Daily Archives: April 20, 2019

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 20



Another milestone marker… 2/3 of the way through! Go on, write a poem.


As always, for the full post, click the day.

Day Twenty

Welcome back, everyone, for Day Twenty of Na/GloPoWriMo! We’re now 2/3 of the way through.

Our featured participant for the day is heartinthematter, where the abecedarian poem for Day 19 is a jaunty whirlwind of words that are fun to say.

Today’s video resource is this short movie from the National Film Board of Canada, presenting animated interpretations of four poems by Canadian poets.

Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that “talks.” What does that mean? Well, take a look at this poem by Diane Seuss. While it isn’t a monologue, it’s largely based in spoken language, interspersed with the speaker/narrator’s own responses and thoughts. Try to write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken – not necessarily the grand, dramatic speech of a monologue or play, but the messy, fractured, slangy way people speak in real life. You might incorporate overheard speech or a turn of phrase you heard once that stood out to you – the idea here is to get away from formally “poetic” speech and into the way language tends to work out loud.

Happy writing!



NaPo Process Notes 


As I wrote my abecedarian poem yesterday, or more accurately did battle… I was thinking about which words other poets would choose, especially for X and Z. So I was interested to check out not only the featured participant but also a few others. I had a LARGE morning coffee and plenty of time to read. It is good to support each other through NaPo.

Smiti Mittal wrote ‘Zing’ a true abecedarian poem, 26 words through from a to z. This method makes for some lines that you would not necessarily put together, the version I used (a new letter to start each line) also leaves endlines which would usually be constructed differently. This is one of the beauties of this form. Smiti Mittal has done well to keep the sense of the poem and there is (political) passion bursting through her word choices.

Other participating sites I chose at random were:

https://starinthewind.wordpress.com/ Breaking some eggs

where a relationship is masterfully portrayed and the reader forgets it is an abecedarian poem for a while as the lines neatly tuck into each other.

https://putouttopasture.blog/ Arabian, Buckskin, Connemara by Maxie Jane where breeds of horses are cleverly listed in her abecedarian poem.

https://whimsicalwallflower.com/ where Christina Fong uses repetition in her sad abecedarian poem about illness.

I then went on to watching the film resource. I love the fact that the NFB film is from 1977. I tend to only watch contemporary works so it is interesting to discover older films. I have seen a few of course. There are also other films shown at the bottom of the webpage that I will explore post NaPo. Great resource!



This short film brings together animated interpretations of four poems by great Canadian wordsmiths: “Riverdale Lion” by John Robert Colombo, “A Kite Is a Victim” by Leonard Cohen, “Klaxon” by James Reaney and George Johnston’s “The Bulge.”

Watching was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

I then read [On what day you think Jesus was actually born he asks] by Diane Seuss.


On Writing 


I decided to look in my notebook for any overheard conversation I have noted down as a starting point for my conversational poem. I didn’t find a fruitful thread, so I thought back to Day 17, when I discovered the story of Denis Cox and decided to write something that could join the sequence of planned post-NaPo poems.

I enjoyed writing today’s poem and the process was a LOT quicker than yesterday.

I know that Denis was one of 4 kids, so it was an imagined scene where he was writing out that famous letter and his brother was watching, hovering, waiting to go and play in the creek, something they definitely used to do. It is conversational and unlike my normal style. The genre lends itself to longer lines. I am fairly happy with the result. I discovered the impetus for writing this lost postcard came after seeing Sputnik so I called it After Sputnik.

Here’s a snippet:

Standing there won’t make me any quicker.
I am not going to rush this,
it is too important.
Top Scientist at Woomera Rocket Ranch, important.