NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 9

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Our featured participant today is Hephaestus’ Waste and Cosmic Rubble, where the borrow-a-line prompt for Day 8 resulted in a Plath-inspired foray into sensuality.

Today’s resource is Kirsten Kaschock’s chapbook, Windowboxing. Kaschock, a dancer as well as a poet, titles her poems using neologisms or portmanteaus, and each one proceeds as a series of essay-like sentences. The poems are interspersed with drawings, and some are even formatted in the shapes of boxes, forcing the reader to turn the book (or their head) and engage with the poems as they move through space.

Our daily prompt is inspired by Kaschock’s use of space to organize her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “concrete” poem – a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. This might seem like a very modernist idea, but poets have been writing concrete poems since the 1600s! Your poem can take a simple shape, like a box or ball, or maybe you’ll have fun trying something more elaborate, like this poem in the shape of a Christmas tree.

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I used to be a dancer and know a few dancer poets or poet dancers so I was excited to get stuck into the resource and work of a poet who was new to me – another reason why I love NaPoWriMo! Yes I am a true fan and have been since I discovered it back in 2014 (6 months into my poetry life)!

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As with the NaPo story (often) I am already a little behind, I have been reading it daily and writing daily too – just it doesn’t always become a poem at this stage and you have to give yourself permission to fail a bit on that front.

I know that I have earmarked the prompt and resources from Day 9 to revisit and spend time with at a later date. Some of the days make my heart flutter in happiness and this is one of those.

I started with the poem from the participating website, I liked the way you could see Plath as the springboard and some play with her imagery/style and ideas ghosted in parts of the poem. There were strong lines and I must have re-read it 3x – each time finding a little more. It definitely described the ‘lingering’ well.

What writer isn’t happy to read an entire chapbook? Maybe those who aren’t poets I suppose. So running happy circles with today’s wonderful resource. I look forward to a good sit down (scheduled for June) with Kirsten Kaschock’s ‘Windowboxing’. I had a quick flick through the PDF and liked what I scanned/saw.

I have written concrete poems before (who hasn’t) and as I am behind with the Days I have seen some great examples of this prompt popping up online. I have a few ideas to take to the drawing board.

 

Funnily enough, I had a conversation (online) with poets the other day discussing experimental layout and how to format word documents. Some of the challenges facing a concrete poem online. There are places you can find examples though and it is part of the fun to see if you can make it happen on screen.

Of course…   you could always go with a box!

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