Hello, everyone, and welcome back for Day 29. I can’t believe tomorrow’s the last day of NaPoWriMo 2014.

Our featured journal today is Work To A Calm, which focuses on confessional poetry, and has published NaPoWriMo-er Kendall A. Bell. Work To a Calm accepts submissions year-round.

Today’s featured participant is Rhythms Nest. I kind of have a thing for erasure poems, and this poet shows us both the original and the erased text. Very cool!

And now our prompt (optional, as always). This may remind you a bit of the “New York School” recipe, but this prompt has been around for a long time. I remember using it in a college poetry class, and loving the result. It really forces you into details, and to work on “conducting” the poem as it grows, instead of trying to force the poem to be one thing or another in particular. The prompt is called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. And here are the twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem:

1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.


52 Responses to Day 29

  1. vivienneblake says:

    I enjoyed the article, and the prompt, which I want to spend more time over,
    but here’s my off-prompt contribution for today

  2. CC Champagne says:

    Really didn’t think I would, but I actually kind of enjoyed this one! http://ccchampagne.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/the-taste-of-sunshine/

  3. […] prompt: http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-29/ Share this:EmailPrintRedditTumblrGoogleTwitterFacebookPinterestPocketLinkedInDiggStumbleUponLike […]

  4. martha0stout says:

    This was hard, but ultimately worth it, I think. Way to give us prompts that are challenging!


  5. […] If I’m to have the honor of being featured on NaPoWriMo‘s front page, I certainly better catch up to today’s quota! If that’s their […]

  6. […] – twenty things you had to include in your poem, much like the New York School Poets prompt. You can read them here. And here’s what I came  up […]

  7. […] I got stuck) twenty simple instructions is all it takes for writing a poem from today’s NaPoWriMo prompt.  I have dealt with each one methodically and – mainly – sequentially, and have […]

  8. worldofmymae says:

    I’m not sure if I have followed all the 20, but i tried. It’s hard for me to tell the difference of some of the requirements. I’m learning: http://jewelofcreations.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/napowrimo-day-29-into-the-sun/

  9. […] http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-29/ Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleLike this:Like Loading… […]

  10. Mitch Smith says:

    Jim was my teacher many years ago, and this prompt got me missing him, as I often do. So I wrote an elegy for him instead: http://voyagecities.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/napowrimo-day-29/

  11. Chatti Natti says:

    I liked this prompt. I didn’t use all 20 though because my poem was getting really long! :D Here is my poem: “The Vortex” http://chattinatti.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/day-29-of-the-napowrimo-poetry-challenge-the-vortex/

  12. […] one more day to go. Today’s prompt got us working hard – http://www.napowrimo.net/2014/04/day-29/ We had to use twenty little projects in one poem. It made for a quirky and interesting […]

  13. […] prompt is a really long one from NaPoWriMo.net; I shall condense it thusly: Jim Simmerman’s ‘Twenty Little Poetry […]

  14. […] I had no idea where I was going with this penultimate NaPoWriMo prompt, but you had to cram 20 writing bits into one poem. It was indeed a challenge, so much so […]

  15. […] NaPoWriMo Day 29 – 20 Projects within a poem, I’ll either succeed or die trying! […]

  16. David Ellis (TooFullToWrite) says:

    I used the prompt on the website today – it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve written inside a day but ultimately one of the most rewarding too! A love story involving kittens comprising of 20 mini projects in one poem – http://toofulltowrite.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/napowrimo-poem-poetry-the-kitten-of-compassion/

  17. […] Day 29: NaPoWriMo Prompt: “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” Share this:EmailPrintTwitterStumbleUponRedditLinkedInFacebookGooglePinterestDiggTumblrPocketLike this:Like Loading… […]

  18. Whew. This was a tough one, but here is my “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” poem: “I’m Blind” wp.me/p2CJjk-CQ.

  19. bniedt says:

    This is actually the second time I’ve done this prompt – the first time was when I encountered it in the book The Practice of Poetry by Robin Behn and Chase Twitchell. I like to call it “The Poet’s Obstacle Course”, and I find that starting off with a really good metaphor helps to jump start your creativity for this one. Here’s my result: http://bniedt.blogspot.com/2014/04/just-quick-mention-that-i-made-top-10.html

  20. […] NaPoWriMo, Day 29. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like […]

  21. posmic says:

    I followed the prompt. The result was a poem about how the sun is a ball of chimpanzees. http://marilyncavicchiaeditorpoet.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/i-think-we-all-know/

  22. […] poem was written based on a prompt at the National Poetry Writing Month […]

  23. hat4rain says:

    Good Lord, that was tough. I haven’t counted them all up but I think I ticked off most of the elements:


  24. James Brush says:

    This prompt was wonderful. I had my students try this today–kids in a juvenile detention center–and they really got into it. Several write some astonishingly good stuff, many wanted to read their work to their peers, and most had a good time. Pretty good for a fairly tough group of kids. So thank you for this prompt. It made a lot of people’s day. And here’s mine–“Trigger”: http://coyotemercury.com/2014/04/29/trigger/

  25. […] it didn’t seem right to use yesterday’s gophers pen. Though Carl might not agree. NaPoWriMo 2014, day 29 Share this:TwitterFacebookGoogleLike this:Like […]

  26. grapeling says:

    wow, that’s an ambitious prompt for me at this stage. went for something a bit smaller, instead – http://grapeling.wordpress.com/2014/04/29/evolve-29/ ~

  27. […] Day 29 Prompt you’re going to have to check out NaPoWriMo’s Day 29 post because the prompt is far too long to share on here! Plus I’m not going to use it anyway. […]

  28. […] actually used the prompt from NaPoWriMo today. Maybe that will make sense of some of this odd writing style. Share […]

  29. […] Day 29: Write a poem that incorporates all of Jim Slimmerman’s “20 Little Poetry Project.” […]

  30. […] poem for April 2014. Today, for I think the first time, I’ve used the prompt from the NaPoWriMo web page. Actually, it’s yesterday’s prompt as they are a day behind Australia.  It gives a […]

  31. […] 29: Write a poem using Jim Simmerman’s “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” as a guide. I tried incorporating as many as I can and ended up with quite a mess of a poem. […]

  32. […] Day 29 prompt from NaPoWriMo was to follow Jim Simmerman’s Twenty Little Poetry Projects. Some […]

  33. […] Jim Simmerman, Twenty Little Poetry Projects Reference: See list in link above; Omniglot: […]

  34. […] This bit of weirdness is the result of partly following the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” prompt. I didn’t get anywhere near the full twenty.  Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like […]

  35. […] you’ve never done the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects” it was yesterday’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt. Got started, got interrupted, got back. Nice thing about it. The parts will wait. Share […]

  36. […] Day 29: NaPoWriMo Prompt: “Twenty Little Poetry Projects.” Share this:EmailPrintTwitterGoogleTumblrFacebookPinterestLinkedInDiggStumbleUponRedditPocket […]

  37. […] This was my attempt to fulfill today’s NaPoWriMo prompt … beyond explanation. […]

  38. […] Day 29 of the NaPoWriMo and we are working on a prompt called “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” originally […]

  39. […] prompt is the ‘Twenty Little Poetry Projects’. I think I covered all twenty here, but I’m not sure it makes much […]

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