We have nearly completed a week!
See writing a poem a day is not so painful after all. I am a little late posting today as this is my first chance to be online and of course Saturday night means a very slow connection. This could test my patience!
As always for the full post click the day below.
Our featured participant for the sixth day of Na/GloPoWriMo is Everyday Strange, where the villanelle-based prompt for Day 5 resulted in an eerie poem with even more repetitions than the average villanelle.
Today’s video is this TED talk on “Why People Need Poetry.”
Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem of the possible. What does that mean? Well, take a look at these poems by Raena Shirali and Rachel Mennies. Both poems are squarely focused not on what has happened, or what will happen, but on what might happen if the conditions are right. Today, write a poem that emphasizes the power of “if,” of the woulds and coulds and shoulds of the world.
NaPo Process Notes
Today’s prompt inspires me and so I am looking forward to attempting a poem from it. Reading the featured participant’s Villanelle was a good place to start. I still have to finish mine and this has spurred me on. Catch up is a common phenomenon during NaPoWriMo.
I always have a little look around the featured websites and this is one I shall return to. I discovered it is a good place for prompts. So when April turns to May, I will go back and check the weekly updates. You can too – more information here.
I love a good TED talk and often watch the writing/poetry related ones. A few of my friends have even been lucky enough to feature. In fact I have watched this TED Talk before and possibly even featured it during INKSPILL. But it is always good to be reminded of such things, so I listened to Stephen Burt. As Maureen Thorson (founder of NaPoWriMo) suggests poets know this… but always handy to have the arguments for why it matters when confronted with non-believers.
I also like to hear how people come to poetry.
Give yourself 13 minutes to listen, it is worth every second and has been viewed 1,256,937 times!
Now, poetry isn’t one thing that serves one purpose any more than music or computer programming serve one purpose. The greek word poem, it just means “a made thing,” and poetry is a set of techniques, ways of making patterns that put emotions into words. The more techniques you know, the more things you can make, and the more patterns you can recognize in things you might already like or love. – Stephen Burt
It is easier than ever to find poems that might stay inside you, that might stay with you, from long, long ago, or from right this minute, from far away or from right close to where you live, almost no matter where you live. Poems can help you say, help you show how you’re feeling, but they can also introduce you to feelings, ways of being in the world, people, very much unlike you, maybe even people from long, long ago. – Stephen Burt
After that – there is no way you are not feeling fired up to write a poem, right?
I resist the urge to get straight into writing and instead check out today’s suggested poems. Starting with ‘daayan at gold streak river’ by Raena Shirali. A poem rich in language and description which I savour and save, knowing I will read it again. I keep files, I will have mentioned this during Process Notes before. So when a resource hits and me and sometimes (with the poems especially), even if they didn’t I copy and save – making sure I also copy the URL and save each under the daily NaPo so I know which day/prompt connects it.
I then read [POEM ABOUT NAOMI; UNSENT] BY Rachel Mennies , which you can also listen to. A poem often holds more power when you hear it read by the poet. I listened a second time. I will definitely return to this page, I have already started to listen to more of her poems. I want to indulge myself again after NaPo.
Finally, after thoroughly enjoying today’s resources (one of my best days so far this NaPo for me)… I sat at the blank screen, waiting for my poem.
I type 4 words onto the screen.
The power of if…
Then I start thinking of the possibilities of a poem. I wrote about a dead Rock Star, a childhood hero of mine. I delved into research mode and watched hours of footage/documentaries, looked through images and occasionally typed a line or two. I enjoyed creating the art slowly, felt the process. I did all this in the early hours of the morning. Slept on it for a bit.
This morning I continued the end of a video and started writing more couplets. In the end I produced a 27 line poem called IF MELANCHOLY HAD A RELEASE VALVE, it contains a lot of ‘If only…’ lines. This morning, after I finished mine, I read people’s Day 6 NaPo poems and there are lots of ‘If only’ examples.
In sleepless wake we mourn the stories,
as if they are our breath. Our blood.