NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 22


Day Twenty-Two Click here for the full post.

Our featured participants today are Connect/Hook, with a rollicking and silly response to the “double deed” prompt for Day 21, and My Musings Through Life, which brings us a softer, more haunting response.

Our featured reading is a pre-recorded one, … the poet James Dickey  reading his poems for the Library of Congress back in 1960.

Prompt: comes to us from Poets & Writers’ “The Time is Now” column.

Poets & Writers directs us to an essay by Urvi Kumbhat on the use of mangoes in diasporic literature/ the strength of metonymy in poetry… write a poem that invokes a specific object as a symbol of a particular time, era, or place.

Happy writing!


I am loving the fact that Maureen is doubling up the featured participants, extra poems for us! Chado’s poem Martian Ladies: The Lost Lines made me smile. It holds true to the prompt and because of which has great rhythm, flow and story! In the comments we learn it is like/based on an old playground chant;

“… a mzungu rhyme that young children learn in America maybe Canada too.” – Chado

This knowledge brought some lovely recollections skipping into my mind of elastics, playtime games and chants.

Sunita’s poem is a complete contrast, philosophical and lingering. The story of us all.

The James Dickey reading reminds me how much has changed of poetry in the past 60+ years and how much is still similar/ the same – some of the lines are hauntingly beautiful. Other poems are violent in subject matter and hard (but important) to listen to. I enjoyed listening to this slice of history and spent some time reading Dickey’s poetry. Another new-to-me poet (despite being another US Poet Laureate).

It amazes me that he reads for 30 minutes and they ask for more. They don’t make them like they used to! And it sounds like the organisers/presenter was close to tearing up (messing up) the manuscript! The understanding of poets was different back then too!

When I read the prompt I felt my head spin! Looking at the long essay first thing this morning was a little off putting – but I know the P&W website and prompts and knew it would be worth it and also felt it was important to educate myself about this argument.

I read the article on Lithub On the Complexity of Using the Mango as a Symbol in Diasporic Literature – Urvi Kumbhat Maps a Personal Genealogy of the Fruit complete with all the links.

I then looked at the prompt again and went with my first response.

In writing development we are often taught to avoid the initial/automatic responses/ perhaps even the first 4 or 5 ideas… this is to increase originality but here in NaPoLand I always feel the great wall of time is against me and so I jot the other ideas down in the to-go-back-to document and just run with whatever presents… after all we are also told/taught to TRUST!

After much searching and a change of direction I went with the object first and didn’t write what I had intended – another law of writing – when the poem writes itself it is rarely the same as the poem you thought you were going to write.

My subject/object was a Victorian dress.

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