Happy Friday, everyone, and happy fifth day of Na/GloPoWriMo. We hope yesterday’s sad prompt hasn’t dampened your desire to write poetry!
Our featured participant for the day is A Writer without Words, whose sad sonnet for Day Four packs a powerful story into fourteen short lines.
Today’s resource is this video of the poet Kyle Dargan reading “Call and Response,” a poem that he wrote by mixing and mingling the text of the Lord’s Prayer with “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash. Dargan’s poem exemplifies the way that the pre-existing universe of words – songs, prayers, snatches of overheard conversation – becomes part of us, and part of the background against which (and with which) we write our own poetry.
And now, for our daily prompt (optional as always). Today’s prompt comes from another poem by Kyle Dargan, called “Diaspora: A Narcolepsy Hymn.” This poem, like “Call and Response,” is inspired by the work of others – in this case, the poet Morgan Parker, and lyrics from songs by Beyoncé and The Notorious B.I.G. The poem also partakes of one of the most difficult poetic forms, the villanelle. The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. And to make it an even more virtuoso performance, Dargan’s alternating lines, besides being taken from songs, express “opposing” ideas, with one being about sleeping, and the other waking.
Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow!