Tag Archives: Aram Saroyan

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 16

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant is: MD Kerr, who provides an audio recording of her musically-inspired poem from Day Fifteen.

Our poetry resource for the day is this PDF of Aram Saroyan’s Electric Poems, first published in 1972. Saroyan is known for his minimalist poetry. Often, his poems consist of re-mixed/chopped versions of a single word. In fact, one of his most famous one-word poems engendered some controversy in the U.S. Congress!

Today’s prompt rather than encouraging minimalism, we challenge you to write a poem of over-the-top compliments. Pick a person, place, or thing you love, and praise it in the most effusive way you can. Go for broke with metaphors, similes, and more. Need a little inspiration? Perhaps you’ll find it in the lyrics of Cole Porter’s “You’re The Top.” 

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I always enjoy listening to a poet reading their own work and it was interesting to hear about MD Kerr’s synathesia as it was mentioned on an earlier NaPo prompt, Day 5 No.4 on Jim Simmerman’s list of Twenty Little Poetry Projects.

We are welcomed into her head and as thoughts, the directions of this poem change directly swiftly and is very visceral. Love that strong endline -…  a thousand little pebbles crash – it lingers. I listened to the poem several times. Beautiful work. I thoroughly enjoyed the participant poem today.

As you know, I love a free book so I was looking forward to indulging in the resource. I tend to stay clear of minimalism, choosing to have more words for my money (joke)! I love an eclipse though and the concept of this book which came from a time before I existed and must have been fairly groundbreaking work. I read it (I don’t think you can download this one) for a poet of minimalism there is a lot being said. As suggested ‘Big thoughts’. And remarkably it builds up that expectancy in the same way that witnessing the eclipse does. An enjoyable quiet, calm read.

I read up on Aram Saroyan and tried his website – which is linked on the Poetry Foundation page but doesn’t actually work. So I did a search and watched a couple of  readings instead from 2010. Interesting snippets of his life from ‘Door to the River’.

Enjoy!

 

And a poem…

Performance of “Crickets” a one-word poem by Aram Saroyan, during Other Minds Festival 23 – Sound Poetry: The Wages of Syntax. Recorded on April 9, 2018, at ODC Theater in San Francisco, CA.

I went on to read the controversy surrounding one of his one word poems. I was surprised to find out what the word was, it wasn’t the one I imagined. Far more poetic. I went in to read one of the referenced articles, from the Mother Jones Magazine, which can be found here.

I then knew I was down the NaPo Rabbit Hole – again!

And after watching ‘Crickets’ wasn’t sure I wanted to write a poem with lots of words – but I read the example resource and made a start. I decided this was another prompt that could work towards a current project so I sat down and mind-mapped. I did it on the computer as I have so many to type up now and editing is easier!

I managed a stanza and then decided that this might be the entire poem, we will see. I want to do some more reading around my subject, if not – I have created a nugget which wouldn’t exist without NaPo!