Tag Archives: NaPo

NaPoWriMo The Extra Bit

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Read the full post here.

Hello, everyone! We made it through another Na/GloPoWriMo. I hope you feel that you’ve written good poems and stretched yourself in your writing.

I also want to thank you for coming back to this site each year! It heartens me, especially in this particularly hard April, to see so many people gather for the love of poetry, and support one another in their efforts!

Final featured participant for the year is Gloria D. Gonsalves, who reminds us, with her poem based on Day 30’s “returning” prompt, that a “rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

Na/GloPoWriMo will be back next year, of course, with more prompts and resources. In the meantime, all the posts from this year will remain available.

In the meantime, if you just can’t get enough poetry prompts, you might enjoy the weekly prompts that Poets & Writers provides, these 30 prompts created by Kelli Russell Agodon, this list of 101 poetry prompts, or the weekly (and in April, daily) prompts provided by Robert Lee Brewer at Writer’s Digest.

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And of course for many of us there will still be some NaPo prompts we want to finish writing for! That is the 6th year I have taken part and as with every year I think there are a handful of promising poems that I look forward to coming back to.

I usually work straight onto the computer but since lockdown have attempted to cheer myself up by using some of the waiting in the wings notebooks, like most of us I love a special journal and often buy them and store them away, am sometimes reluctant to ruin them with inside scribbles. I worried the other day that I would run out, but remembered where there are more so no need to start ordering a rescue package yet. The same with pens, have enough of those to last. Didn’t panic buy but seems like I’ve been preparing to be a writer in Lockdown for most of my adult life!

I also like to think that there will be a shelf somewhere in our house where all these will sit, an almanac to that time the world changed without actually keeping any sort of historic record.

A huge thanks to Maureen Thorson for another year of NaPoWriMo prompts and the bountiful resources you have delivered to our screens this year.

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I started with Gloria’s poem, there are some beautiful lines. I then looked over the suggested resources, many from sites I have in the past or currently use. If you are looking for a meatier prompt then starting with the Poets & Writers site is a good idea.

I must have downloaded the Kelli Russell Agodon PDF at least 3 times. I’ve also used the prompts from thinkwritten.com the site has some interesting articles you may want to peruse.

I usually do the PAD challenge at the same time as NaPoWriMo but this year as the world moved online I have been busy with other writing too, so just focused on Maureen’s prompts, I have used the Writer’s Digest website often though. I have discovered these sites already, if you haven’t you are in for a treat and many constantly update the prompts so you can always find something new later in the year… because to be honest, right now… you probably just need a Post NaPo Nap!

Who’s going to join me? exit

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Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 30

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Read the full post here.

Well, everyone, it’s finally here – the last day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020! I hope you’ve enjoyed the challenge.

Featured participant is paeansunpluggedblog, where you will find a charming ode to a doggy companion.

Our poetry resource for the day is this PDF of A Handbook of Poetic Forms, edited by Ron Padgett.

Our final prompt! I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about something that returns. For, just as the swallows come back to Capistrano each year.

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I can’t believe another year of NaPo finishes today. I have dropped off a daily NaPo write this week as there has been other writing taking up the time. But I was on track for the first 3 weeks. Usually I am juggling work and this – and this may well be the only year I haven’t had to do that. It has been enjoyable and some of the resourceresources have been fantastic. I look forward to sifting through all the poems and see which ones have standing legs. Then I will dress them/edit them and maybe even submit them or publish them in the future.

I hope you have enjoyed the challenge and the daily process notes posted here.

There was a lot packed into today’s featured poem, I still have my pet writing to do. The resource is useful and as it is for secondary school explanations are clear – although I had to ignore that Back to School feeling it gave me.

I am considering the prompt for today and also looking at other writing in progress to see if I can combine a couple. I have also banked some of the ideas from this resource.

 

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 29

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant today is Minutes Past Midnight, where the “remembered bedroom” prompt for Day 28 led to a detailed yet not entirely comforting remembrance.

Our featured resource for the day is a two-fer: (1) these tips on  how to memorize a poem, and (2) these tips on how to recite one out loud. Memorizing and reciting favorite poems is a very good way to internalize the rhythms and sounds of poetry (which helps in generating your own poems).

Today’s prompt, I challenge you to write a paean to the stalwart hero of your household: your pet. Sing high your praises and tell the tale of Kitty McFluffleface’s ascension of Mt. Couch. 

If you don’t have a pet, perhaps you know one or remember one who deserves to be immortalized in verse. For inspiration, a selection from an 18th-century poem by Christopher Smart, Jubilate Agno.

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The poem is unsettling – this description pulled me… it was the use of ‘understory’ but then I remembered from teaching Rain Forests that this is a technical term. In a poem it has many layers (no wordplay intended in that statement)!

My nook
is shadowed by
a fountain palm

its understory
littered by all sorts
of dry, brown things.

The poetry resources are great! Despite having a background in Drama/Acting and countless scripts I learnt with ease and knew all the other character dialogue too – a life where I learn 30 names within 60 minutes, I really struggle to learn my poems. I have about 5 banked.

I know the tip is for memorising other people’s poems like we used to at school and in Learn by Heart drives. For me it would be more useful if I transposed the skills to my own work. Especially as I have only just started performing again.

The other tip I would pass forward is record it and listen to it repeatedly.

I love Billy Collins – have the pleasure of one of his books on my shelves. It was nice to listen to the explanation rather than reading the transcript too.

I thought the prompt today was a little left-field for those of us who are pet-less. But fortunately I have a nephew who was famed for his pet cupboard spider, have had both a cat and dog and lots of fish – some were welcomed into our home by watching Mr G. and I eat sushi! At uni there were a couple of housemates who had a pet can of pineapple pieces called Derek, I love how NaPo brings such memories to the surface. Random. All these ideas could give birth to poems.

I am off for a wander around my lockdown home to find what else could be baited for today’s poetry fodder.

Will update when done.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 28

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Read the full post here (although it is almost fully copied as Emily Dickinson is one of my favourites).

There are just three days left in our annual challenge. Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far! 

Featured participant for the day is benkoans, where you will find a spot-on review of the various software programs we are supposed to use to work and learn during these days of social distancing.

Speaking of socially distancing, our poetry resource for the day this online archive of the manuscripts of the famously reclusive Emily Dickinson. Now one of the most-admired poets the United States has produced, Dickinson was little known in her lifetime. She left behind hundreds of poems, often drafted on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, etc. And an especial point of interest is her amendments and edits. She often provided several different alternatives for given nouns or verbs in poems, as if she was continually revising or trying out new ones. When I am revising my own poems, and come across a dull or commonplace noun or verb that seems  to drag down a line, I think  of Dickinson, and try to come up with four or five alternatives, seeking a word that is a little bit wild, and will help to deepen the poem, or even turn it in a new direction.

Today’s prompt is brought to us by the Emily Dickinson Museum. First, read this brief reminiscence of Emily Dickinson, written by her niece. And now, here is the prompt that the museum suggests:

Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the setting decades later. Describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem. It could be your childhood room, your grandmother’s room, a college dormitory or another significant space from your life.

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I am still catching up with NaPo from yesterday so don’t want to read the featured poem until I have had a chance of writing mine.
I love Emily Dickinson’s poetry so I am looking forward to coming back and working through the prompt.
And as the universe would have took part in a workshop on Monday morning as part of the Stay at Home Fringe Festival with Susmita Bhattacharya where we looked at/wrote about our childhood bed. Although I was writing prose, it brought some previously blocked memories up which I could use today to write a poem.
I often write about place and both pamphlets have got place/room poems in them.
Fabricious Avenue (which actually came from a Colour prompt in 52) in Fragile Houses
fragile-houses-best   The Dark House among others in Patiencepatience cover
(Got to love a stealth-ish book plug) – haven’t even started promoting ^ the new one yet, more to come post-NaPo!

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 26

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant today is Barbara Turney Wieland, who stepped up admirably in response to Day 25’s Schuyler-based prompt, providing us with a wonderfully-textured anatomy of a hike in the country-side.

Today’s poetry resource is a series of videos being placed online by the organizers of the New Orleans Poetry Festival

Our prompt – you will need to fill out, in five minutes or less, the following “Almanac Questionnaire.” Then, use your responses as to basis for a poem.

 

Almanac Questionnaire

Weather:
Flora:
Architecture:
Customs:
Mammals/reptiles/fish:
Childhood dream:
Found on the Street:
Export:
Graffiti:
Lover:
Conspiracy:
Dress:
Hometown memory:
Notable person:
Outside your window, you find:
Today’s news headline:
Scrap from a letter:
Animal from a myth:
Story read to children at night:
You walk three minutes down an alley and you find:
You walk to the border and hear:
What you fear:
Picture on your city’s postcard: 

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Just as the workshop poem from Day 25 was a dense text so too is today’s participant site write. Both were enjoyable reads. I liked the option of listening to the James Schuyler though. I did both, I only listened after I had read the poem for myself and ‘inside such walks as these’ holds lots of elements from Schuyler and both poem deserve time to sit with. I spent a large majority of the day with this prompt.

It produced writing very different to most things I write, more in tone of my random journalling.

Today I enjoyed looking through the poetry resource and will be back to explore the festival fully.

I revisited James Schuyler and let him speak his poem as I read.

I do remember the almanac prompt and wrote out my list of prompts to go and write as I sit in the sunshine in the garden that Mr G. has worked so hard on clearing today.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 25

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant Anna Enbom, brings us a sweet poem in response to Day 24’s fruit-based prompt.

Our poetry resource for the day is The Nuyorican Poets Café, where you can sign up for virtual open-mic readings each Monday and Thursday.

Because it’s a Saturday, I have a prompt for you that takes a little time to work through. The prompt, which you can find in its entirety here, was  developed by the poet and teacher Hoa Nguyen, asks you to use a long poem by James Schuyler as a guidepost for your poem. (You may remember James Schuyler from our poetry resource for Day 2.) This is a prompt that allows you to sink deeply into another poet’s work, as well as your own.

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I enjoyed Anna’s poem. It packs quite a (fruit)punch with its gentle soul searching.

I am not afraid
to embrace the entire soul
the sweet and the rough

The poetry resource was interesting but I think I have to check back in a few days time as all the current links are for previously shown events and lead nowhere. In a way I was glad of this as I already have two videos on pause in the background after playing NaPo catch up! Just need to remember to check back – to help I email a link to myself.

With a deep breath I read through today’s prompt which is a mini-workshop in itself. I have earmarked it for attack later – I may have had a 10 hr blissful-straight-through sleep – but I have now been up for 3 hours typing and chasing poetry resources and am only on my first coffee. My brain may be more receptive now – but I think I have a better chance if I do it in a little while. I still have remnants of writing from yesterday that I want to finish first.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 24

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Read full post here.

Featured participant GibberJabber, which brings us a many-lettered appreciation of the beverage that gets so many of us out of bed in the morning.

Today’s poetry resource is the Poets House Digital Initiatives page, where you’ll find links to live-streamed poetry readings, online exhibitions of poetry broadsides and trading cards, and a daily, kids-themed poetry and story-reading series. 

Today’s prompt is a fairly simple one: to write about a particular fruit. But I’d like you to describe this fruit as closely as possible. What does it look like, how does it feel, how does it smell, what does it taste like, where did you find it, do you need to thump it to know if it’s ripe, how do you get into it (peeling, a knife, your teeth), do you need to spit out the seeds, should you bake it, can you make jam with it, do you have to fight the birds for it, when is it available, do you need a ladder to pick it, what is your favorite memory of eating it, if you threw it at someone’s head would it splatter them or knock them out, is it expensive?

 

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I didn’t make it back online yesterday, I was exhausted and asleep by 7 PM, so fresh from a 10 hour sleep, I am plugging the gaps.

I never quite believe it when we reach the final week of NaPoWriMo, this prompt is for the final Friday in 2020 NaPo challenge! There’s so much happening in the world right now that this wasn’t quite the immersive experience I have had before, it was a good distraction and has offered some useful resources and ideas and a couple of decent poems have been written which wouldn’t otherwise exist, which is always a thrill.

I also get the sense of writers pulling together, the creative community has been a mass of support and heart during this pandemic and thanks to the generosity of others, I have been kept buoyant during self-isolation.

I am making a promise to myself to enjoy the final NaPoWriMo week. To relish it, sit with it and spend quality time with it.

 

I enjoyed the Coffee (Routine Morning) poem, clever and universally accessible. I liked the line artwork too.

I already follow today’s poetry resource – Poets House on Twitter, but I have not visited the website for a while, rich pickings here and I will be back when I have more time to indulge and enjoy. I chose just one link to chase https://poetshouse.org/event/poetry-cinema-made-in-harlem/ I don’t think I can access this after the live link I have Part 2, but in scrolling down the page I found audio of poetry readings and so had a listen instead.

Zong

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Recorded At: Poets House Recorded On: Saturday, June 1, 2019

 

Rosamond S. KingLaTasha N. Nevada DiggsSean Henry-Smith, and Erica Hunt present a collaborative performance of Philip’s epic book-length poem Zong!. Introduction by Poets House Program Director Paolo Javier.

‘Whatever good you are looking for – you will find it. Take that good.’

 

I am glad today’s prompt made me check into Twitter because I was looking forward to something I discovered last week and because I no longer know which way is up, hadn’t realised it was the 25th today (24th for this NaPo/post/prompt).

https://www.brainpickings.org/the-universe-in-verse/

UNIVERSE VERSE 2020

This event has been running since 2017, you can watch some of the archived videos online. There is an annual Science Festival based in Cheltenham that had a gathering of poets that I was part of years ago and it was an interesting addition for both sides. There has never been a time in my life when humans realise how closely connected we are with the universe, how we are not actually in charge of all that’s around us. That there was so much of it in existence before us. That we are all atoms. I wrote that ^ just before I read this on Brainpickings:

as we face its fragility together — a world of hostages to a submicroscopic assailant, a world of refugees from ordinary life, struggling for safety, sanity, and survival of body and soul.

I also discovered this m ss ng p eces, they’ve launched a wonderful kindred project titled TOGETHER — a series of conversations with inspired and inspiring humans about how we live through these disorienting times. Check it out. They helped stitch together hours of film for the Universe in Verse Project.

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That was the biggest tangent so far!

When I read the prompt I was a little disappointed – but only because I had written a fruit poem the day before in a workshop and it is one that I am still gathering in and didn’t want my brain to have to confuse itself with a second one – but then as I was sitting with that thought, a good one sprang to mind. And because of that workshop I already have the questions and expansion from the fruit/imagination ideas inside me -at my core – (excuse the pun)!

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 23

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Read the full post here.

Today’s featured participant is Judy Dykstra-Brown.

Our poetry resource is the YouTube channel of the Woodberry Poetry Room, offering more than a hundred video recordings of readings, talks, seminars, and conversations between poets.

Today’s prompt asks you to write a poem about a particular letter of the alphabet, or perhaps, the letters that form a short word. Think about the shape of the letter(s), and use that as the take-off point for your poem. Example – Here is my translation of Eduardo Galeano’s “The letters of the word AMOR”:

The A has its legs open.
The M is a seesaw that comes and goes between heaven and hell.
The O is a closed circle, it will choke you.
The R is scandalously pregnant.

All of the letters of the word AMOR are dangerous.

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I enjoyed reading Judy’s amusing poem based on a Swedish proverb from my favourite website resource from yesterday.

I will definitely be back to dip into the Woodberry Poetry Room resource. What a rich resource.

As soon as I read the alphabet prompt today I knew exactly what I wanted to write. So off to do just that now before today gets really busy!

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Photo by Magda Ehlers on Pexels.com

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 22

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Read the full post here.

Featured participant Voyage des Mots, where the homophonic translation prompt for Day 21 resulted in some atypical motherly advice.

Poetry resource is the South Asian Literary Recordings Project, where you will find audio files of readings given by prominent poets, playwrights, and novelists from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka, in twenty-two different languages.

Our prompt for the day asks you to engage with different languages and cultures through the lens of proverbs and idiomatic phrases. Many different cultures have proverbs or phrases that have largely the same meaning, but are expressed in different ways. In English we say “his bark is worse than his bite,” the same idea in Spanish would be stated as “the lion isn’t as fierce as his painting.” Find an idiomatic phrase from a different language or culture, and use it as the jumping-off point for your poem. A few lists to help get you started: Onetwothree.

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I enjoyed reading the participating site poem. I found this line beautiful

Cast spells like spring showers

and can see/ hear the correlation of rhythm between the two languages. And through the references have been given another site to look at for popular Irish poetry.

https://ireland-calling.com/caoineadh-airt-ui-laoghaire/

I spent some time with today’s poetry resource. I navigated by country and read bios of a few poets and listening to some MP3s. Another site to revisit.

I then moved onto finding something to work with today. I checked out the 3rd website first which was Bored Panda. I chose some of my favourites and saved them in a document. I particularly love this one –

Words Of Wisdom © James Chapman

And for a completely different reason enjoyed this one too!

Words Of Wisdom © James Chapman

I then looked at the 2nd website omniglot.com and chose a few to add from Japan – in original language and translation. The final site had 40 idioms but I felt I had enough raw material.

Today it is sunny and I want to leave the idioms to settle and sift and see what’s left in my mind later. I will write with one of them as a starting point and save the others as a resource to use after April.

NaPoWriMo 2020 Day 21

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Read full post here.

Today’s poetry resource is the archives of Poetry International, where you’ll find poems from all over the world, both in their original languages and in translation.

Today’s prompt asks you to make use of today’s resource. Find a poem in a language that you don’t know, and perform a “homophonic translation” on it.

Try to translate the poem simply based on how it sounds. You may not wind up with a credible poem at the end, but this can be a fun way to step outside of your own mind for a bit, and develop a poem that speaks in a distinctive voice. As an example, here are the first four lines of a poem by the Norwegian poet Gro Dahle:

Linnea ligger syk under treet
‒ Oj oj oj, hvisker treet
Og treet lar sine blader falle
Det store treet, det snille treet

Based on the sound alone, I might translate this as

Lithe lines sink under the street.
Oh, that wintry street.
Oh, street of signs like falling blades
A street of shops and smiles.

It’s not really a poem yet, but I certainly have created some odd and interesting images and ideas to play with.

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3 weeks of NapoWriMo – gone! WOW! April is running away from me briskly!

I haven’t included the participant website today as there was no link to the site. I will update this post if one appears.

I know of and have used today’s poetry resource, I remember doing this prompt in previous NaPoWriMo years. It is one I enjoy. As I mentioned on the previous translation post I enjoy language, the sound and cadence of it, whether I can speak it or not.

I sat with the prompt on my phone in the early hours of this morning so chose just one stanza to work with.

Og treet løfter himmelen med armene sine
så den ikke skal trykke henne
for tungt på brystet
Og treet bretter natten til side
så hun ikke skal bli redd

© 1992, Gro Dahle
From: Linneapasjonen
Publisher: J.W. Cappelens Forlag, Oslo, 1992

I enjoyed the repetition and chose my words from the sound of these.  As with the example, I do not feel it is a strong poem as it lies but will pull out some threads and see what I can remaster.

After a morning filled with yoga, pilates, financial stress (companies finally accessing Furlough scheme) and too many text messages I am looking forward to spending time in the garden with my notebook this afternoon.

 

Be well.