Tag Archives: Maggie Smith

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 8


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Are you ready for the 2nd week?

Let’s do this!


As always to read the full post, click on the day.

Day Eight

Our featured participant today is Poem Dive, where Day Eight’s prompt of gifts and joy is full of sensory detail. I can feel the sunlight!

Our video resource today is this short film version of Maggie Smith’s poem, “Good Bones.” It went “viral” in 2016, as recounted in this article from The Washington Post. The reception of “Good Bones” is a potent reminder that poetry is a vibrant method for understanding the world, and understanding what we want from it, and from each other.

Our prompt for the day, is inspired by Smith’s poem. You may have noted that the central metaphor of “Good Bones” turns on a phrase used by real estate agents. Today, I’d like to challenge you to think about the argot of a particular job or profession, and see how you can incorporate it into a metaphor that governs or drives your poem. This rather astonishing list of professional slang terms might help you get into the mood. Or, if you work a white-collar job, perhaps you can take inspiration from one of the business jargon phrases that seem to predominate in corporate environments.

Happy writing!

NaPo Process Notes

people coffee meeting team

Photo by Startup Stock Photos on Pexels.com

I followed the order of the post, starting with the participant’s site. A full poem considering it was written about nothing at all. Very different to the one I produced yesterday which was very deeply about the most important thing in life, life itself.

The I listened to Good Bones – a poem by Maggie Smith made by Filmmaker ANAÏS LA ROCCA before watching it. Created my own imagining of this cinematic work. The power of adding music/soundtrack to poetry works as an artform and feeds additional layers into the work. I love working with musicians.

It is such a beautiful poem. Begs for a film. The repetition is really striking and stunning lines, darkness that is the world and lighter shades of hope, of possibility, of future. If you don’t get goosebumps… well. I could barely breathe through it.

I then copied the transcript of the poem and saved it to my Napo Poetry Resources file. Once I had settled back to normal, I watched the Poetry Film. WOW! I am glad I listened first my imagining was more outside in the world than the domestic setting of this film, but there was more magic in it than I expected. I watched it on full screen and suggest you do the same. Enter the world created.

I then read the Bonus Content Interview with Maggie Smith. It can be found here http://motionpoems.org/episode/good-bones/bonus/

You can watch Maggie Smith read Good Bones.

As I am currently involved in the Worcester Poetry Film Collective and obsessed by discovering new work, and as her work is Award Winning, I picked some more of Anaïs La Rocca’s films to watch. They are mainly commercial/marketing – beautiful to watch though.

I then read the article from The Washington Post. I missed this poem going viral in 2016.


On Writing 


I have written poetry using the language of jargon and business/sports talk before, as with many things in the world of writing it is not a new idea, but it is a rich source for new poems.

I started by exploring the links detailed in the prompt above and read examples of professional slang terms and business jargon.

I got addicted to the Generator and think I will utilise a lot of the jargon examples, in part at least.

With all these ideas buzzing around my head, I am off to write.

Every now and then you come across prompts which get you with such intensity, they take over. This is what happened to me.

Yesterday, I didn’t manage to write a poem, I had the time but not the headspace… but what I did do was explore other online generators and I collected an entire document of potential buzzword/jargon lines.

At bedtime I stayed awake long enough to finish my current novel and start a new one… the universe did that thing it sometimes does and every chapter of this book was full of techno babble.

I am excited to stitch words together later today and will come back to post a snippet.


My poem is 20 (!) stanzas long and describes the breakdown of a relationship as one partner advances their career, I used a multitude of business jargon, the title is an anagram of business jargon Jabs – Sore – Suing and the snippet I include here doesn’t hold much of it, although it does include the most cliched 4 words! I like this idea and dream of writing something as effective as our example poems. I will revisit this idea.

Sitting inside their home

he incubated his plans,

thinking outside the box.