We’re now officially in the second half of Na/GloPoWriMo. Hopefully you’ve found your versical rhythm, so to speak, and you’ll find that writing poems the remainder of the month will be a snap.
Today’s featured participant is Katie Staten, whose response to the villainous prompt for Day Fifteen imagines a day in the life of Ursula the Sea Witch.
We have a new craft resource for you today, or maybe an anti-craft resource, in the form of this essay by Michael Bazzett warning against the fetishization of craft. Thinking hard thoughts about word choice, line breaks, sound, and structure can help to make a poem better, but too much emphasis on perfection can breed stale, airless verse. There always has to be room for play, and not just work, in our poems.
In this vein, our (optional, as always) prompt for the day asks you to write a poem that prominently features the idea of play. It could be a poem about a sport or game, a poem about people who play (or are playing a game), or even a poem in the form of the rules for a sport or game that you’ve just made up (sort of like Calvinball).
The Poetry School Day 16
Day 16: Voice
Today I’d like you to write a poem based on voices, ideally a dialogue. This can be a formal dialogue for two voices, like John Fuller’s ‘A Dialogue between Caliban and Ariel’, or you can present just half of the dialogue and leave the other half to the reader’s imagination, as in Kathryn Maris’s ‘Darling, Would You Please Pick Up Those Books?’, or you might like to present an overheard third-person dialogue as Sharon Olds’ does in her poem, ‘Voices’.
Whatever you choose to do, the key points are that you must include speech, and two or more people’s voices (even if one is just implied).
Having already completed a two voices poem this month I decided on using the Naponet prompt on using rules of a game. I chose badminton, a game I have never played.
I started with the rules and took it from there. I wrote about playing indoors as a child (usually reading), compared to my active, sporty brothers. It became a prose poem. I am not entirely satisfied, but it is late and I have been at work all day. So I am willing to leave it. I have followed the rules of the game and as far as the prompt goes, succeeded.
She served her pages diagonally, swiped the next one open with the edge of an index finger,