Happy Sunday, everyone, and welcome back for Day Seventeen!

Today, our featured participant is unassorted stories, where the almanac poem for Day Sixteen takes the form of a saucy exchange of letters.

Our poet in translation today is Morocco’s Fatiha Morchid. Morchid came to poetry from a scientific background (she is a practicing doctor), and her short, spare poems reflect both precision of speech and an unconcern with poetic convention. You can find eleven of her poems translated into English at the link above, and a number of others at her website.

And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, I challenge you to 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. Happy writing!


89 Responses to Day Seventeen

  1. […] For: NaPoWriMo: Day 16 by Elizabeth and Day Seventeen […]

  2. Vijaya says:

    Here’s my poem for Day 17. This was more difficult than Day 16. Way more difficult.


    Thanks for reading!
    (Dreamer of Dreams)

  3. Vin says:

    I loved this prompt. But I am not sure if I went too much technical with it. Either way, it was so much fun to write.


  4. […] Today’s prompt: a poem based on dictionary entries. Not sure whether I’m creative enough for this today… […]

  5. | MA Fox says:

    […] NaPoWriMo challenge today (and it was a challenge) was to use at least 10 terms from a specialised […]

  6. Mar Claudrin says:

    very good prompt, this. i melded words from two specialised dictionaries into mine; one about ornithology, and one about astronomy xx


  7. Happy Sunday to you also! I was looking for a dictionary on botany, but didn’t find it. Guess I’m the only one who chose this other dictionary instead.


  8. […] Day 17 NaPoWriMo 30 poems in 30 days. Image of Gustav Klimt’s mother with child. […]

  9. […] the 17th day of NaPoWriMo! The prompt is to find at least 10 words from a specialized dictionary and write a poem that […]

  10. […] NaPoWriMo’s “Specialized Dictionary prompt” NotaLiteraryJournal’s “Weather in the First Person prompt” Indiana Humanities’ “Regret prompt” Poetic Asides P-A-D “Haiku challenge” Mariah Wilson’s “Color prompt” QuillsEdge Press’ “At Sunrise, I Smell/Sense ___ prompt” Found Poetry’s “Google Translate prompt” Apparatus Mag’s “Famous Person prompt” Imaginary Garden’s “Power of Three prompt” 30dpc “Elegy/Dirge/Lament prompt” Kate Foley’s “True Self vs. Online prompt” Jo Bell’s “Blessings prompt” Poetry School’s “Couplets challenge” Lagan Press’ “Constrained Writing #2 prompt” […]

  11. Actually, if I can elaborate on the above post….
    I am a ceramic artist by day and a poet by night – hence the potters dictionary reference…

  12. […] NaPoWriMo prompt is to find a specialized dictionary, select at least 10 words from it, and write a poem […]

  13. This was fun! I used “the poetry dictionary” by John Drury and wrote an ode to poetry. If I’d been at work I would have used “Black’s Law Dictionary” but I don’t think that would have been as fun.


  14. […] napowrimo.net prompt is to write a poem using at least ten words from a specialized dictionary. I used International […]

  15. […] napowrimo.net prompt is to write a poem using at least ten words from a specialized dictionary. I used International […]

  16. […] NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to 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. Happy writing! […]

  17. […] for NaPoWriMo we have got rather an unusual challenge. We are to get a dictionary (not a standard on of course), […]

  18. Okay, hope you gentle poets are ready for this one done (with disclaimer) to today’s prompt: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2016/04/17/the-gawkey-and-flatbottomist-who-should-have-stopped-when-first-they-kissed/

    (That should read “flaybottomist.” The url won’t correct my initial error.

  19. […] NaPoWriMo, we’ve been encouraged to write a poem using at least 10 words from a specialized dictionary. […]

  20. […] This is an ode to boys to their messy hilarity spilling into city-park-world greatet than walls can contain brighter than the spring-swelling sun with an energetic happiness that, contagious, infuses the next moment, hour, day stretching beyond moonrise beyond starshine into bed and then up again at dawn defining these happy, muddy days. For the boys after our great, silly, ruckus and very long birthday day out, and for NaPoWriMo day 17. […]

  21. […] the almanac prompt, but linked to Day 17, NaPoWriMo […]

  22. grapeling says:

    off prompt here, but to Hedgewitch’s excellent Three prompt at real toads.


  23. […] because I write from the medical dictionary pretty often (Broken Heart Syndrome, anyone?). This prompt was still fun to write, though. And made for a terrific break from […]

  24. […] Day Seventeen of 2016 NaPoWriMo. […]

  25. Cookie says:

    Here’s my attempt at today’s prompt! I do often end up referencing medical topics in my poems but this is probably the first time I did it for a prompt. Hope you guys like it! Cheers!

    To Kill A Man (Or, Open Letter From a Doctor) – https://calliopeslyre.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/to-kill-a-man/

  26. I used International Paper’s Pocket Pal, that venerable source of information on print and graphics terms, as my specialized “dictionary”, and wrote my poem in the form of a double viator.


  27. […] a bit of a busy one, so off prompt. Here’s a Google Cardboard  inspired poem (other VR tools are […]

  28. angela says:

    I was very happily surprised and excited to be today’s featured participant, thank you! I’m looking forward to working on today’s prompt – tomorrow. In the meanwhile’this is my post for today: https://unassortedstories.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/outside-in/

  29. […] Mal ist aus der Anregung bei NaPoWriMo.net etwas echt Merkwürdiges geworden. Ich habe mich in einem Informatiklexikon bedient und extra nur […]

  30. […] prompt  was to write a poem based on a list of words from a specialised  dictionary. I ran out of time, […]

  31. […] NaPoWriMo day 17, off prompt. The prompt asked for using a specific dictionary and I have none around at the moment, […]

  32. Oloriel says:

    I was defiant today, I used a normal dictionary and adapted to my own inspiration :)


  33. […] NaPoWriMo prompt suggested using at least ten words from a specialty dictionary. In honor of Rex Harrison’s […]

  34. https://thoughtsandentanglements.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/fond-reflections/

    Well, I tried to do something with the prompt but with a medical dictionary it was just too depressing so I ditched it. Here is my outside the prompt entry.

  35. David Ellis says:

    I used the prompt and found a dictionary of Art Terms and made an acrostic poem celebrating art and the artists who produce it


  36. Katie Staten says:


    I don’t happen to have any specialized dictionary definitions lying around, but I happened to already have been thinking about the definition of a nation in James Joyce’s Ulysses, so I wrote about that.

  37. S.G. Liput says:

    A challenging prompt today. I sided with nautical terms in honor of a cinematic sea captain:

  38. Thinking about the sunset while piecing together triangles this afternoon

    I gather the sky up with my fingers
    holding it up in the gently cupped palms


  39. The poem had a will of its own and it took me to a very dark place. I combined a medical dictionary and a building/construction dictionary. I used only five expressions: http://natasa-summerblues.blogspot.rs/2016/04/fatal-outcomes.html

  40. TJ Paris says:

    Someone told me it was National Poetry day on the 17th. So here is a love sonnet to celebrate!

  41. […] by prompt here: http://www.napowrimo.net/day-seventeen-2/ which was to incorporate ten words from a specialized dictionary. I didn’t really use a […]

  42. […] The NaPoWriMo prompt for Day 17 was to write a poem based on words taken a “specialized dictionary”. Mine happened to be a Dictionary of (mostly mythological) Symbols. “Androgyne” means divine wholeness — a vague word for a simple idea. I think sometimes our brains make our understanding of the world more difficult that it needs to be. […]

  43. […] NaPoWriMo prompt…find a specialized dictionary and write a poem using ten words from the dictionary. Guess […]

  44. […] Day 17 of NaPoWriMo is a dictionary poem.  I chose the following 10 words (among others) from a medical dictionary I have on the shelf and wrote a poem: disoriented, exhalation, lingual, febrile, palpitation, palpation, perfusion, proximal, thoracic, trembles. […]

  45. Gene says:

    I was traveling all day, but managed to jot something down yesterday. This morning I did some transcribing so I could share my poem based on a medical dictionary.


  46. Susan says:

    A very silly poem based on real life:

    My White Whale

    White, wide and stainless steel, it could not tip
    and spill from the spastic action of hands.
    It had integrity—and it saved ten
    cents when I brought it with me to Starbucks.

    Alas, I lost it at my Friends Meeting
    and searching will not bring it home again.

    Starbucks coffee—my guilty pleasure since
    leaving UC Berkeley and Peet’s behind—
    has little else to recommend it, save
    its free Wi-Fi and its Moby Dick cup.

    How could I leave it at my Friends Meeting?
    bargaining will not bring it home again.

    Its sweet combos and high prices disguise
    Starbucks’ weak tasteless roast and watery
    foam, but this Moby-Dick cup—too fat for drink
    holders—is worth its weight in dry paper.

    Alas, I left it at my Friends Meeting
    and praying will not bring it home again.

    Maybe someone recognized its worth, and—
    pleased to acquire it without transgressing
    beliefs and the counter of Starbucks stores—
    saw opportunity and took it home.

    Lucky Ahab, whoever you may be,
    return my Moby Dick cup, please, to me.

    Copyright © 2016 Susan L. Chast

  47. […] in response to Day 17 of NaPoWriMo and Ronovanwrites Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt #93 Sun & […]

  48. […] NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day #17 – “Words from a specialized dictionary” […]

  49. […] Day 17 of NaPoWriMo. Decided to go off-prompt today. My muse and I both needed a little break so I’m dusting off an old poem for Day 17’s submission.  […]

  50. I chose ten words from my Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words–wrote this Rhyme yesterday, just posting it today–“Words To Live By” https://leonaslines.com/2016/04/17/words-to-live-by/

  51. […] Day 17: Today, I challenge you to 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. Happy writing! […]

  52. […] Today’s poem prompt. […]

  53. I really enjoyed this prompt – Here’s my poem –

    School holiday crescendo

    Crescendo in the home, daughters trilling octaves
    Peaceful interludes, a rare occurrence
    Vibrant melodies, juxtaposed with discord
    Dizzying changes of pitch and key.

    There’s barely a rest in between
    As I fight to respond, to accidentals
    Fluctuating, between majors and minors
    Yearning, for diminuendo.

    I find simple pianoforte in the washing –
    Akin to repetitious practice, of scales in C.
    The metronome is set, to a rhythm of their choice –
    I am but their muse, a crotchet to their quavers.

    © Sarah Lee, 21 April 2016

  54. Rockabilly Hall: Message Board – The Official …

  55. […] long overdue poem inspired by a Druid Gaelic Dictionary I found online, prompted by the NaPoWriMo day 17 prompt which suggested creating a poem around words found in a specialized dictionary. […]

  56. […] The challenge: to find, either on bookshelves or online, a specialized dictionary, full of specialized terms. The poem should incorporates at least ten words from this specialized source. […]

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