Happy Tuesday, everyone, and Happy 28th Day of Na/GloPoWriMo. Including today, there are just three days left in our annual challenge. Congratulations to everyone who has made it this far! And if you joined us late, or are still catching up – no worries. Remember, there’s no law against writing poetry in May, or any other time.
Our featured participant for the day is benkohns, where you will find a spot-on review of the various software programs we are supposed to use to work and learn during these days of social distancing.
Speaking of socially distancing, our poetry resource for the day this online archive of the manuscripts of the famously reclusive Emily Dickinson. Now one of the most-admired poets the United States has produced, Dickinson was little known in her lifetime. She left behind hundreds of poems, often drafted on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, etc. And an especial point of interest is her amendments and edits. She often provided several different alternatives for given nouns or verbs in poems, as if she was continually revising or trying out new ones. When I am revising my own poems, and come across a dull or commonplace noun or verb that seems to drag down a line, I think of Dickinson, and try to come up with four or five alternatives, seeking a word that is a little bit wild, and will help to deepen the poem, or even turn it in a new direction.
Today’s (optional) prompt is brought to us by the Emily Dickinson Museum. First, read this brief reminiscence of Emily Dickinson, written by her niece. And now, here is the prompt that the museum suggests:
Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the setting decades later. Describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem. It could be your childhood room, your grandmother’s room, a college dormitory or another significant space from your life.