Tag Archives: Brenda Shaughnessy

NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 26


Day Twenty-Six Click here to read the post in full.

Today’s featured participants are Barbara Turney Wieland, who has brought us a happy, snappy poem sprinkled with daisies, and Manja Mexi Mexcessive, whose poem about the not-so-normal process of trying to get back to normal!

Our featured daily reading is pre-recordedBrenda Shaughnessy reading for the Chicago Humanities Festival back in 2013.

Prompt: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a parody. Besides being fun, writing parodies can be a great way to hone your poetic skills – particularly your sense of rhyme and sound, as you try to mimic the form of an existing poem while changing the content.

If you’d like to get some inspiration, consider some poems that Lewis Carroll included in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which parody the moralistic verse of Isaac Watts. “The Crocodile” is a send-up of Watts’ “How Doth the Little Busy Bee,” while “Tis the Voice of the Lobster” is a parody of Watts’ poem “The Sluggard.” Or, for a briefer and more whimsical poem, consider “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Bat,” which is a parody of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”

Happy writing!


I had a MAMMOTH NaPoWriMo catch up this morning. Penned a fair few poems and watched several readings. I thoroughly enjoyed today’s reading and discovering the poetry of Brenda Shaughnessy. A NEW FAN here!

I loved revisiting Barbara’s website today. it’s a daisy day!

…. each tiny central golden sun

will remind you, petal, you’ve only just begun

I appreciated the references to the daisy at the end. Particularly the old Celtic Legend:

God sprinkled daisies over the earth to cheer people from grief.

And the second featured poem Liberation Day which is one that will resonant with all of us:

I have a coloured spreadsheet 
with 30 pages and 1000 destinations. 

Today, to celebrate, 
we are going to the big supermarket by the lagoon. 
Crossing the border a day early.

And the photographs taken on the walk are sunshiny joy!

I have experienced Manja’s beautiful blog before *I think I may have discovered it on a previous NaPo year. This was a great way to start the day (even though I actually started today in Day 22 and worked through my gaps from there)!

Before I watched the reading today I read some of Brenda’s incredible poems on the Poetry Foundation website. As I already mentioned I loved today’s reading and discovering a new-to-me poet.

Chicago Humanities Festival

Ever since her debut collection “Interior with Sudden Joy” and follow-up “Human Dark With Sugar,” poet Brenda Shaughnessy’s taut and dazzling words have undone us. “Our Andromeda” is her latest volume. Invoking both constellation and Greek mythology, its poems center on a mother and poet. In language that is sharp and sly, wrenching and wry, she grapples with the gulf between expectations and reality in the worlds of motherhood, poetry, and art.

Join Shaughnessy, a professor of English at Rutgers University and the poetry editor-at-large of Tin House, for a reading and conversation about her work. This program was recorded on October 20, 2013 as part of the 24th annual Chicago Humanities Festival.

I particularly enjoyed At the Book Shrink and Vanity and the Q&A afterwards.

As for the prompt – I have only ever written one parody and I was at a loss as to where to go for base material. In the end I went to the Poetry Foundation and closed my eyes and randomly picked a poem. Still Life with Summer Sausage A Blade and No Blood by VIEVEE FRANCIS. It was an interesting exercise but I don’t feel I have chosen a poem a parody will add anything to here. I will look out for some perfect parody material and try again in the future.

……. She gave me some winter berries,

on a spoon. I pulled the raspberries

out first.