Hello, all. We’re now more than one-third of the way through NaPoWriMo, and our we’re up to 1845 participants. Wow!

Our featured link for today is to UbuWeb, which hosts a vast archive of pdfs, sound, and visual files relating to avant-garde poetry. If you’ve never heard any of Christian Bok’s work, go do yourself a favor and check out poetry-as-music-as-beatboxing-as-poetry.

Our featured participant for the day is The Caged Murmurs. The poem for Day 9 wasn’t written in response to yesterday’s prompt, of course, but it really fits the theme! Overall, the poems here display great imagery and attention to emotional detail.

And now, our prompt! Today I challenge you to write a tanka. This, like the “American” cinquain, is a poem based on syllables, with the pattern being 5-7-5-7-7. They work best when those final two 7-syllable lines contain a sort of turn or surprise that the first three lines might not wholly anticipate. You can string a bunch of them together to make a multi-stanza poem, or just write one!

To get you going, here’s an anonymous example from the Japanese, translated by Kenneth Rexroth:

On Komochi Mountain,
from the time the young leaves sprout,
until they turn red,
I think I would like to sleep with you.
What do you think of that?

That one makes me laugh!

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