Daily Archives: April 8, 2017

NaPoWriMo Day 8 – a non-writing day


This title is misleading and of course, not true. I have written today – I have just used yesterday’s prompts and plan to use today’s prompts later when today will in fact be tomorrow, time machine anyone?

After being out all day, with weather at 20+degrees and sunny, an evening of socialising and a mini-napo catch up from no social media/digital outlet Friday night… writing 2 poems yesterday, was enough. So I have found myself a day behind. This always happens – don’t panic if it has happened to you.


  • Accept it  
  • Move on

That’s it folks, simple! Remember it is meant to be an adventure/ fun/ pleasurable… when the fun stops, stop (as the gambling adverts suggest). Seriously, writing under pressure is something many of us do from time to time, this long-haul process of daily writing time is a tough enough challenge without making yourself all grizzly at the same time and it won’t open the writing up to you, only make you bitter.

I did manage a surf and found all the relevant prompts for Day 8 today too, reading them let’s the subconscious do some pot stirring on that old back burner whilst I get on living.


^ See, FUN!


The featured participant for the beginning of Week 2 is Summer Blues, the interviewee for the day is Dorothea Lasky. Her poems can be found here.

Today’s prompt was to write a poem… that relies on repetition. It can be repetition of a phrase, or just a word. Need a couple of examples? Try “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe, or Joy Harjo’s “She Had Some Horses”

Carrie Etter is judging the Bradford on Avon Festival Poetry Competition this year, the theme is Flight of Fancy and there is a line limit, so today she suggested we write to that remit.

… she lost her world, entirely,

… she let go of the ground of vows…

Jo Bell posted Inland by Edna St. Vincent Millay and a discussion about rhyme and language.

More repetition over at The Poetry School.

Day 8: Anaphora or Refrain

We want poems that use repetition. We want poems that use the same words, or wording, repeatedly. We want such repetition to drive home a point. What do we want that point to be? Up to you.

Gwendolyn Brooks’ iconic poem We Real Cool is just 24 words long, but is still a masterclass in repetition. Read it here:

You should also take a look at Tony Hoagland’s I Have News For You. https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/i-have-news-you

I will leave you with some advice/ insight/ knowledge (call it what you will), that I posted this evening to a Napo poet:

Nobody can write 30 stunning poems in 30 days unless all they are doing is writing. We are lucky if we produce one stunner in a year. Try not to judge. The process of writing is the key. End results come later, much later… In my previous annual Napo experience you may be rewarded with 4 decent poems but you will have embarked on a committed time writing & will be processing for months to come!

You are in WEEK 2 – Hurrah! Just KEEP GOING!


NaPoWriMo Day 7 – A Week Under the Belt and a Write Fit for a King!


WOW – well done to everyone completing NaPoWriMo – you have made it to the end of the 1st week, only 3 more to go!


I did not manage to post yesterday as I had to go and collect my car after work and then we had a bonfire in the garden because we finally catch a glimpse of Summer here in the UK. I DID manage to write though. Epically in fact.

Day 7 – Although I had chance to check NaPo.net during a break at work, I did not have a chance to manage any notes or thoughts, so when I got home (finally) after being reunited with my poorly, now better car and parting with my extra earnings at the garage, I was ready for sun, garden, drink… in that order. I took my notebook out to the garden and started to write on the Carrie Etter prompt from Day 6, as my Day 6 prompts had been overturned with car rant writing.

The bitter/angry something else poem was still related to cars… an attempt at underwriting the real story into the scenario of 2 people playing chicken. I wrote an initial one about an item of clothing being stolen but I don’t think that idea brought enough anger to the surface.

… she has lived this nerve on the wire many lives before…

It was a fairly dark piece of writing which has honestly only given me about 4 useable lines, but one I have earmarked to revisit post NaPo.

I then made notes from Napowrimo.net prompt 7 was all about luck and fortuitousness, that’s a mouthful in itself. I didn’t write anything other than my notes, I completed the list of items, places and lost and found before we started the bonfire and then took my book inside, in fear it would set itself alight!

Today I have been running around since this morning and when I first got home, I went to join Mr G in the sun in the garden. Now I have opened my notebook to finish two prompts the NaPo from yesterday and also I still have Day 6, 13 different ways to look at… I have put this on the back burner as I am still seeking ideas to thread this one onto.

So back to the Napo prompt – there are 4 things I needed to incorporate and by the time that was done, it was a long poem. At some point the narrative turned more free-flow and retold the story. I have started writing in 3rd person over the past few days. It is something I won’t re-read straight away but is brimming with ideas and possibilities.

I am not sure of the fortune, I think my write is imbalanced with misfortune, the lost item carrying more weight than the found item or the original object which was the crux of the poem. Central theme. Maybe this is because the lost item was also mentioned in an introductory exercise at Verve, Sarah Howe’s Poetry Workshop. The idea that has resurfaced several times since February, bubbling away on that busy back-burner.

Her daughter magpied all the silver rings on velvet beds…

She learns what is made, does not last forever.

I enjoyed submerging myself in this writing. Not letting the pen stop. Generally this is the way I write, but not usually with the density of this sitting. I have 4 pages to churn through.

napo2017button1 Day 7 prompts from around the net. http://www.napowrimo.net/day-seven-4/

The featured participant was Smoke Words Every Day with a multiple-viewpoints poem from Day 6.

The interview was with Li Young Lee, read it here, poems can be read here https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/li-young-lee#about

The prompt came from Elizabeth Boquet. Write a poem about luck and fortuitousness


Read poems here

Finally, our prompt for the day (optional as always) comes to us from Elizabeth Boquet.

Create the following lists:

1. List – 3 random objects. (Smaller tends to be better.)
2. List – 3 random but specific locations. (Think in the cookie jar, or under my seat…)
3. List – 2 objects you’ve lost and a few notes on their back-story.
4. List – 2 objects you’ve found and few notes on their back-story.

Now, choosing an object from List 1, a location from List 2, and connect them in a poem with ideas from Lists 3 & 4 and Voilà! A fortuitous poem!

There was a finished example, a poem called State of Grace, which I have not yet read as my approach is to work on writing from my own soul first and delve back into the riches of other people’s poems after. You can read Elizabeth’s poem here https://oakstoacorns.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/state-of-grace_10.html

Carrie Etter has a list of 30 prompts to be attempted in any order (I am methodically driving myself through them… is the car still on my brain), today’s prompt was a word list. Using 5 of the 6 given words, I am yet to attempt this one.

I am enjoying the community interaction of her group during NaPoWriMo.

Back in 2013 I discovered NaNoWriMo, the main event and the Spring/Summer camps. What I miss is the camp, the community. I love the fact that NaPoWriMo is what it is and there is no huge forum to get involved in (as it does drain the writing time) – having said that sharing this experience beyond blogs is rich in itself. There are plenty of ideas and conversations floating around and that buzz that the solidarity of writing rarely affords.

It is FUN – and that is the whole idea of this challenge.

Jo Bell posted http://www.jobell.org.uk/ BEATTIE IS THREE by Adrian Mitchell.

I read it today, a day late and having just visited a new little member of my family already had ‘awww’ mode on high alert.

This is a great example of the depth a poem can contain in very few words.

58d3e6b0bba6c-bpfull The Poetry School, which I really hope to get my teeth into in the 2nd week of NaPo now my own school has broken up for Easter, is another great hub and a place that offers peer feedback on Napo writes posted The Ode. It has been many years since I wrote an Ode.

Sharon Olds (who has been on my radar since Swindon Poetry Festival Autumn 2016) is the featured poet. Her work seems to have established a marmite reaction amongst my poetry peers, but once you hear her voice I think reading her work becomes easier to understand in technique. I have enjoyed most of what I have read of Olds so far.

We (a group of poets) were talking about ‘Stags Leap’ only last weekend. Thank you, universe of strange coincidence! https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/oct/21/stags-leap-sharon-olds-review

In modern usage, an ode is simply a poem in praise of, or dedicated to – well, anything! We’re not looking for a classical ode with a strophe, antistrophe, and epode – just a verse or two singing the praises of an object, person, place, feeling or something else entirely. If you can, try and choose something unusual, or something that not everyone sees as positive. (It’s also a good form for irony and sarcasm.) © 2017 The Poetry School

‘Ode of Broken Loyalty’ by Sharon Olds is the example http://aprweb.org/poems/ode-of-broken-loyalty

Nina Lewis

Well done we are a quarter of the way there, I hope your poetry books are filling up with ideas and treasures to feed your writing for the rest of the year.