Happy Thursday, everyone! Today marks one full week of NaPoWriMo 2016. If you’ve been keeping up, give yourself a pat on the back. And if you’ve fallen behind, don’t fret – the point of NaPoWriMo isn’t to beat yourself up, but just to get some poems on the page.
Our featured participant for today is Kat Shamash, whose poem for Day Six marries the concept of food with travel and with the meeting of cultures. A very appropriate poem for this year’s translation-themed NaPo- and GloPo- WriMo!
Today, as we move ourselves east-to-west across the world, we dip our toe into Europe for the first time (albeit only because Russia is very very wide). Our featured poet in translation is Vsevelod Nekrasov, whose spare, minimalist work relies heavily on repetition, and which became more widely available in English with the 2013 publication of an English-language collection of his selected poems, I Live I See. You can find English versions of two of his poems here, another here, and four more (alongside the original Russian) here. Finally, if if you’re interested in learning more about Nekrasov, here’s a lengthy interview with him from 1993.
Our (optional) prompt for Day Seven comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who challenges us all to write a tritina. The tritina is a shorter cousin to the sestina, involving three, three-line stanzas, and a final concluding line. Three “end words” are used to conclude the lines of each stanza, in a set pattern of ABC, CAB, BCA, and all three end words appear together in the final line.
Confused? No problem — here’s an example!
Tritina for Susannah
The water off these rocks is green and cold.
The sandless coast takes the tide in its mouth,
as a wolf brings down a deer or lifts its child.
I walked this bay before you were my child.
Your fingers stinging brightly in the cold,
I take each one and warm it in my mouth.
Though I’ve known this shore for years, my mouth
holds no charms of use to you, my child.
You will have to learn the words to ward off cold
and know them cold, child, in your open mouth.
The form is a little complicated, but fun (and less complicated than a sestina, for sure!) Happy writing!