NaPoWriMo Day 19 prompt: Many years ago, “didactic” poetry was very common – in other words, poetry that explicitly sought to instruct the reader in some kind of skill or knowledge, whether moral, philosophical, or practical. . . write the latter kind of “how to” poem – a didactic poem that focuses on a practical skill. Hopefully, you’ll be able to weave the concrete details of the action into a compelling verse. Also, your “practical” skill could be somewhat mythological, imaginary, or funny,
How to see the Country
Choose roads that drive right through small towns
Count the churches as you drive through
Avoid divided highways
Fill up with gas when you start
Get more gas the first time you see it reasonably priced
And now for our prompt (optional, as always)! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates “the sound of home.” Think back to your childhood, and the figures of speech and particular ways of talking that the people around you used, and which you may not hear anymore.
find, either on your shelves or online, a specialized dictionary. This could be, for example, a dictionary of nautical terms, or woodworking terms, or geology terms. Anything, really, so long as it’s not a standard dictionary! Now write a poem that incorporates at least ten words from your specialized source.
I used a dictionary of Native Americsn terminology to write the poem below.
fill out, in no more than five minutes, the following “Almanac Questionnaire,” which solicits concrete details about a specific place (real or imagined). Then write a poem incorporating or based on one or more of your answers.
NaPoWriMo Day 15: write a poem that incorporates the idea of doubles. You could incorporate doubling into the form, for example, by writing a poem in couplets. Or you could make doubles the theme of the poem, by writing, for example, about mirrors or twins, or simply things that come in pairs. Or you could double your doublings by incorporating things-that-come-in-twos into both your subject and form.
NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 14 prompt: try a seven-line poem called asan san, which means “three three” in Chinese (It’s also a term of art in the game Go). Thesan sanhas some things in common with the tritina, including repetition and rhyme. In particular, thesan san repeats, three times, each of three terms or images. The seven lines rhyme in the pattern a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.
Ninetieth birthdays don't happen every day
Celebrations mark the monumentous milestone
Family and friends gather to honor the nonagenarian
Purchased table decorations and tied balloons to mark the way
The dinner plates had nothing left but a rib bone
The oldest sibling was the resident authoritian
One hundred people marked the monumentous celebration!
The number 13 is often considered unlucky, so today I’d like to challenge you to beat the bad luck away with a poem inspired by fortune cookies. You could write a poem made up entirely of statements that predict the future (“You will meet a handsome stranger”), aphoristic statements (“The secret to getting ahead is getting started)” or just silly questions (“How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?”) Or you could use a phrase you’ve actually received in a real fortune cookie as a title or first line.
NaPoWriMo Day 12 prompt: write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Thomas Brendler. Happy writing!
Baby boomers, move to the suburbs
Backyard revolutions, begin with BBQ pits
Beavers, lose their homes
Behavioral ecology, is forgotten
Being where you are, is where it's at
Bicycles, the old that is new transportation
Biodiversity in backyards, begin with bird feeders
Bird songs, follow
Bonding, occurs between man and nature
Botanical sense of place, is the ultimate appreciation
NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 11: write a poem in which you closely describe an object or place, and then end with a much more abstract line that doesn’t seemingly have anything to do with that object or place, but which, of course, really does. I think of the “surprise” ending to this James Wright Poem as a model for the effect I’m hoping you’ll achieve
The prompt from NaPoWriMo for April 10: write a “book spine” poem. This involves taking a look at your bookshelves, and writing down titles in order (or rearranging the titles) to create a poem. Some fun images of book spine poems can be found here.
Day 9 challenge: write a poem that includes a line that you’re afraid to write. This might be because it expresses something very personal that makes you uncomfortable – either because of its content. This isn't an easy task, I've thought about it during the busy day. When I got home I realized I had kept a secret this very day...I suppose I can reveal it. Vintage finds Each one of a kind Should I Which one do I like All so unique Different sizes, colors and shapes The sales lady was so helpful Encouraging me, here try this one I've sold the one I'm wearing three times today Um, no, thank you I'll take the smaller one Using the credit card that had an overpayment I didn't spend any cash Walked away with a new vintage find. And the cost was $65.55.
NaPoWriMo prompt for today: Poets have been writing about flowers since, oh, the dawn of time. So today, I challenge you to add your own poem to this long tradition, by finding a flower, and versifying in its honor. Happy writing!
Sprawled on the
North side of our drive
Every visitor must notice the round bulbous blooms
Planted before we arrived there by previous owners
The NaPoWriMo prompt for April 6: "write a poem about food. This could be a poem about a particular food, or about your relationship to food in general. Or it could simply be a poem relating an incident that involves food, like David Ignatow’s “The Bagel”. Still not convinced? Perhaps these thirteen food poems will give you some inspiration."
I never knew so much poetry was focused on food! I was savoring every poem I read and quickly thought of my favorite dishes. I settled on my favorite coffee from Central America and my favorite brewing method, pour-over coffee.
I'm not good at coffee
Coffee requires precision
I'm not good at precision
Nor care to make the coffee
Freshly roasted coffee beans
Express order beans online
Grind beans using burr grinder
I'm not good at precision
Heat water to boiling, cool
Use exact ratio
Of coffee to hot water
I’m not good at precision
Need timer and scale
Nor care to make the coffee
I slowly pour the water
Let the water boom
I'm not at all accurate
Heck, I'll drive two plus hours
My fave coffee spot
It will be most delicious!
The prompt for April 4 was to write a poem referring to T. S. Elliot’s, “The Waste Land”. In it he writes that April is the cruelest month. I feel that April brings us closer to spring-like days filled with sun.
January, you were a difficult if not cruel month
You brought illness, doctor visits and hospital stays
February, you have been a sweet, comforting month
You brought celebrations, anniversaries, warm days
March, you were easy, then challenging for everyone
You brought Easter, a new great niece and recovery
April, you’re windy, ushering storms, indeed cruel
Not the cruelest month, you won't quietly diminish