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!

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