NapoWriMo brought with it the challenge of working today and still managing a write. Fortunately, I have learnt from the best and always have a carry around notebook about my person. So in a break I used it and got some notes of ideas down, which I later worked into my first poem of the day.
I tackled Carrie Etter’s prompt first today which was to do with writing in fragments, contrasting the concrete with the abstract. The notebook itself was perfect for this as it holds many random thoughts, unfinished and fragmented in nature.
- I opened the notebook randomly and scribbled down the first 5 lines I saw. All from disassociated notes.
- Next I went in search of concrete images.
- Then abstract.
In the end I had three concrete images and lots of interesting lines of text.
At the end of work, I sat down with these scribbles and attempted to freewrite a poem. It became one of those poems that was still going somewhere but not clearly, so I (in the style of 52) lost the last 2 lines and left my poem there. Barely more than a stanza, an 8 line poem. It is a character driven piece which surprised me considering the random approach to material gathering.
It is a piece about my mother – but the character isn’t my mum or anything like her so it is a created voice narrating about her mother. This woman may have more in touch with my grandparents generation and definitely bears no resemblance to any relative of mine. Fun to write though. I may write more with this character voice in the future. I do not feel this poem stands very tall but I like the woman I have created and the imagined daughter too and think they may make a reappearance.
‘All the while, in plain nylons and navy,
turning herself invisible.’
Today’s featured poet is Katie Staten, who wrote a well humoured elegy for her father-in-law. https://krstaten.wordpress.com/2017/04/03/napowrimo-3-elegy-for-a-holiday/
The featured interview today is with Lawrence Ferlinghetti – an important figure in the beat generation of poets. http://www.npr.org/2015/06/11/410487944/at-96-poet-and-beat-publisher-lawrence-ferlinghetti-isnt-done-yet Read his poems and articles here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/lawrence-ferlinghetti#about
Today’s challenge (optional prompt) came with music, so whilst at work I just copied notes on the idea behind the writing. Once I got home I listened to the music and did a piece of freewriting. Just on the music itself. Not with the prompt in mind.
Try it for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GbD20h8-_4
In the UK part of this track (Nimrod) was a used in a famous bread advert so you may find it difficult to imagine anything other than cobbled streets and a boy on a bicycle.
From the freewrite I have one description I may work in elsewhere. But I really only did it to leave work at the door and get my writing head on.
PROMPT DAY 4 from Napowrimo.net
One of the most popular British works of classical music is Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. The “enigma” of the title is widely believed to be a hidden melody that is not actually played, but which is tucked somehow into the composition through counterpoint. Today I’d like you to take some inspiration from Elgar and write a poem with a secret – in other words, a poem with a word or idea or line that it isn’t expressing directly. The poem should function as a sort of riddle, but not necessarily a riddle of the “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” variety. You could choose a word, for example, “yellow,” and make everything in the poem something yellow, but never actually allude to their color. Or perhaps you could closely describe a famous physical location or person without ever mentioning what or who it actually is.
I really enjoyed writing this poem, really felt like I was getting my teeth into something meaty that may sizzle on its own feet one day.
I chose to hide a colour and what started off as an autobiographical recount ended with something far more surreal (both the midwife and the baby have special names) and is ear-marked to return to after April. In fact I may need to return to it long before then. I think it is already walking!
‘The room for dubious babies…’
Jo Bell has posted Majority by Michael Donaghy http://www.jobell.org.uk/ for Day 4 of NaPo Read.
She also notes that there was no promise that these poems would be cheerful. Food for thought today.
The Poetry School were after a Clerihew today, which is a brief form invented by Edmund Clerihew. If you would like to attempt one here is the format. Four lines of irregular metre and length, set in deliberately ‘wrenched’ rhyming couplets. Crucially, the first line has to end with a person’s name, typically someone famous.
I imagine there may be plenty of Trump/May poems out there today!