I hope NaPoWriMo is going well for you.
It is around this time that people tend to fall behind. Writing for 2 weeks is doable – a month feels impossible to achieve… don’t believe that! We are over halfway and if you skip a day or miss a day you have 2 choices – either catch up (how many times have you written more than 1 poem in a day?) or skip that day and carry on… let’s have no talk of giving up! You can rest in May… or edit.
As always for the full post, click the day.
Today’s featured participant is Unassorted stories, where the list poem for Day Sixteen doubles back on itself in intriguing ways.
Our featured video resource for Day 17 is this recording of the poet Lily Myers reciting/performing her poem “Shrinking Women.” As you’ll see, this recording has been viewed more than 5 million times. Wow! One thing that the popularity of this video underscores, given the subject matter of the poem, is that poetry can help us to talk about uncomfortable aspects of our lives. In writing poems, we can examine these aspects of our lives and feelings, and in sharing our poems, we can realize that we are not alone in feeling them.
And now for our prompt. As long as we are on uncovering or embodying feelings that may not be commonly presented, I’d like to share this poem by Sharon Olds, who I think of as sort of a Master (or Mistress, I suppose) of discomfiting the reader. This poem is beautiful in its focus on detail, its word choice, and it has an earthy, witchy slyness to it. It reverses what we might think of as the “usual” relationship between the sexes in a disorienting way, with the woman as the appraising watcher, and the man as the vulnerable and innocent party.
Today, I’d like you to challenge you to write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.
NaPo Process Notes
I started with the participant’s site – which was already on my Reader. Angela’s poem ‘Plans for tonight’ has interesting ideas and I thought it was clever how she manipulated the list in repetition.
I know Button Poetry, some poets who feature and Lily Myers’ work. I watched the video.
Some powerful lines.
I read Sharon Olds poem The Connoisseuse of Slugs and it left lots of imagery in my head. I may struggle with today’s prompt with all that in my mind.
The first consideration is the who and what of viewpoint. I imagined I would write a list and then go off to do the other things I need to do, knowing that one of the ideas would last the duration of offline activity and this would be the subject I’d choose to write about for today’s prompt.
What I actually did once I returned to the computer was… search for famous females, then look at famous artists, then myths, urban myths, film props, famous moustaches and then in the end scout online writing prompts for one with a different perspective/point of view. Maybe it is because it is late, I am tired and working on several other tasks. I bet tomorrow I will come up with some ideas for this prompt – I will be sure to note them down for future writing.
From the ideas page I choose to research famous letters and found the great story of Denis Cox, an Australian schoolboy who was so concerned about his country falling behind in the space race that he sent ‘a top scientist’ some plans for a rocket, he drew them on a postcard which he posted in 1957. The mail arrived in 2009. I had already decided to write from the p.o.v of the postcard before I discovered it had been lost for 52 years!
It’s amazing what NaPoWriMo does!
I will post a snippet soon… I promise not to take 52 years! I actually plan to write a sequence of poems and have my notes ready for post-NaPo.
Here is that snippet from the first poem called Space Race.
A scratchy ink pen dug into my pulp,
I felt the secret shape game.