St. Praxed’s Church”

———
Prompt: Experiment with a poetic form. Break all the rules! NaPoWriMo

Indulgence

Indulgence coverIndulgence
By Caitlyn Black
DellArte Press
30 August 2012

Indulgence is, at least, appropriately named. More erotic novella than novel, Caitlyn Black weaves a fast-paced love story, complete with longing, misunderstandings, and explicit sex. This book is not for children. Now, when I say “fast-paced” I mean it: virtually a whirlwind, the plot’s time frame spans from the afternoon of August 16, 2012, to late evening/night on the 31st of that same month.

Katie Jade, the young woman who narrates the story, has set her sights on her new boss Lance Hardy. He tries to keep her at a distance, but she manages to break down the barriers he’s built around himself only to discover that they’re more alike than either realize: they each hide pain and loneliness deep inside. They fall into bed, and after some dramatic moments and melodramatic arguments, they fall in love.

On the upside, the characters are relatable; who hasn’t experienced pain and loneliness and just wished that someone would take the time to care? On the downside, while the falling into bed part is realistic, the falling in love part is most definitely not. (For the record, Romeo and Juliet isn’t romantically realistic either, but at least the title characters in that story can blame their rush on their teenage hormones or whatever. Katie and Lance are supposed to be adults!) It doesn’t have to be realistic in real life, so to speak, but it at least has to be internally realistic, and it’s not that, either.

On the upside, Katie doesn’t mind taking what she wants—in life, and in bed. She’s assertive and unashamed. On the downside, the story reeks of heteronormativity and gender essentialism. No, thanks; I’ll pass. At best, Indulgence is beach reading.

DISCLAIMER: I received Indulgence free from Smith Publicity for this review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Poetry 14, 2014

Belruel

Upon the nighttime lost among the reeds
there sits a lady crying silently
and to the gods above she simply pleads

“The midnight tears I’ve cried so piously
have hardly from the heavens pulled thy gaze;
my people are still fighting violently!

“Please save us from our enemies’ malaise;
deliver us unto thy holy mount
and we shall ever render you our praise.”

From always present day the gods look down
and gently lift her words into their arms.
“We’ve heard your sad and desperate account

“and we must give into your simple charms.
We raise you up to kings victorious,
so brace your royal court against alarm.”

The lady warrior, now glorious,
stands tall among the reeds where she did cry
and gives her foes her sword notorious.

As moonlit glint of blade draws darkness nigh
she yells, “Here! Tooth for tooth and eye for eye!”

———
Prompt: Terza rima was created by Italian poet Dante in the late 13th century for his epic poem The Divine Comedy. It’s composed of “tercets woven into a rhyme scheme that requires the end-word of the second line in one tercet to supply the rhyme for the first and third lines in the following tercet.” It’s sometimes considered too difficult to use this structure in English, but do it anyway! Write a poem in terza rima. NaPoWriMo

Poetry 13, 2014

You’re a
sorcerer,
aren’t you?

Yeah.

———
Prompt: “Stichomancy is one of the oldest forms of divination (at least 3000 years old in fact), in which the querant opens to a random page of randomly selected book in a library, to find an excerpt that applies to the situation at hand.” Whether or not you believe in stichomancy as a form of divination, try getting a random book passage and use one of the sentences from the passage in a poem. NaPoWriMo