I took Easter offline and have been chasing my tail ever since. It was not an intentional break from online activity, but it was a blissful and practically fulfilling decision.
My first full writing day for a while (last Thursday) was spent sorting through the inbox, finding a fair few rejections and also some work accepted for publication. I also discovered a freelance job opportunity – I would have bid but unfortunately it was too close to the deadline. Apart from this and the backlog of social media and emails my time offline has not had any great impact.
It does mean I am 18 days behind with NaPoWriMo and one of the jobs on the list today is to get busy writing. I am mid editorial on my manuscript so in the ‘take a break’ slots I am playing catch up.
I have discovered this year that they are featuring different poets;
As in prior years, we’ll be featuring a participant each day, and giving you an optional prompt. In years past, we’ve also featured a daily new book of poetry, magazine, or poetry-themed website. This year, we’ll be doing something a little bit different. Every day, we’ll be featuring a different poet who writes in a language other than English, but whose work is available in English translation, working our way from east to west.
Our first poet in translation is Japan’s Hiromi Ito. Known for her ability to uncannily represent spoken language on the page, several of her books have been translated into English and, incidentally, she’s a translator herself, having translated Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat and Oh, the Places You’ll Go! into Japanese. But you don’t need to know Japanese to get to know Ito’s work: Poetry International features translations of a number of her poems into English, as well as audio files and essays. Also, one of her books, Wild Grass on the Riverbank, is available in English from Action Books, as well as a selected poems, Killing Konoko. © 2016 NaPoWriMo
As well as this they still have a featured participant each day too. I spent some time this morning exploring Veronica Hosking’s poetry vhosking without reading her NaPo work (I like to write mine cold). I will link my NaPo posts to the featured blogs because they are great to share.
DAY 1: The first challenge was to Write a Lune, which is apt as I spent the weekend writing Haikus with my Young Writers Group.
The lune is also known as the American Haiku. It was first created by the poet Robert Kelly (truly a great poet) and was a result of Kelly’s frustration with English haiku. After much experimentation, he settled on a 13-syllable, self-contained poem that has 5 syllables in the first line, 3 syllables in the second line and 5 syllable in the final line.
Unlike haiku, there are no other rules. No need for a cutting word. Rhymes are fine; subject matter is open. While there are less syllables to use, this form has a little more freedom.
There is a variant lune created by poet Jack Collom. His form is also a self-contained tercet, but his poem is word-based (not syllable-based) and has the structure of 3 words in the first line, 5 words in the second line and 3 words in the final line.
As with Kelly’s lune, there are no other rules. © 2016 Writer’s Digest
I like this genre as it is fun to play with and doesn’t take too long to come up with new poems (unless you are writing to demonstrate the ease to teenagers, then you will struggle to identify multiple syllables and finding words to fit)!
Generally I post excerpts of my NaPo Poems, as these are short form you get to enjoy them fully.
Go have a play!
Robert Kelly Lune
The grey day unfolds
work did not
call. Freedom to write.
The sky is white with
bird sits on bare tree.
Faint music. Thin walls
ghost playlist begins.
Jack Collom Lune
I thought a word count as opposed to a syllable count would be easier to compose, I actually found it trickier and it is quite hard to get the brain to stop counting in syllables.
My Desk (which is messier than this Lune suggests)
Black stapler, pen,
bulldog clip, paperclip, magazine, key,
notebook, receipt, diary.
High flying dreams
catch invisible contours and soar
further than imagined.
Numb feet, stinging
toes, fluffy socks, extra layers,
the English spring.
I hope you enjoy them.