Tag Archives: Robert Hass

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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Photo by Tookapic on Pexels.com

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.