Ten days of writing poems, magic!
Today you are a third of the way through NaPoWriMo. As always for the full prompt, click on the Day.
Today’s featured participant is Small Burdens, where Day Nine’s Sei Shonagons-style prompt resulted in two lovely lists of “Things That Pull Asunder” and Things That Bind.”
Our video resource for today is this recording of Randy Rieman reading a poem at the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering. His rendition of this S. Omar Barker poem, which is awash in regional and dialect phrasing.
Our prompt for the day, is also rooted in dialect and regional phrasing. In her poem “Sunshower,” Natalie Shapero finds inspiration in a rather colorful phrase used in Mississippi and Alabama to describe the situation in which it rains while the sun is shining.
Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that starts from a regional phrase, particularly one to describe a weather phenomenon. These regional U.S. phrases used to describe warm weather will inspire you. Or you might enjoy these French terms for cold weather, or even these expressions from the British Isles that are mostly for the very British phenomenon of rain.
NaPo Process Notes
I read “Things That Pull Asunder” and Things That Bind.” A. Cele has definitely emulated the style of Sei Shōnagon in her two poems. I had a quick look around the website.
I then watched Purt Near by S. Omar Barker (from his 1954 book, “Songs of the Saddlemen”) being performed by Randy Reiman at the 28th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.
Barker was one of the founders of the Western Writers of America, Inc. and many of his poems were published by Western Horseman. © Cowboypoetry.com
I thoroughly enjoyed the humour in this poem and discovering a whole new world!
Next, I read ‘Sunshower’ by Natalie Shapero. Again there is an audio version, I listened to it a second time before exploring the 3 links to weather language, some terms were familiar to me and others, not. I loved the American listings and searched the web to find some UK sites. I discovered Starkey Comics. There is a great list here – 100 Words for Rain. https://starkeycomics.com/2019/03/14/100-british-words-for-rain/
I chose a regional one as a starting point for writing my poem.
I started by gathering words made only from the letters in my chosen weather phrase. I had in mind to write a Beau Present, but I made the mistake of not extracting repeated letters, so even in the list of 6 words I gathered as starters, they may not have been true to form. Traditionally they are written to honour a person and should start with the name of someone.
They are also hard to write in a sensical way and I am suffering early-morning-brain and just used all my energy to evict a very docile but light-bulb obsessed wasp! So instead I decided to incorporate my 6 words into the poem.
I started with ‘It’s plothering down’ – which is a Midlands term for raining. The words I incorporated were:
I wrote a short 3 stanza poem called Dreich, which is a Scottish term for rain. My favourite description in the poem is ‘thistledown rain’, I knew that thistledown described the feathery white hairs attached to the seed of the plant and imagined these as raindrops. The thistle is the National Flower/emblem of Scotland, hence the title.
It’s plothering down,
no shielding this town
from thistledown rain.
I enjoyed writing this short poem, on reading it I am drawn to the rhythm, a rainstorm is always an auditory experience for me. Listening to the rain…