Welcome back, everyone, for the ninth day of Na/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant today is Hephaestus’ Waste and Cosmic Rubble, where the borrow-a-line prompt for Day 8 resulted in a Plath-inspired foray into sensuality.
Today’s resource is Kirsten Kaschock’s chapbook, Windowboxing. Kaschock, a dancer as well as a poet, titles her poems using neologisms or portmanteaus, and each one proceeds as a series of essay-like sentences. The poems are interspersed with drawings, and some are even formatted in the shapes of boxes, forcing the reader to turn the book (or their head) and engage with the poems as they move through space.
Our prompt for the day (optional as always) is inspired by Kaschock’s use of space to organize her poems. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a “concrete” poem – a poem in which the lines and words are organized to take a shape that reflects in some way the theme of the poem. This might seem like a very modernist idea, but poets have been writing concrete poems since the 1600s! Your poem can take a simple shape, like a box or ball, or maybe you’ll have fun trying something more elaborate, like this poem in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Happy eighth day of NaPoWriMo, all.
Our featured participant today is clayandbranches, where the news poem for Day 7 takes an article about a far-off world and brings it close to home..
Today’s poetry resource is a series of twitter accounts that tweet phrases from different poets’ work. The Sylvia Plath Bot, as you might expect, tweets snippets of Plath. @PercyBotShelley tweets Shelley, @ruefle_exe tweets bits of Mary Ruefle’s poems, and @carsonbot and @sikenpoems send into the world small fragments of the work of Anne Carson and Richard Siken.
And if you’re feeling puckish, perhaps you might enjoy (or enjoy the act of not-enjoying) the “poems” created by @VogonB. If you’ve ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, you may remember the Vogons as the aggressive aliens who, in addition to destroying the Earth, have an unpleasant habit of reading their poetry – known as the third worst in the entire universe – to their victims.
Our prompt for the day (optional as always) asks you to peruse the work of one or more of these twitter bots, and use a line or two, or a phrase or even a word that stands out to you, as the seed for your own poem. Need an example? Well, there’s actually quite a respectable lineage of poems that start with a line by another poet, such as this poem by Robert Duncan, or this one by Lisa Robertson.
Happy Tuesday, everybody, and Happy One Week of Na/GloPoWriMo!
Our featured participant today is Sufia Khatoon, whose poem for Day Six’s Boschian prompt is rife with the desires of birds. And may I say how happy I am that so many of you enjoyed the prompt? I was a bit worried about this one, as Bosch is definitely strange. But many of you seem to have found the strange quite inspirational!
Our poetry resource for this seventh day of Na/GoPoWriMo consists of three Twitter accounts that provide all sort of interesting poetry-related “news:” The Poetry Foundation, The Poetry Society (U.K.), and the Poetry Society of America.
And speaking of news, today our prompt (optional, of course) is another oldie-but-goodie: a poem based on a news article. Frankly, I understand why you might be avoiding the news lately, but this is a good opportunity to find some “weird” and poetical news stories for inspiration. A few potential candidates:
Hello, everyone! I hope the act of writing a poem today helps to cure your Monday Blahs.
Today, our featured participant is Algae and Silt, where the 20-little-projects prompt for Day Five resulted in a multilingual tour-de-force.
Our poetry resource today is an online poetry journal, The Ekphrastic Review. As its name suggests, this magazine publishes only work inspired by works of visual art, and often provides images of the specific paintings alongside each poem.
Today’s (optional) prompt is ekphrastic in nature – but rather particular! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive speared on its horn, a man using an owl as a pool toy, or a backgammon board being carried through a crowd by a fish wearing a tambourine on its head, I hope that you find the experience deliriously amusing. And if the thought of speaking in the voice of a porcupine-as-painted-by-a-man-who-never-saw-one leaves you cold, perhaps you might write from the viewpoint of Bosch himself? Very little is known about him, so there’s plenty of room for invention, embroidery, and imagination.
Happy Sunday, all!
Today’s poetry resource is Entropy’s “Where to Submit” page. If you are thinking about submitting your work for consideration by journals and presses, this is a wonderful resource for learning about which ones are accepting work, what kind of work they’re looking for, and just finding new magazines to read!
Our (optional) prompt for today is one that we have used in past years, but which I love to come back to, because it so often takes me to new and unusual places, and results in fantastic poems. It’s called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. The challenge is to use/do all of the following in the same poem. Of course, if you can’t fit all twenty projects into your poem, or a few of them get your poem going, that is just fine too!
- Begin the poem with a metaphor.
- Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
- Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
- Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
- Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
- Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
- Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
- Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
- Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
- Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
- Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
- Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
- Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
- Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
- Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
- Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
- Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
- Use a phrase from a language other than English.
- Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
- Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.
Hello, all, and happy fourth day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo!
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 isn’t exactly a poetry resource. Rather, it 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. For example @MagicRealismBot provides daily doses of weirdness, and poet Mathias Svalina’s longstanding @dreamdeliveryer does the same (Mathias also has a subscription service through which you can get dreams sent directly to you in the mail, or, if he is in your city, delivered in person!) And if that’s not enough, perhaps you will enjoy the strangeness of @GardensBritish, or the whimsy of @A_single_bear?
Our prompt for the day (optional as always) 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.
Welcome back, everyone. I hope the first Friday of Na/GloPoWriMo is treating you well.
Our 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 is one I find myself using frequently – an online rhyming dictionary. This one provides both “pure” rhymes and near rhymes, a way to find “similar sounding” words, and also a thesaurus. It might seem a bit like “cheating,” but I think all’s fair in love and poetry.
Today’s prompt (optional, as always) 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.
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!
Today, our 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 (optional) prompt for the day takes a leaf from Schuyler’s book, as it were, and asks you to 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.
Welcome, everyone, to the official first day of NaPoWriMo/GloPoWriMo 2020!
As in past years, we’ll be featuring a different poetry-related resource daily. This year, instead of concentrating on a single kind of resource, we’ll be cycling through a potpourri of them, including online poetry chapbooks, poetry-related Twitter accounts, and more.
Today, we bring you what might seem like a rather silly resource, but one thing that poetry has taught me is that silly tricks are sometimes the best, at least for getting one’s creativity going. It’s an online metaphor generator! Plug in some parameters, and get a phrase that may strike you as interesting, arresting, or . . . just ridiculous. At any rate, I hope this generator is something you can return to when you find yourself staring at the page and thinking “ummmmmmmmm.”
And now for our (optional) prompt, which also deals with metaphors! Forrest Gump famously said that “life is like a box of chocolates.” And there are any number of poems out there that compare or equate the speaker’s life with a specific object. (For example, 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.
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 my favorite 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!