Welcome back, all, for the second Saturday of NaPoWriMo!

Today’s featured participant is Brittany’s Blog of Random Things, where the abecedarian poem for Day Ten has visual elements. Swoop it goes!

You’ve heard that clothes make the man? Well, it may be that they make the poet, too — our featured resources for the day seem to think so, at any rate! Here’s a bit of sartorial Saturday silliness, in the form of a tumblr dedicated to poets and shoes. To round things out, here’s a project dedicated to poets and their jeans. Maybe you’ll be inspired to write an ode to denim yourself?

Our (optional) prompt for today departs from such concerns, however. Today, rather than being casual, I challenge you to get rather classically formal, and compose a poem in Sapphics. These are quatrains whose first three lines have eleven syllables, and the fourth, just five. There is also a very strict meter that alternates trochees (a two-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed, and the second unstressed) and dactyls (a three-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed and the remainder unstressed). The first three lines consist of two trochees, a dactyl, and two more trochees. The fourth line is a dactyl, followed by a trochee.

It may be easier to hear the meter than to think about it – try reading this poem in Sapphics aloud to yourself, and you’ll see what an oracular tone it produces – the stressed beginnings of the lines produce a feeling of importance, while the unstressed syllables of the trochees keep the pace measured. Rhyming is optional, and if you begin to bridle at the strict meter, feel free to loosen it up!

Happy writing!


37 Responses to Day Eleven

  1. Ceadomile says:

    My prompt for today was deliverd by Jeremy, in the form of a picture and a prompt:


  2. […] NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a poem in Sapphics. It’s quite a formal style of poetry with a certain structure […]

  3. Not strictly a Sapphics I’m sure, but here’s my attempt anyway! “A Heart Full of Willow Blossom” https://voicelessfricative.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/a-heart-full-of-willow-blossom/

  4. […] NaPoWriMo Day 11: write a Sapphic. Which is a poetic form with a very strict meter. And as I’ve said numerous times – I’m really bad at it. So I skipped the meter part and just stuck to the number of syllables required. […]

  5. Jim says:

    Happy to be here, Guys, thank you. I am sorry but my Senryū trio doesn’t fit your interesting and fun form. Next time? Or after Income Tax is done.

  6. Laura says:

    Not a success but not a failure–a hybrid of the two:


  7. CC Champagne says:

    Well, I’ll try anything once, but after spending about half an hour trying to sort my trochees from my dactyls I gave up and went with another prompt today: https://ccchampagne.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/life-is-a-balancing-act/

  8. […] with myself. I just hope I can continue to do so. This is also my entry for NaPoWriMo 2015 and day 11, since trying to write a sapphic poem was doing my inner balance no good at […]

  9. […] NaPoWriMo today Says that poets all may Do traffic with graphic Attempts that are Sapphic, And, therefore, I have this to say: […]

  10. […] “Love/Hate prompt” Pink Ink Press’ “Childhood Friend or Foe prompt” NaPoWriMo’s “Sapphics prompt The Language Inside’s “Helper poems” Writing Knights Roundtable’s […]

  11. Marilyn Cavicchia says:

    I can count syllables, but I can’t deal with meter at all. But here it is: https://marilyncavicchiaeditorpoet.wordpress.com/2015/04/11/i-must-tend-to-my-bread-napowrimo-2015-day-11/

  12. Even though I the challenge is awesome, it totally … well, challenged me haha :D Thank you for choosing Sappho. I’ve been studying her. :)

  13. […] prompt was to write a Sapphics poem, which had a complicated meter (read about it here). Mostly though, I attempted to follow the number of syllables per line (11-11-11-5). You can read […]

  14. Bryan Ens says:

    I’ve only ever written one sapphic. Dastardly difficult meter to master, so I chose to write a bit of free verse instead.

  15. I hope I didn’t mangle today’s Sapphic too badly. Here it is:

    ‘On Crumbly Days’

  16. grapeling says:

    completely not to the prompt… but what was left after a day of gardening ~


  17. […] tired.  The NaPoWriMo prompt for today is about Sapphics, and I’m all “Huh? Wuh?” I would love to get all […]

  18. […] 11 of National Poetry Writing Month brought a really interesting challenge. Over at the NaPoWriMo blog, we were invited to write a poem in Sapphics. I admit, I’d never heard of this form before […]

  19. Josh says:

    Easter is about to hit for me–in just under an hour. I’ve been traveling, and found the prompt too much for my very tired head. However, I’d love to give it a try another day.

    For now, here’s what was on the mind. Enjoy!

    “The Run of Eleven”

  20. Irene Riz says:


    I am proudly presenting the poem responding to the challenge. Oh my God.
    Was it tough.
    Thank you a fantastic experience!

  21. What a challenge, but I had a lot of fun with this one. And thank you for the feature! I’m glad you liked my abecedarian poem.

    A Table of Marriage


  22. […] NaPoWriMo–Day 11–Sapphic […]

  23. This is my try with the form Sapphic, I was able to get the syllables okay but not sure about the meter. I have a difficult time with that. Titled “Lost and Found” http://leonaslines.com/2015/04/11/lost-and-found/

  24. […] For the Day 11 prompt at NaPoWriMo, a sapphic without all the fancy trochees and […]

  25. TheRustGeek says:

    My attempt (a href =”http://therustgeek.me/2015/04/12/napowrimo-day-11-crossroads/”> Crossroads) without the focus on the stressed and unstressed syllables unfortunately.. :)

  26. […] I definitely want to return to NaPoWriMo’s suggested Sapphics prompt from day eleven, I felt moved to write a pantoum for spring today (throwback to last […]

  27. […] yesterday’s poem in Sapphics, a sequence inspired by this rather uncanny 1951 New Yorker […]

  28. […] Day 11’s optional prompt, is to get rather classical and compose a poem in Sapphics. ~ via The NaPoWriMo Website […]

  29. Uche says:

    I discovered this prompts site late in the month, but on reading back I did notice the bits of discussion on the difficulty of sapphics, something I’ve heard before. I thought I’d give my take on why perhaps sapphics don’t have to be such a chore. I’m absolutely not looking to show anyone up. I just love sapphics and hope that I can share a bit of that love.


  30. […] Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write a poem that addresses itself, or some aspect of its self. As someone who suffers from insomnia, I find that often a word, a line or concept for a poem will come to me in the dead of the night. It is never actually welcome at that time, but fact that seems to be irrelevant….! And if you hadn’t noticed, the poem is made entirely of dactyls (aside from the last word), a term that I haven’t been able to get out of my head since the day 11 challenge! […]

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