NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 24



Enjoy the final NaPo week – counting down the days.

As always for the full post click on the day.


Day Twenty-Four

Today’s featured participant is Zouxzoux, where the animal-themed prompt for Day Twenty-Three resulted in a zippy haiku.

Our video resource for the day is this rather charming film by Marie Craven, based on Sarah Sloat’s poem “Dictionary Illustrations.”

Today’s prompt is to write a poem that, like “Dictionary Illustrations,” is inspired by a reference book. Locate a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, open it at random, and consider the two pages in front of you to be your inspirational playground for the day. Maybe a strange word will catch your eye, or perhaps the mishmash of information will provide you with the germ of a poem. For what it’s worth, my 1961 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 11, has just informed me that despite “his beauty,” the “profligacy” of the Emperor Heliogabalus’s life “was such as to shock even the Roman public,” while also presenting me with a lovely little line drawing of a variant of heliotrope, the flowers of which are said to smell like cherry pie.

Happy writing!


NaPo Process Notes 

business college composition desk

Photo by Skitterphoto on

I sat in bed this morning and read the NaPo page and followed the links.

Reading the enjoyable cat Haiku by Charlotte Hamrick, I had a thought to use short form for Day 23 too. I still owe a poem. Yesterday I spent time researching the swordfish and discovering it is now an endangered species shocked me. I had hoped to write a poem, but I ran out of time to do so. I had medical appointments.

I was delighted to see the film resource today as it was one we have watched at the Worcester Poetry Film Collective. It is a beautiful piece of work.

Dictionary Illustrations by Marie Craven won this last edition of O’Bheal International Poetry-Film Competition.

As far as books go for the prompt today, although I have them, they are packed away in boxes – so my online search began.

What I actually found was a website with lots of free books, so my current novel (I have read 2 books since I mentioned novels in NaPo posts), found itself strewn on Mr. G’s pillows and I was hooked.

This is the danger with internet research.


On Writing 


My first port of call was to find the base material to be used in today’s writing. I love the idea of mashing contrasting information together and the difficulty with using online reference books is you don’t necessarily get that double page spread.

I loved discovering how many encyclopedias of things there are, my favourite – The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasure. I spent some time copying reference information and searching for images of book pages before I harvested facts on the Whooping Crane and the Buick Engine (a wonderful old manual page). I tried to combine the migration habits of the crane with some mechanical descriptors. I used short form stanzas and although not 100% satisfied at the result have 7 pages of notes to work with post- Napo.

My poem is called Buick Bird, I can securely say it would not exist without NaPoWriMo. It has 4 stanzas, here’s a snippet.

handle them softly,

imagine the metal to be feathered


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