Today is St George’s Day and also Shakespeare’s Birthday. Back in Elizabethan times people (apparently) didn’t celebrate birthdays! Can you imagine? Since 1824 the town of Stratford-Upon-Avon Shakespeare’s birthday has marked the occasion. This year of course, it’s virtual.
I’ve marked the day by creating the artwork for this post and my Napowrimo write today was penned in my Shakespeare Birthplace Trust notebook – bought 4 years ago on my last visit.
Prompt: Sometimes, reading another poet’s work gives me an idea or image. And sometimes I read a poem that I want to formally respond to… write a poem that responds, in some way, to another. This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in another poem. You might use a favorite (or least favorite poem) as the source for your response. And if you’re having trouble finding a poem to respond to, here are a few that might help you generate ideas: “This World is Not Conclusion,” by Peter Gizzi, “In That Other Fantasy Where We Live Forever,” by Wanda Coleman, “La Chalupa, the Boat,” by Jean Valentine, or “Aubade: Some Peaches, After Storm,” by Carl Phillips.
Featured participants – Kiwi Fruit by Donna M Day was such a moving poem, as small as a kiwi fruit with all the punch of the bite. Deeply touched.
Cowboy on an Off-White Charger by Judy Dykstra-Brown comes from a blog already in my Reader. When I read the task – Prompt words today are dusty boots, monotonous, ambit, speed and queen. The NaPoWriMo prompt today discussed different poetic devices. I decided to try to use metonymy, polysemy, synecdoche and metalepsis in one poem- I’m amazed a poem came out in just 3 short stanzas!
Next I went to look at the reading event and fell down an Eventbrite size rabbit hole, I was gone for some time! I have been to readings with Rebecca Morgan Frank before and would love to make this event but Midnight -2AM (BST) on Sunday night may not be feasible. There are a lot of poets I don’t know reading, which is exciting.
Today’s prompt includes some tried and tested workshop methods, I decided to investigate the poetry examples linked and see which settled with me. After reading the 4 poems and stepping around carefully burrowed rabbit holes* I chose my starting point.
*I set a 10 minute alarm for each search activity – otherwise I would have spent an entire morning chasing threads.
I chose ‘It seems like another life:’ from La Chalupa, the Boat, by Jean Valentine as a springboard to jump off from. I used a notebook to write today (mainly because I crashed the word doc file), but also because it was sunny and I had a coffee and it seemed the garden was calling!
It was the right decision to write off screen* – I am fairly pleased with the first draft outcome, which uses a refrain and plays with punctuation as a tool for changing gears.
‘time was measured in four-hourly frames’
*I used to use notebooks ALL the time and then type up, but I was generating so much writing that there wasn’t time to type it all. Edits were messy to the point of unreadable etc. and I naturally morphed into writing at the desk straight onto the document. Lockdown put an end to that (mainly because the screen was hosting events, but also because I am the proud possessor of 18 years worth of collected too-pretty-to-use notebooks and I thought this was the rainy day (understatement) they had been waiting for…
and book by book, (I spent pleasure time choosing the next one) I wrote notes and scribbled poems and didn’t have to worry about the shops being shut or not being able to afford to buy new paper, I had it all here. So for the past 13 months I have been writing in notebooks, except for NaPo which has been on screen.