Tag Archives: NaPo

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 4

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To read the whole post visit here

Today’s featured participant is 7eyedwonder, where, from Day 3’s rhymes-and-near-rhymes prompt, a mighty ode to bread has risen (like dough…it’s risen…get it?).

Our poetry resource today is a series of very silly twitter accounts. One thing that poetry is often said to do is make us see the familiar in a new way, and expose us to the magic of everyday life. These twitter accounts do something similar @MagicRealismBot @dreamdeliveryer @GardensBritish @A_single_bear?

Our prompt for the day takes its cue from our gently odd resources, and asks you to write a poem based on an image from a dream. We don’t always remember our dreams, but images or ideas from them often stick with us for a very long time. I definitely have some nightmares I haven’t been able to forget, but I’ve also witnessed very lovely things in dreams (like snow falling on a flood-lit field bordered by fir trees, as seen through a plate glass window in a very warm and inviting kitchen). Need an example of a poem rooted in dream-based imagery? Try this one by Michael Collier.

Happy writing!

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Nora’s poem on the participant’s site is wonderful – brilliant – inspiring and of this time.

A Pint A Pound, The Whole World ‘Round – I look forward to reading more on her blog.

I think of all the people who are going to follow a few more twitter accounts today – love the magical story that I landed on at the Magic Realism Bot twitter. A murderer falls in love with a silver maple tree.

The Dream Delivery Service gives me – You crack a battery open & a yellow bird flies out.

British Gardens You are in a British garden. Your teeth are melting. There are bumblebees in the haze. The flood is a festival.

A Bear gave me Sometimes it is difficult to decide what to do because there are so many things to do (swim, nap, climb, sleep, run, rest, etc.), and I often end up doing the same thing anyway: thinking about what I want to do… …while napping. I am a bear.

I carried on going through the twitter accounts.

 

 

I will update this post later- off to work out a poem and take a screen break.

Weekend internet connection during this Isolation period is patchy at best.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 3

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant today is Put Out to Pasture, where the place-based prompt for Day 2 breathes life into the memory of a library.

Today’s poetry resource an online rhyming dictionary. This one provides both “pure” rhymes and near rhymes, a way to find “similar sounding” words, and also a thesaurus.

Today’s prompt asks you to make use of our resource for the day. First, make a list of ten words. You can generate this list however you’d like – pull a book  off the shelf and find ten words you like, name ten things you can see from where you’re sitting, etc. Now, for each word, use Rhymezone to identify two to four similar-sounding or rhyming words. For example, if my word is “salt,” my similar words might be “belt,” “silt,” “sailed,” and “sell-out.”

Once you’ve assembled your complete list, work on writing a poem using your new “word bank.” You don’t have to use every word, of course, but try to play as much with sound as possible, repeating  sounds and echoing back to others using your rhyming and similar words.

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I visited the participants site first. I remembered Maxie Jane was featured last year too. Her background is an interesting one and I liked how this poem ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Library’ put me back into memories of my own life from a similar time. I left a message on her blog.

Then I made my list of 10 words – I used items in the room and also a 2nd list from book pages.

I didn’t get as far as writing the poem as I took part in some poetry online and then the sun was shining – flighty – I know! So I got outside for fresh air and sunshine in the garden, marvelled at a butterfly, made some phone calls, enjoyed a coffee and once I made it back inside sent some emails and then organised a few poetry bundles, none for submission, all for cleaning! Few house chores and one bit of Face Time and then it was teatime and I was back online for a Zoom Stanza – so I still have my lists and a poorly neglected Mr. G so I am going to spend time with him and finish my poem and update this post later – and that’s how you get behind in the very first week of NaPoWriMo.

 

Oh, look! A shiny thing!

 

 

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 2

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You can read the full post here Day Two

Happy Thursday, all. I hope that your first day of Na/GloPoWriMo went swimmingly, and that you are ready for another dip in the refreshing pool of poetry!

Featured participant is Poem Dive, where Day 1’s life-as-metaphor prompt generated a visually arresting reverie rooted in painting and internet research.

Our poetry resource for today is this PDF of a short, rather whimsical chapbook by the Pulitzer Prize-winnning poet James Schuyler, whose poems are known for constantly mixing together spoken language, observations about the weather, high and low diction, and for their attention to the profundities (and absurdities) of everyday life.

Our prompt for the day takes a leaf from Schuyler’s book – write a poem about a specific place —  a particular house or store or school or office. Try to incorporate concrete details, like street names, distances (“three and a half blocks from the post office”), the types of trees or flowers, the color of the shirts on the people you remember there. Little details like this can really help the reader imagine not only the place, but its mood – and can take your poem to weird and wild places.

Happy writing!

 

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A great many poets share their NaPo poems across social media so I spent some time reading other people’s metaphor poems yesterday, depending on how much time I have I sometimes go and check out the participant sites on napowrimo.net I also like reading the poems that are chosen each day. So this is where I started this morning.

I downloaded the PDF version of ‘Damage’ – I thought the combination of activities was an interesting take on the metaphor prompt. I wished the typesetting had been intentional – a happy accident at least. I liked the different narrative voices and the universal knowledge of these activities. Some power lines here. A much more substantial poem than the effort I was able to produce on Day 1.

I also enjoy discovering new voices through the resources and reading work that I may not otherwise discover. I had fun exploring the chapbook and loved that it is about a place local to me that I know well.

Fireproof

I was interested not only in the writing but the format of the chapbook, how it was made.

I then looked at James Schuyler

As far as the prompt – this is the sort of writing I do often. So I wanted to choose a place I had not written about before. Again, bearing in mind my current projects I knew what I wanted to use to write.

I started my writing with a search for maps, to remind me of the names of streets I have not walked down for 2 years. I searched for a company website and harvested some images shared online from the place. I wrote and edited and wrote again. Three treatments later (I know part of the theory of NaPo is to silence the inner editor and not work on the poems until May or later) but I want my rough poems to be vaguely polished this year because they are forming part of a body of an already project and will be more useful this way. I wrote about a Deli and for the 2nd time in as many days there was a topical reference to the world crisis.

 

 

 

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 1

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Welcome, everyone, to the official first day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020! First featured participant, Honey Stew, where the early-bird poem is a paean to sanderlings and the ” many fast little birds who peep by the sea.”

As in past years, we’ll be featuring a different poetry-related resource daily. This year, including online poetry chapbooks, poetry-related Twitter accounts, and more.

Silly tricks are sometimes the best, at least for getting one’s creativity going. It’s an online metaphor generator!

There are any number of poems out there that compare or equate the speaker’s life with a specific object. This poem of Emily Dickinson’s). Today, however, I’d like to challenge you to write a self-portrait poem in which you make a specific action a metaphor for your life – one that typically isn’t done all that often, or only in specific circumstances. For example, bowling, or shopping for socks, or shoveling snow, or teaching a child to tie its shoes.

Happy writing!

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I spent sometime reading the participant’s poem – some lovely lines. I then looked at the Sanderlings, a prettier bird than the Royal Spoonbill.

As I knew it would be, the online generator is addictive. I copied a few into my NaPo word doc. I used part of one phrase to almost form the first line of a Haiku (you will become a fan of short form trying to write this many poems in a month). I wrote the rest of the haiku – it is the 2nd time I have written about coronavirus. An unexpected extra poem!

I am an Emily Dickinson fan, so I looked forward to discovering which poem was today’s example.

I read it and also listened to the Power and Art podcast– discussion of Susan Howe’s version hosted by Al Filreis and featuring poets Marcella Durand, Jessica Lowenthal, and Jennifer Scappettone.

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I am still thinking about the self portrait prompt. I will be back later to post about the process.

I sort of managed it. Not quite a self portrait – more a fragment from our current time. I used the metaphor of shovelling snow. It started with the end line and I worked backwards for 2 stanzas, then started looking up shovelling snow and some scary statistics that I had never considered before!

I edited the middle section into couplets and started and finished with a 3 line stanza. It is a metaphor for a moment, the one we are all sharing right now.

I have a digital Stanza meeting on Friday and now I think I have a poem.

NaPoWriMo 2020 It’s Coming!

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It is nearly time for NaPoWriMo, an annual flurry of poetry writing. Find out more here.

They have a few starter activities just for fun. The silly test mentioned in this post gives you a chance to choose Bot or Not. I had a 70% success rate. A great party game for the self isolating at this time.

If, like me you enjoy this writing month you will just be pleased to see the site back up and running and the new banners and buttons for 2020.

The Two Days to Go post invites us to go and look at Patrick Stewart’s twitter account where he is reading Shakespeare’s sonnets, I have happily already discovered this already (and retweeted) but it serves to remind me that one of the things I LOVE about NaPo is discovering resources and new to me poets and poems. Also the participants sites can be a great find too.

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Here on AWF I am always a participating site but never (or rarely ever) post a NaPo poem as this affects the copyright and means I may not be able to publish them. You will write a lot of rubbish over the next few weeks – give yourself that permission, nothing is wasted. It’s all worth it for those few poems that do work, that do go on to grow up and get published, for the ones you include in your next collection, for the ones that speak to your heart.

The day before NaPo starts there is always an Early Bird post to get you warmed up and started. So this is not a drill – take a deep breath and get ready to dive in with us!


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Hello, all! Tomorrow is April 1, and the first day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020! But since April 1 arrives a bit earlier in some parts of the globe than the east coast of the United States, we have an early-bird resource and prompt for you.

Today’s resource is The Slowdown, a daily poetry podcast hosted by former U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith. Podcasts are a nice way to add some poetry to your life. They also give you a chance to hear the rhythm of poetry out loud. Sometimes it can be very surprising, if you’ve been reading a poet on the page for many years, to hear their voice out loud, and realize it’s much different than the voice you’ve been giving that same poet in your head.

And now, in the spirit of an early-bird prompt, I’d like to invite you to write a poem about your favorite bird. As this collection of snippets from longer poems suggests, birds have been inspiring poets for a very long time indeed!

If you don’t have a favorite bird, or are having trouble picking one, perhaps I might interest you in myfavorite bird, the American Woodcock? These softball-sized guys are exactly the color of the leaves on the floor of a Maine forest, and they turn up each spring to make buzzy peent noises, fly up over meadows in elaborate courtship displays, and to do little rocking dances that YouTube jokesters delight in setting to music.

 

They are also quite odd looking, as every part of their body appears to be totally out of proportion with the rest. For a poetic bonus, they also have many regional nicknames. In Maine, they’re often called “timberdoodles,” but other regionalisms for them include “night partridge,” “mudbat,” “prairie turtle,” Labrador twister,” “bogsucker,” “wafflebird,” “billdad,” and “hokumpoke.”

Tomorrow we’ll be back with another resource, prompt, and our first featured participant.

In the meantime, happy writing!


I started to listen to the Slowdown Podcast and appreciated the slowness of it juxtaposing the violent onslaught of next door’s far-too-loud-radio, I know of Tracy K. Smith, I discovered her before she was a US Laureate and I know some of her work, I know she plays with pace and rhythm and sometimes line breaks used to enable this breath. Looking at the Poetry Foundation page I decided to treat myself to some of her work too and revisited Declaration from Wade in the Water.  Copyright © 2018

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During the podcast, Tracy recites Interesting Times by Mark Jarman. Bedlam right now during the Coronavirus, for sure. The words resonate with double meaning right now. An echo of the//for the global crisis.

Choking on these lines;

Everything’s happening on the cusp of tragedy,

We’ve been at this historical site before, but not in any history we remember.

To know the stars will one day fly apart so far they can’t be seen
Is almost a relief. For the future flies in one direction—toward us.

 

Mark Jarman – “Interesting Times” from Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems. Copyright © 2011

I then settled down to read the poetry snippets https://poets.org/text/thirteen-ways-looking-poems-about-birds before considering my own writing for today.

This is where the madness began (NaPo madness is normal – it starts with the research/ search engines then pages later leads you someplace else and (hopefully) back again)!

I read the snippets and then watched the videos of Maureen’s chosen bird and it hit me, WA – and the magnificent birds of Perth – as it fits my current project. That’s another NaPo GOLD-DUST tip: if you can bend the prompts to fit creative projects you are trying to fulfil – this isn’t always possible but when it is – it is GOLDEN – as often we are forced to write beyond ourselves.

I then watched a series of videos before I decided on the one. It has been made from photographs rather than footage but the pictures have magically captured the music of the birds. I am yet to pen a poem as I am getting a set ready for this evening. But I will… (the NaPo promise to yourself).

I watched the video and made a list of over 10 Australian birds, then chose one by looking for images of the species. I then searched for facts and went back to my research document to highlighted key fact on appearance and movement. I harvested a few images to study & wrote a short 5 line poem about the Royal Spoonbill.

Enjoy!

 

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 30

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Our last day!

Today was a day filled with the anxiety of a hospital appointment I have had to wait 6 weeks for, so I read the prompt and checked out the resources but did not have time to complete any writing. (I did spend 3 hours making new animation!) My head was not in the right frame of mind for poetry. By 10:30 PM when I came to post, our internet was down and all I could do was copy and paste on my very old mobile phone, so wasn’t sure if the links were active.

On waking (1st May) I had a little sinking feeling (like post-Christmas blues), NaPo was over and then I remembered I still had to complete yesterday’s write – and this made me happy. Then I thought about all the things I should have time to do now NaPo is over and how proud I am for having completed the challenge. This year has been easier in a way (I have done it since 2013 when I embarked on my writing life), because I am off from work and have more time than ever before, I cannot do much and it is frustrating to be so restricted. However, I can now manage desk time and no longer take the medication which drained me of creativity and consciousness… ! so, I have time to write and NaPo has eaten up daylight hours for me. It has also gifted me the opportunity of writing again, I feel well and truly quenched.

As always for the full post, click on the day.

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Day Thirty

Our featured participant for the day is Summer Blues, where the meditative prompt for Day Twenty-Nine gave rise to not one, but two, wry and poignant poems.

Today’s video resource is this short film in which the artist Iris Colomb “translates” the minimalist poems of the Russian poet Eta Dahlia into gesture drawings. This is another great illustration of the way that poetry and other art forms can intersect and inspire one another. This video also shows that the rhythms and sounds of poetry can cross language boundaries, allowing a form of communication beyond the merely literal.

And last but not least, now for our final prompt for this year! Taking a leaf from our video resource, I’d like you to try your hand at a minimalist poem. A poem that is quite short, quickly/ simply capture an image or emotion. Haiku are probably the most familiar and traditional form of minimalist poetry, but there are plenty of very short poems out there that do not use the haiku form. There’s even an extreme style of minimalism in the form of one-word and other “highly compressed” poems. Think of your own poem for the day as a form of gesture drawing. Perhaps you might start from a concrete noun with a lot of sensory connotations, like “Butter” or “Sandpaper,” or “Raindrop” and 
– quickly, lightly – go from there.

Happy writing!

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NaPo Process Notes
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I started by reading the poems on Summer Blues , I read them over and over. I fell in love with Natasa Bozic Grojic’s blog and had a good read around. Her featured poems are beautiful and caught my breath as I read, of course I have saved her featured poems to the resource file for today – because I don’t want to lose those words.

I was also delighted to hear how happy this year’s challenge had made her feel and how a one word poem, created a while ago, had now found that it could be credited as a poem and displayed. Poignant.

When I did NaNoWriMo – both camp and full on November challenge (back in 2013), there were these small buttons you could display (see Homepage) and despite people creating jpegs for NaPo I have never found such a thing. Here on Natasa’s website, I found she had used the annual banners to create ‘I have completed…’ buttons which is an idea I am going to Magpie, AWF needs some updating. We have both been participants since 2013.

I love her joy, reflecting on being a featured participant. Natasa’s poems were a wonderful way to step into today. It was hard to tear myself away from her website!

Before I watched the video. I played in a different (hidden) window, listening only to the language. The metre/rhythm/voice of the poem. You almost begin to understand, the repetition of the line helps and the similarity between some words.

Then I watched it properly.

Semechki (Семечки) is a series of experimental translations of Eta Dahlia’s minimalist Russian poems into gestural drawings by Iris Colomb.

I read the article on minimalist poetry, I particularly liked;

M SS NG

Thiiief!

By George Swede

The closest attempt I have made at this genre has been through teaching Wordplay in schools and back in 2015, where as part of a workshop we looked at the work of e.e cummings and emulated it. Although not strictly minimalist, my poems were by comparison to what I was writing at the time.

The article was full of great examples, I enjoyed the typography. I felt like I was back in the world of study again.

On Writing 

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I started with a quick skip around the internet to discover minimalist poetry – examples and the history of it – although the referenced articles covered it well. I then started to think about words which have other words in them.

What I like about today’s prompt is I get to share entire poems with you. I started with highly compressed/ one word poems.

This is dark, I wrote it and then used Special Characters to change the typography (and I hope) portray the vileness/threat of the statement. Apologies for the content. Try thinking of the Wicked Witch of the West and it won’t seem so violent!

Stifle

Smot her

Smother

 

$ƜÕƮ ʉɚȑ

§ɱØŦǶϵЯ

 

I thought smot was a made-up word which I was using like swot – (swat), I was a little horrified when I identified the Urban dictionary definition. I guess it changes the context to smoke her… which still mirrors the violence.

I don’t really like what this poem has become or the connotation of it all – but it is part of the writing process and as a starting point, I am sharing.

After this initial write, I discovered this list of words which is a good source of words inhabited in other words. So I wanted to try again and create a more suitable/shareable/less horrible poem!

Next I created this –

Cultivated

Small
age

ṥṁḁḽḷ
ἆḡḕ

 

Celery

ṥṁ

ḁḽḷ

ἆḡ

 

Which I was more happy with. I thought of Small age – as being a toddler, a youngster. I then discovered it was a plant, celery – so that is why I chose to display it vertically like a stalk.

I think the one word poems have to come to you, rather than seeking them. So I left it there to move on to composing a short form poem.

I took the concrete noun prompt ‘butter’ and wrote:

 

Soften

But…

butter melts.

 

Which is satisfying. But then I got enticed by butte… which aside from being a county in Montana is also an isolated hill/mountain. So I extended the minimal and wrote these poems.

 

Too Substantial

But…
butter melts
not like
Butte,
a county
will not fit
in my frying pan.

 

And then I wrote this one, which has my favourite play-on-words title of the day!

 

ButTor

butter melts
but…
not butte
which rises

I could play like this all day, but have spent nearly two hours online and have lots to do. I will have another play around another day.

I hope you have enjoyed NaPoWriMo as much as I have, see you next year!

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NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 29

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I cannot believe it is the penultimate day of NaPoWriMo. Pens at the ready!

As always for the full post, click on the day.

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Day Twenty-Nine

Today’s featured participant is Voyage des Mots, where the meta-poem for Day Twenty-Eight called forth a lovely ode on a teacher.

Today’s video resource is this short reflection by the poet Lucille Clifton on “Where Ideas Come From.” This video really speaks to me because I have often found myself feeling short of ideas, or that the ideas that I have aren’t “good enough” to become a poem. One of the goals of Na/GloPoWriMo is to help poets push past all these inner voices and editors, and just get words on the page, without worrying too much about whether they’re good, bad, or indifferent. When you stop trying to assign a value to things that haven’t even been written yet, you find ideas everywhere! 

Prompt: The poet William Wordsworth once said that “Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility.” For Wordsworth, a poem was the calm after the storm – an opportunity to remember and summon up emotion, but at a time and place that allowed the poet to calmly review, direct and control those feelings. A somewhat similar concept is expressed through the tradition of philosophically-inclined poems explicitly labeled as “meditations,” – like Robert Hass’s “Meditation at Lagunitas,” the charming Frank O’Hara prose poem, “Meditations in an Emergency,” or Charles Baudelaire’s “Meditation.”

Today, I’d like to challenge you to blend these concepts into your own work, by producing a poem that meditates, from a position of tranquility, on an emotion you have felt powerfully. You might try including a dramatic, declarative statement, like Hass’s “All the new thinking is about loss,” or O’Hara’s “It is easy to be beautiful; it is difficult to appear so.” Or, like, Baudelaire, you might try addressing your feeling directly, as if it were a person you could talk to. There are as many approaches to this as there are poets, and poems.

Happy writing!

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NaPo Process Notes 

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I started on the participants site. A lovely ode to a teacher. Some beautiful imagery and every time I thought I had scrolled to the endline, there was more.

I then watched the video.

I love today’s idea theme.

Then I read the meditations. I saved them to the poetry resources file.

On Writing 

I knew the emotion – frustration – it is something I have been living with for the past 7 months, since suffering ill health.

I used the final prompt idea and like Baudelaire, I addressed the feeling directly, made it a person. I wrote a poem called Unresolved, it has 5 stanzas. The end brings a tear to my eye.

Sometimes we converse on deeper matters,
you are kinder to me than pain ever was.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Round Up Week 4

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What a week it has been. Let’s get growing – for sure!

This week NaPoWriMo has helped me discover new artists, poets and forms. I have written poems, created poetry film animations and read widely. This is when NaPo works best, I feel inspired and fulfilled.

I always enjoy research and many of my poems call for a lot of it. This week has been no exception to that, I spent the first part of it almost glued to the National Geographic. It was quite an animal filled week.

This week I discovered the incredible art of body painter Gesine Marwedel and the intriguing manipulation of artist Laura Christensen. I researched Seahorses, Whooping Cranes and the Smalltooth Swordfish. I discovered the latter was an endangered species and only 5 species of Swordfish still exist! I created a poetry film animation called Looking for Swordfish in Costa Rica, which I showed over the weekend at our Worcester Film Poetry Collective meeting.  There may be a series of Eco Animations created on the back of this and none of it would have happened without NaPoWriMo.

I revisited the wonderful work of Marie Craven in Dictionary Illustrations, one of my favourite pieces to be shared at the Worcester Film Poetry Collective. I wrote a poem involving both a Whooping Crane and a Buick Engine Manual.

I wrote about spring and discovered the work of Jericho Brown, tried a new form of poetry, the Duplex, tore my hair out over Shakespearean sonnets and read lots of poems, articles and interviews. I feel like I have completed a study week!

This week’s poems:

Seahorse
After German artist Gesine Marwedel

Looking for Swordfish in Costa Rica

Buick Bird

North of the Equator – which I edited and then took to Stanza.

Remains – my first Duplex

Grounded Flight

Vertical 

Ars Poetica

There are only 2 days of NaPo left, which I cannot believe! This month of writing has passed quickly. It has been a joy to write again, my 6 months of illness has resulted in very little creativity. I am becoming again, which is good and fills me with relief.

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And the two remaining days of April brought riches, on Day 29 I indulged in the referenced Meditation poetry and wrote another poem about illness.

Unresolved

On the final day of NaPo I had great fun with wordplay and minimalist poetry.

Stifle 

Cultivated

*Celery (which is the same poem as Cultivated with different Typography)

Too Substantial

ButTor

 

It has been a good year!

I have thoroughly enjoyed most days and have managed to write 40 poems, created two animated poetry films, added several blogs to my Reader and discovered lots of new-to-me poets, artists and resources.

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 28

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The end of the last weekend of NaPo 2019.

The glory of a Sunday, a day that stretches before me filled with the possibility of new words. It feels good.

I wanted to start with a tip on frustration. Which is the opposite of how I feel today but was very much how I felt last night after attempting the Shakespearean Sonnet prompt. Sometimes Art is frustrating, it is part of the creative path and something we learn to overcome/live with/abide.

I know that my forte is not rhyme, which is one reason I find writing sonnets hard. I know that I have a blinker when it comes to sonnets, if you said Wankel rotary engine, my reaction would be the same, although I could probably explain the engine more efficiently! Despite all this I tried to open my mind to the prompt and although I had the freedom to dismiss it, I wanted to give it a go. This is my attitude to NaPo and Poetry, always learning, staying open. But it hurts a bit when you fall flat on your face and that is how I felt by the end of my creation. I liked the story behind it and when I read it over next week, maybe I will like the poem… what I didn’t want was the residue of negative feeling, especially before bed. (A bed that was still covered in props from earlier animation making.)

So I set off to find another prompt and that is what you can do. So in actual fact last night I had practice with rhyme, meter, structure, metaphor, and argument and attempted one of the oldest traditions in English poetry and also wrote an extra poem about illness called Vertical. Looking back at yesterday’s prompt I could have done a number of things other than try to write my own sonnet, I may revisit it.

TOP TIP

Frustration – accept it, deal with it, do not break things – write more poems!

With this in mind, let’s get stuck into Day 28! Can you believe you have written 4 weeks of poems?

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As always, for the full prompt. click the day.

Day Twenty-Eight

There are only three days left now in Na/GloPoWriMo 2019. I hope you’ve been enjoying the month so far, and are ready for the home stretch.

Our featured participant for the day is paeansunpluggedblog, where the Shakesepeare-inspired prompt for Day Twenty-Seven gave rise to a bard-inspired cento.

Our video resource today was suggested by Elizabeth Boquet, she and a fellow group of poets in Lausanne, Switzerland, have been engaging with the concept of meta-poems – which are poems about poems! In this video, the poets Al Fireis, Lily Applebaum, Dave Poplar, and Camara Brown discuss Emily Dickinson’s “We learned the Whole of Love.” Find additional background and video discussions of other meta-poems here.

As you may have guessed, today I’d like to challenge you to try your hand at a meta-poem of your own. You might check out the Wallace Stevens and Harryette Mullens poems featured in the article about metapoetry linked above, or perhaps Archibald MacLeish’s “Ars Poetica” or Kendel Hippolyte’s “Advice to a Young Poet.”

Happy writing!

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NaPo Process Notes 

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I read the prompt earlier this morning and worked through the resources. Punam’s poem Doffing my hat to the Bard was well constructed using lines from Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Today felt a bit like a study day. I checked out https://elizabethboquet.com/ then watched the video.

I am a fan of Emily Dickinson.

I looked at the mini course on meta poems. I read Large Red Man Reading by Wallace Stevens and Sleeping with the Dictionary by Harryette Mullen.  Then read Ars Poetica by Archibald Macleish and Advice to a Young Poet by Kendel Hippolyte.

I also turned to another of my favourite poets, Pablo Neruda. Read his Ars Poetica here.

I have written Ars Poetica before.

 

On Writing 

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I then starting thinking of writing, but perhaps the best way of writing an Ars Poetica – is not to think at all.

What surprised me most about this freewrite approach is I wrote a prose poem. Almost unheard of. I called it Ars Poetica.

It is the slow dawn that creeps light between the gap in bedroom curtains,
the easy steam of the morning kettle, the grey sky ink blotting to blue,

 

 

 

 

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 27

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It’s the last weekend of NaPo!

As always for the full post, click the day.

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Day Twenty-Seven

Our featured participant for the day is Put Out To Pasture, where the “repetition” poem for Day Twenty-Six leans in, hard.

Today’s video resource is this droll tutorial that promises to teach you poetry techniques in 30 minutes. It may seem a bit silly, but there’s a lot of technical detail packed into that half hour! If you’ve always had trouble distinguishing alliteration from assonance, or understanding how the heck to “scan” a poem for metrical stress, this may help clear things up. At they very least, it will make you smile.

And now for our prompt. Our video resource for the day promises to teach you everything you need to know to write a Shakespearean sonnet, but I’m not going to ask you to do that, exactly. Instead, I’d like to challenge you to “remix” a Shakespearean sonnet. Here’s all of Shakespeare’s sonnets. You can pick a line you like and use it as the genesis for a new poem. Or make a “word bank” out of a sonnet, and try to build a new poem using the same words (or mostly the same words) as are in the poem. Or you could try to write a new poem that expresses the same idea as one of Shakespeare’s sonnets, like “hey baby, this poem will make you immortal” (Sonnet XVIII) or “I’m really bad at saying I love you but maybe if I look at you adoringly, you’ll understand what I mean” (Sonnet XXIII). If you’re feeling both silly and ambitious, you might try writing an anagram-sonnet, like K. Silem Mohammad has done here.

 

NaPo Process Notes 

 

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Once again, I read the post from bed this morning on my phone – knowing that I wouldn’t have time to act on it as today was our meeting for Worcester Poetry Film Collective and I was very excited about sharing some of the 12 animations I have made over the past month!

I did manage to read the participant site poem and have a quick panic over Shakespearean sonnets – which are hard enough without the additional challenge of remix/modernisation. I didn’t have time to tackle a half hour video as I only had an hour to get up and out.

 

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This evening I re-read Maxie Jane’s poem She Wore Armor, which was inspired by Joy Harjo’s “She Had Some Horses”, which you can find here. It wasn’t a poem I knew, but as far as repetition goes it was a perfect influence/starting point.

With Maxie’s poem I liked the fact that although this armour could be literal – it isn’t – also the amount of times in life we wear it – and to see all the listed examples and to meet some of them with a knowing hmmm, Thought provoking and intense. It was good to revisit Put Out to Pasture, one of the participating sites I chose to visit and blog about on Day 20 of NaPo.

I then set aside half an hour to watch the video resource. It was good revision and easy to follow. I liked the example villanelle and they clearly showed the rhyming scheme in a colour coded system.

I also watched the following video, which played afterwards. Some good tips – especially for people beginning to write.

Then I took a deep breath and set out to write today’s poem.

 

On Writing

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This evening, I have spent several hours making a new animation, so I am sitting down (quietly) now with NaPo to meet the challenge. Remember, if you feel this prompt is too tricky – it is optional. I am going to push through it though!

I couldn’t download the free e-book – well I could download, but not read. So I read the html online. I could have spent the night reading. Although the sonnet is not a favourite genre to write, I do enjoy reading Shakespeare. The NaPo prompt gave several ideas for staring points for today’s writing. I decided to scan the sonnets for lines and saved them on a word document. The idea of re-writing using these lines only became appealing.

At the end of 20 minutes, I had read 12 sonnets and collected 6 lines. I scrolled to the end of the book and copied an entire sonnet, Sonnet 109.

Like every sonnet I have ever written *and I can count them on just over 1 hand… I am not entirely happy with the result, although I have mastered the iambic pentameter and even found lines falling out of my head in perfect 10 syllable formation, I am not convinced by the poem. It feels forced.

I took one line from Sonnet 109 as a starting point –

Like him that travels, I return again;

My poem is called Grounded Flight. It explores my love for travel and my love, that wherever I go I cannot escape myself and how it is perhaps best to stay where I’m loved, close to home, sharing the same air.

I found this interesting post on iambic pentameter and am sharing it instead of a line from a poem I am not terribly happy with.

https://poemshape.wordpress.com/tag/how-to-scan-iambic-pentameter/

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Not to be outdone by a poetic form, I ventured over to PAD (Poem A Day) challenge over on Writer’s Digest, where Robert Lee Brewer set the task of picking a direction as a starting point. I chose vertical and wrote a poem about illness. For now the poem is called Vertical.

Here’s a snippet.

She longed to be vertical,

it became her new ambition.