Daily Archives: April 12, 2021

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 12


Day Twelve Click for the full post.

Our featured participant today is Catching Lines, where you will find an intriguingly fruity poem in response to our epistolary prompt for Day 11.

Our reading is a pre-recorded one… It features Donald Hall, who besides being a wonderful poet, wrote the children’s book Ox-Cart Man, which has introduced generations of kids to flinty New England thriftiness.

Prompt… I’m calling this one “Past and Future.” This prompt challenges you to write a poem using at least one word/concept/idea from each of two specialty dictionaries: Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science FictionCathy Park Hong for a tweet to the science fiction dictionary and Hoa Nguyen for the Classical Dictionary.

Happy writing!

© napowrimo.net

Photo by Stas Knop on Pexels.com


Someone had the morning off, so I fell behind on writing and posting Napo. I love the sorts of prompts we had today, so was looking forward to writing today. I reached my desk at 6 PM. The first place I went was the Napo prompt but then I had events, time offline. I decided as I hadn’t even approached writing for NaPo I would leave it until Tuesday.


I read the A Kitchen Incident. An incredible poem. Intrigued by and connected to this poem.

Did you see, in that line, how I halved myself like an orange?/ Peeping through each other’s letterboxes./ Or maybe I’m the juice, running out and away like a river, losing myself in the ocean. I once thought us immiscible. Oil and water. /perhaps we’re more like milk and blood, clotting in each other like casual dynamite.

^ Beautiful lines.

Despite being a US Poet Laureate I hadn’t come across Donald Hall. I listened/watched the featured reading over two days. It is only a 30 minute video but I fell down a rabbit hole and also had a day away from the screen/desk yesterday.

University of Virginia video, Donald Hall, U.S. Poet Laureate – With numerous awards such as two Guggenheim Fellowships, the Marshal/Nation Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Lily Prize for Poetry, Hall is one of the greatest poets of our time. He has published 15 books of poetry and now shares his creative wisdom in this thoughtful exploration of his work.

I listened to this reading in bitesize chunks of 10ish minutes, I heard the first 4 poems three times. I tried to find the time to watch it properly so today (Tuesday), I sat down for lunch with Donald and watched. This isn’t necessarily a style of poetry I would seek or read but I enjoyed his humour and hearing the stories behind some of the poems.

I particularly liked The Poet and hearing him talk of his father, how he wrote straight away in his grief but it took 17 years to complete White Apples, to fit the parts together needed one more line, eventually (as poems do), it came and also gave the book its title – White Apples and the Taste of Stone (2006).

His poem about POETRY READINGS – To a Waterfowl …. ‘I tell them I am in POETRY’… is definitely worth a read/ listen – Donald says about it; “that was a lot of poem to write!

It was an emotive reading, I appreciated Donald talking about the structure of his poems and his process. The narrative in his work is rich indeed. ‘The Day I was Older’ – A poem in which he considers growing older than his father (who died at 52), is written in 5 parts each with a title ‘The Day I was Older’ // The Clock: ‘ … a thousand favourite favorite stars’ /

And Olive – well what can I say? Watch it!

I did a little post reading research.

Donald Hall (1928-2018)

He was the 14th US Poet Laureate – succeeded Ted Kooser from October 1, 2006, and was succeeded by Charles Simic in 2007.

He was the author of over 50 books across several genres from children’s literature, biography, memoir, essays, and including 22 volumes of verse.

He was the New Hampshire (home state) Poet Laureate (1984–89).

After this I fell down a rabbit hole of other You Tube videos, talks and readings, read the Poetry Foundation pages and explored some of Donald’s other poems.

I saved the link to his children’s book (inspired by the poem Ox-Cart Man which he read as part of his University of Virginia reading) to listen to later.

Never too old for a children’s story.

I then spent a while (and I mean a long time) exploring and enjoying the dictionaries – Lempriere’s Classical Dictionary and the Historical Dictionary of Science Fiction.

I still haven’t chosen my words. I did some of the research yesterday, but am yet to settle down to write it out. I will be back later to write two days of NaPo and will update this post.


I knew I would enjoy this prompt and I did. It took ages to pick words from these two resource texts. I screen shot them and kept them on the screen as I wrote.

During Week 1 of Napo I wrote about Venus and so when I came across Lucifer in the Classical Dictionary that had to be my starting point and from the Historical Science Fiction dictionary I chose anti-agathic.

I just let the poem come out, free write. It centred around the dual name aspect and touched on the 2 facades of people/ public-private. It was an interesting prompt and one that can be repeated many times from these rich resource texts.

If she could live all her days as two…