I think Day 22 was one of the most enjoyable writing I have experienced this year. As a vegetable lover and ex-allotment owner with a green-fingered (I would go as far as Green -God), Mr G. – how could I resist the material from today.
Our featured participant today is Arash’s Poetry, where the overheard poem for Day 21 is a wonderful rendering of speech in a busy cafe.
Our interview today is with Kyle Dargan. Originally from New Jersey, Dargan now lives in Washington, DC, where he directs the creative writing program at American University. He is the author of four books of poetry that explore the intersection of the personal and the political, with a twist of science fiction. You can learn more about Dargan and find some of his poems here, and find an additional poem here.
Last but not least, here is our prompt for the day (optional, as always). In honor of Earth Day, I’d like to challenge you to write a georgic. The original georgic poem was written by Virgil, and while it was ostensibly a practical and instructional guide regarding agricultural concerns, it also offers political commentary on the use of land in the wake of war. The georgic was revived by British poets in the eighteenth century, when the use of land was changing both due to the increased use of enlightenment farming techniques and due to political realignments such as the union of England, Scotland, and Wales.
Your Georgic could be a simple set of instructions on how to grow or care for something, but it could also incorporate larger themes as to how land should be used (or not used), or for what purposes.
Well, I had never heard of the form before, so with my research head still on my shoulders I delved into discovering the Georgic. After this some Agricultural research which was scribbled all over my notebook and finally a list of the most grown crops internationally. It was good to see some of our allotment fodder on our list – and there went my muse again, setting off fireworks. There is still a mountain of untapped ideas waiting for exploration over the summer.
I eventually calmed down enough to pen a poem, back in the notebook after several days at the keys. I wrote two short poems and a longer Georgic about growing tomatoes (the 8th most valuable crop in the world).
Accept that neighbours will pinch the odd one or two,
eat a healthy quota when hanging out the washing,
Sample a few whilst watering the garden.
And YES, I know tomato is a fruit, a berry in fact.
Carrie Etter’s prompt for Day 22 was also vegetable related…
Write an ode to your favourite vegetable. For inspiration, here’s Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to the Artichoke”: http://www.versedaily.org/2013/odetotheartichoke.shtml
to trying on skirts,
looking at it, examining it
against the light as if it were an egg.
From Pablo Neruda’s “Ode to the Artichoke”
Having just come up for air after my agricultural research, I had a million (well, 5 or 6) ideas from this prompt as well. I also had fun (yes, I said – FUN) revising the Ode. The Pindaric, Horatian and Meditation Odes.
In the end I swung vegetable odes for a Fruit ode and wrote about my favourite to plant and eat, strawberries.
….we reaped you fast, gobbled you up, greedily.
Jo Bell http://www.jobell.org.uk/ encouraged us to read… if any poet can, it would be Kei Miller – go and read him if you haven’t!
When Considering the Long, Long Journey of 28,000 Rubber Ducks by Kei Miller
I remember this story being news. Jo’s discussion is filled with consideration. Treat yourself.
The Poetry School offered a prompt from Julia Bird. The Golden Shovel – featured in past Napowrimo and a firm favourite amongst the poets in Carrie Etter’s NaPo Prompt group. I have written several already this month.
Day 22 The Golden Shovel
A modern form, which has really taken off since it was invented by Terrance Hayes. Take a line from a poem you admire, then use each word in that line as the end word in your own line, keeping them in order. If all goes well, you should be able to read the original poem down the right hand margin of your poem.
Remember Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem ‘We Real Cool’ from a few prompts ago? Well, read down the right margin of Terrance Hayes’ ‘The Golden Shovel’, after which the form was named.
(Hayes’ poem uses all of Gwendolyn Brooks’ poem and does so twice but you only need to use one line, and to do it once!)