Full prompt here.
Wow, everybody! We’re already a whole week into Na/GloPoWriMo 2022! If you’ve kept up with writing a poem a day so far, pat yourself on the back. And if you have fallen behind, no worries – there’s plenty of time to catch up.
Our featured participant for the day is Words with Ruth, where you’ll find not one, but two, poems inspired by Day Six’s acrostic-variation prompt.
Today’s featured online journal is Thrush. Each issue is fairly short, giving you plenty of opportunity to savor the poems. I’ll point you to Tennessee Hill’s “WE BUY BROKEN GOLD” and Chisom Okafor’s “hymn to the bowstring.”
I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that argues against, or somehow questions, a proverb or saying.
It is a great feeling to know you have managed a whole week of NaPo – but as Maureen says, don’t worry if you have fallen behind. Just keep going from here.
I started with the featured poems, I read them earlier today on the phone but have come back to revisit them this evening. I love how permission was granted to write bad poems, this isn’t just NaPo this is all writing. It is very rare any of us produce anything much of worth in a first (or 2nd) draft and sometimes you write something you know you won’t even attempt to polish. But all that rubbish writing is still writing and it will bring you to the feet of something spectacular one day!
Plus remember poetry is subjective. A really terrible poem will be described that way by all who read it but sometimes one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold. What you think is the weaker poem others may admire for something in it they find.
Ask 100 poets and they will tell you of several times when the weakest poem (in their opinion) of a submission is the one the editor offered to publish.
NaPoWriMo is not about concerning yourself with this worry at all. It is freedom, escape. It is writing with abandon. It is throwing letters up in the air and finding some land in the right order.
Don’t be precious – just have fun!
Mind The Gap
I love the playful quality of this poem and as if delighting in the first half wasn’t enough…
Gap where monsters lurk
Between this world and that
The gap of most dangerous danger
then comes the punch…
did I say swords?
Platform announcements distract me.
Personal, collective, familial, societal
Belongings are an illusion.
I am tempted to use the last 2 lines as well – but don’t want to spoil the read for you. These 2 poems are so short – you have time to read them in full, I guarantee!
I also loved the fact that train/platform announcements are the core starting point. These 2 poems remind me of London without even mentioning the city!
Next I explored Thrush, today’s online journal. I love discovering how/why journals got the name:
Thrushes are a species of bird, the songs of some considered to be among the most beautiful in the world. © Thrush
I read the suggested poems again. We Buy Broken Gold by Tennessee Hill, there are some striking lines and hard hitting manoeuvres in this one:
For fluidity’s sake I imagine
it’s also the shop where my aunt sold
her mother’s diamonds,
the unexpected guns and faked robbery… I have heard the term bar-fly (read it in the novel I finished last night – Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler), but the play on the term here shop-fly and those places familiar to us but not well known. I enjoyed the voice of this poem.
When I think to make excuses for myself, I’m reminded
of just how unflattering it can be to know yourself
Next I read hymn to the bowstring by Chisom Okafor.
I sat with the beautiful epigraph for some time…
“given affliction, the body will find a way;
the body will turn itself to music.”
─ Joseph Fasano
I admire the use of white space and the pace of unfolding.
for this floral survival phenomenon
wherein a cycle has to end for another to commence
this body to love in the gratifying way of sideways rain that levitates
with the monsoon at daybreak
I didn’t notice the lack of capitalisation or punctuation as I read. The measured lines and those which brilliantly packaged the concepts – the poem stops you in your tracks time and time again.
I will come back to this magazine and read more poems when I’m not trying to write so many!
I love proverbs – at some point as a teen poet (old term for young writer), I wrote my own book of proverbs. That’s long gone though so my first action was to choose a proverb to question.
I simply chose ‘You snooze, you lose’ – an English Proverb, not as poetic or metaphorically imaginative as some and had I more time or felt more awake I would seek out proverbs from other countries. However, this is the tail-end of an extremely long and hard day – so I am going to ironically write about the benefits of sleep as I keep my eyes open with matchsticks!
It is quite amazing how playing with the words on the page change the entire feeling of a poem. I wasn’t that happy with my literal translation as a poem, but clip all the lines short and something magical happened. The closing stanza is about sleep creating balance and the editing of that section visually is a perfect neat block whilst all the other short stanzas straddle lines like loose threads… I enjoyed the effect.
day lit hours,