Happy Day 12 of NaPoWriMo and GloPoWriMo, all!

Our featured participant today is Purple Mountain Poetry, where the poem for Day 11’s blend of small, accretive details with a seemingly unconnected end results in an unsettling juxtaposition. It’s not a “happy” poem, but it is one that makes you think of both the distance and the connections between us all.

Today’s poet in translation is Turkey’s Sureyya Aantmen. A fairly young poet, her work has an almost mystical flavor to it, as though you were hearing snatches of fairy tales pulled together into a message of longing and urgency. You’ll find five of her poems translated into English at the link above.

Finally, our prompt for the day (optional, as always). Have you ever flipped to the index of a book and found it super interesting? Well, I have (yes, I live an exciting life!) For example, the other day I pulled from my shelf a copy of on old book that excerpts parts of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s journals. I took a look at the index, and found the following entry under “Man”:

fails to attain perfection, 46; can take advantage of any quality within him, 46; his plot of ground, 46; his use, 52, 56; not to be trusted with too much power, 55; should not be too conscientious, 58; occult relationship between animals and, 75; God in, 79, 86; not looked upon as an animal, 80; gains courage by going much alone, 81; the finished, 89; and woman, distinctive marks of, 109; reliance in the moral constitution of, 124; the infinitude of the private, 151; and men, 217; should compare advantageously with a river, 258.

That’s a poem, right there!

Today, I challenge you to write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Thomas Brendler. Happy writing!


98 Responses to Day Twelve

  1. Great prompt! Can’t wait to try it :) Happy day 12!!

  2. MTW says:

    this prompt was definitely a little out there; i started over a couple of times before i found something i wanted to work with. interesting, would puzzle over again 10/10


  3. […] 12 prompt: Index poem Reference: Robert Blitzer, “College Alegbra, 6th Ed.: Applications Index.” Pearson […]

  4. […] In response to Daily Post: Newspaper and Napowrimo Day 12. […]

  5. […] today’s prompt, I wrote this poem using the index from the book, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John […]

  6. Claire says:

    I went from thinking “I’m not into this prompt” to finding myself highly amused by my own poem. I love nice surprises! https://clairevetica.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/braised/

  7. Bastet says:

    I’m certainly enjoying finding out about poets from ’round the world … very interesting prompts you put up … I had already begun to use a Wordle to write with today – and wanted to write a dodoitsu so here’s my adaptation of your prompt for today though of course it’s not quite the same thing: https://bastetandsekhmet.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/wordle-mlmm-april-12-2016/

  8. […] Day 12 of NaPoWriMo is an index poem.  Basically I opened up a book on the shelf and started to jot down words from the index.  I threw in some phrases associated with each and then a poem formed in front of me. […]

  9. TJ Paris says:

    Just a fun poem taken from the exotic list of chapters in Lord Frederic Hamilton’s charming memoirs “Vanished Pomps”

  10. Gene says:

    Another challenging prompt. This one made me think. On the good side, it was another opportunity to pour through my books!


  11. Mar Claudrin says:

    Interesting idea, this one. I decided to invent an index that recorded the apparent influences of an imaginary woman in someone’s life :) xx


  12. […] an index poem for NaPoWriMo Day 12. (Index and other phrases from The Creators by Daniel J. Boorstin.) Second, a book spine poem, a […]

  13. Thomas Brendler’s poem made me laugh out loud. Really, really out loud. Coke and Mentos. :) Anyway, this poem I ended up publishing is my seventh attempt at today’s prompt …


  14. […] Day 12 of NaPoWriMo and #atozchallenge Blog Envy (i.e. […]

  15. […] are really heating up at NaPoWriMo today as our prompt is to write a poem from the index of a book (either real or made up).  Whilst […]

  16. […] NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Thomas Brendler. Happy writing! […]

  17. […] NaPoWriMo’s “Index poems prompt” NotaLiteraryJournal’s “Limerick Challenge” Indiana Humanities’ “Childhood Place prompt” Poetic Asides P-A-D “Serious take/Silliness prompt” Poetry School’s “Superpower prompt” Mariah Wilson’s “Escape prompt” QuillsEdge Press’ “Totem animal prompt” Found Poetry’s “Borrowed Language prompt” Mary Carroll-Hacket’s “Art of Celebration/Survival prompt” Lagan Press’ “Exploring Options prompt” Apparatus Mag’s “Favorite Spot prompt” 30dpc’s “Watcha reading prompt” […]

  18. […] Day 12:  Today, I challenge you to write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat in the style of this poem by Thomas Brendler. Happy writing! […]

  19. I looked up for random words and entries in the index of the book Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain and Illness. I listed them down, together with the pages where they can be found, mixed them up, and finally arrived at my very first index poem.

    You can see it here

  20. […] to Day 12, NaPoWriMo […]

  21. […] Today, I challenge you to write your own index poem. You could start with found language from an actual index, or you could invent an index, somewhat […]

  22. Lori Carlson says:

    After 4 failed attempts, I came up with this… crap. *sighs* Didn’t like this prompt at all.


  23. […] Today’s prompt: an index poem. I’m glad those index searching days are over, so let’s see if I can pull this off… […]

  24. […] I decided to take on the NaPoWroMo prompt for day 12. You can read about it here. The prompt today is to write an index poem. This is my […]

  25. […] NaPoWriMo prompt was for an index poem made up of unconnected snippets of words. Since this experimental idea […]

  26. […] I am not at all satisfied with today’s poem.  NaPoWriMo ‘s prompt is to create a “found poem” by lifting an excerpt from a book’s index, page […]

  27. […] for NaPoWriMo (although I’m off prompt today). Yesterday I was at the shopping mall, and when I was […]

  28. Bryan Ens says:

    I’ve gone “off prompt” today, but I hope that you’ll enjoy this anyway! https://quest4peas.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/napowrimo-day-12-descending-to-the-top/

  29. […] Day! It is NaPoGloMo Day 12…Without further ado, an Index […]

  30. […] Holy cow, this one was fun. NaPoWriMo day 12 asks us to write an index poem. My piece is made up exclusively of words and phrases found in the […]

  31. Vin says:

    Initially, I thought it would be difficult and dry to write. But once I started I found out how much fun it can be. Never thought of this before.

    Loved the prompt. I used The index of The Science Magpie, a book of random interesting facts of science.


  32. […] Thrilled to be guest-hosting dVerse Poetics today! Loving all things fantastical, my poem today uses “fantasia” as it relates to a musical free flow composition. Video from our deck in Bermuda, listening to the dawn. You’ll hear the Kiskadee (yellow bird) quite plainly. And this is one of my many feathered friends who came often to sit with me. Also applying to  NaPoWriMo Day 12. […]

  33. I want to try the prompt and will later, but I was at lunch with no book (I know – just wrong) and a pile of frustration.

    “…Demanding more, we force the light to flee
    this lie, this notion of great to greater…”


    Just a shout out – I’ve been enjoying sampling poems posted here and via facebook and am glad to have some new visitors myself!

  34. Misky says:

    Created from Poem titles in T.S. Eliot’s “Poems” collection.


  35. Skipped the optional prompt today and wrote a haibun for dVerse Poets Pub.


  36. […] really wanted to use today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, but my index poem went nowhere. What I am, it seems, is a one-trick pony. I can’t write anything but Scarlett at […]

  37. […] An ‘index’ poem written following today’s challenge.today’s challenge […]

  38. […] am again off prompt, here’s a  William Carlos Williams pastiche!  I’m putting the finishing touches to a […]

  39. […] NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day #12: “Index Poem” […]

  40. […] war meine NaPoWriMo-Herausforderung ein Verzeichnis-Gedicht zu schreiben, d.h. mit Bausteinen aus einem […]

  41. David Ellis says:

    I used the Index prompt and indexed a list of things that I hate that I am sure many other people can relate to!


  42. Lori Gomez says:

    Interesting prompt. Making up an index is so beautifully Borgesian, but I took mine from the excellent book I received from my mother-in-law, pictured above… I opted to alter the entry very little, except for the repetition of the last line which I created for effect & the decision to intersperse some of the titles from the various chapters with the index entry
    I was stunned to find that so few of my books actually had indices that I was determined to find a book with one & use it … there is something serendipitous about “found” poetry in unlikely places. Cheers, y’all!


  43. I wasn’t even going to try. Called myself a party pooper. Tried.


  44. Katie Staten says:

    I really wanted to write to this prompt, spent way too much time trying, and ended up writing this in frustration:


    I think only once or twice so far this month, I’ve actually used the prompt, but at least I’m still writing a thing every day. Should really start sharing them in the comments here, eh?

  45. My Index Poem was inspired by the book “Silver Boxes”–read it here: https://leonaslines.com/2016/04/12/words/

  46. […] Day 12 of NaPoWriMo. Prompt: Index poem. […]

  47. […] poem prompted by a prompt from NaPoWriMo.net (“Have you ever flipped to the index of a book and found it super interesting? … Today, […]

  48. […] today’s NaPoWriMo prompt, we were invited to examine a book’s index and find some language that could be used in a […]

  49. I am on the prompt today and used the index of a Betty Crocker cookbook from 1961. https://marilyncavicchia.com/2016/04/12/accompaniments-for-alaska/

  50. […] NaPoWriMo day 12, a little index poem from the book currently residing on my bedside table, Champlain’s […]

  51. Allie says:

    Ugh! I really didn’t like today’s prompt. I’ve never wrote something like it. I have honestly never thought to look in the index to find inspiration. Today was a poetic off day for me but I know I have grown today as a writer because this challenge really pushed me. Here’s my index poem, True Worship. https://abm97.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/12-napowrimo-true-worship/

    • Allie, I actually resisted it at first as well. It seemed like such a waste of time and energy, but after writing about 6 I threw away, I changed locations, found an index I actually liked and then had fun with it. The rum and Coke didn’t hurt in oiling the way. Yours turned out very well, though, in the end. Judy

  52. […] Day 12 of NaPoWriMo 2016.  Today’s prompt asked for writing a Index poem as a found poem or following Thomas […]

  53. J Luukkonen says:

    Index poem, based off of page 266 in Kierkegaard’s “The Concept of Anxiety”.


  54. Vijaya says:

    Sorry, I’m very late with my Day 12 Index Poem (it’s still Day 12 for me, since I haven’t gone to bed yet, though it’s technically 1:00 a.m. of the 13th! Ah well. I’ll do Day 13 on time tomorrow!

    Here’s my poem:


  55. Kat Shamash says:

    Sorry to be late with today’s poem.

    I loved this writing prompt.

    The title of my index poem is ““Fire in the Mind: New Mexico”


  56. […] Tuesday’s napowrimo.net prompt was to write an index poem. […]

  57. My husband chose the book How to Brew: Everything you need to know to brew beer right the first time. This is the poem I created from its index. I had a lot of fun with it.


  58. I am playing catch up on yesterday – here is my contribution to the prompt :-)


  59. […] index poem written for Day 12 of NaPoWriMo and J-Day of Blogging from A to Z […]

  60. […] NaPoWriMo 2016: Day 12 – Found Index Poem […]

  61. Angie says:

    Got out my junior higher’s Physical Science book out for this one

  62. […] prompt is to write a poem inspired by fortune cookies. After my defeat at the hands of the Day #12 prompt, I needed this one. It’s basically a found poem, with each line taken from actual fortune-cookie […]

  63. […] prompt used from NaPoWriMo Day 12 – “Invent an […]

  64. […] Today’s poem prompt. […]

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