Tag Archives: Concrete poems

NaPoWriMo 2022 Day 28


Read the full post here.

Today’s featured participant is yet again, two participants! First up, we have Eunoia and second, Karen Morris, bringing us a fully-rhymed duplex.

Our daily online magazine is failbetter. Among the poems that they’ve published recently, I’ll point out Jessie Raymundo’s “Memory with Water” and John Wall Barger’s “I Received a Bitter Email from a Good-Hearted Man.”

Prompt: write a concrete poem. In brief, a concrete poem is one in which the lines are shaped in a way that mimics the topic of the poem. For example, May Swenson’s poem “Women” or George Starbuck’s “Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree”.

I am behind by 2 days so will look into this prompt and poems tomorrow. I want to write my missing days first.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

One day later…

I read Adapting, by Smitha V. The poet felt the Duplex was an effective form for this telling and so do I.

It's meeting the old and the pain resurfacing, that scares me. 

Old memories scare me and the pain, the past brings with it.
I'm used to forgetting and being forgotten.

        Forgetting and being forgotten takes time to get used to

And Karen Morris even managed to rhyme her Duplex! Kudos. The poem is on FB so I had to take care of rabbit holes.

(Like full-time work’s not chore enough),

Shelves to dust and floors to buff.

Many of us have probably written about the memory of water (I know I have).

Memory with Water

Jessie Raymundo

who carries a pair of Neptunes
in her eyes

Gravity is when
the psychiatrist assessed you
& located a heart that is heavy
for no reason.

like a remembrance possessed by echoes

This poem was superb. So much backwater (no pun intended) story and a drive that flowed like rapid water.

I Received a Bitter Email from a Good-Hearted Man

John Wall Barger

John Wall Barger had me from the start. Wow! And the resolution of the piece is blessed. If only we could all find such peace and certainty when friendships fail.

So twenty years of friendship
ended in a small gesture
like a door sliding shut,

How blessed I was,
it didn’t seem real, like a gardener
who keeps finding seeds
in the creases of his clothes,

Well aware of concrete poems (shape poems), have taught them on the curriculum for decades and occasionally enjoy writing one. I read the example poems anyway. Love all the reading you get to do with Napowrimo.

I thoroughly enjoyed May Swenson‘s, Women and to think it was published in 1978! Wow. And the content of George Starbuck‘s, Sonnet in the Shape of a Potted Christmas Tree was certainly different to other concrete Christmas tree poems I have read! And a Sonnet to boot! I struggle to write them without creating a shape on top.

I have no idea of a starting point and I know shape poems can be digitally challenging, but I am in catch up mode and ready to dive in!

Cheesy as it is – I went for the ‘shape of love’ and of course, contoured a heart. Although it currently looks like a map of Australia with the basic prog. I am running!

your eyes which speak whole

stories out into the space between us.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 9



Our featured participant today is Hephaestus’ Waste and Cosmic Rubble, where the borrow-a-line prompt for Day 8 resulted in a Plath-inspired foray into sensuality.

Today’s resource is Kirsten Kaschock’s chapbook, Windowboxing. Kaschock, a dancer as well as a poet, titles her poems using neologisms or portmanteaus, and each one proceeds as a series of essay-like sentences. The poems are interspersed with drawings, and some are even formatted in the shapes of boxes, forcing the reader to turn the book (or their head) and engage with the poems as they move through space.

Our daily prompt is inspired by Kaschock’s use of space to organize her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “concrete” poem – a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. This might seem like a very modernist idea, but poets have been writing concrete poems since the 1600s! Your poem can take a simple shape, like a box or ball, or maybe you’ll have fun trying something more elaborate, like this poem in the shape of a Christmas tree.


I used to be a dancer and know a few dancer poets or poet dancers so I was excited to get stuck into the resource and work of a poet who was new to me – another reason why I love NaPoWriMo! Yes I am a true fan and have been since I discovered it back in 2014 (6 months into my poetry life)!


As with the NaPo story (often) I am already a little behind, I have been reading it daily and writing daily too – just it doesn’t always become a poem at this stage and you have to give yourself permission to fail a bit on that front.

I know that I have earmarked the prompt and resources from Day 9 to revisit and spend time with at a later date. Some of the days make my heart flutter in happiness and this is one of those.

I started with the poem from the participating website, I liked the way you could see Plath as the springboard and some play with her imagery/style and ideas ghosted in parts of the poem. There were strong lines and I must have re-read it 3x – each time finding a little more. It definitely described the ‘lingering’ well.

What writer isn’t happy to read an entire chapbook? Maybe those who aren’t poets I suppose. So running happy circles with today’s wonderful resource. I look forward to a good sit down (scheduled for June) with Kirsten Kaschock’s ‘Windowboxing’. I had a quick flick through the PDF and liked what I scanned/saw.

I have written concrete poems before (who hasn’t) and as I am behind with the Days I have seen some great examples of this prompt popping up online. I have a few ideas to take to the drawing board.


Funnily enough, I had a conversation (online) with poets the other day discussing experimental layout and how to format word documents. Some of the challenges facing a concrete poem online. There are places you can find examples though and it is part of the fun to see if you can make it happen on screen.

Of course…   you could always go with a box!