Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Day 30 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2014


Day 30. The last day of National Poetry Month in 2014, the last day of NaPoWriMo, the last poem of Poem-a-Day. But not your last day — one hopes — and not your last poem — one hopes again. Poems can last many many MANY days if one writes them down . . . so write them!   

Today's "official" prompts . . .   Maureen Thorson: "a poem of farewell" (NaPoWriMo). Robert Lee Brewer: "a 'calling it a day' poem" (Poetic Asides). Thanks, Maureen and Robert, for prompts that fit together so well, from those of us who are merging them. They fit together marvelously but are not at all the same, so brava and bravo.

Fare Well
                            for KL

Was it the ancient Romans who used to say
ave atque vale, hail and farewell?
From an ode, it seems, written by the poet Catullus.
Kathy, when you and I call it a day,
In your queen bed in New York or in my double
in Cedar Falls, or on the phone, with us

in thousand-mile-apart recliners, I say
farewell. Not as in goodbye, like we’ll
never meet again, but just good wishes:
May our life be evergreen, fresh. And may
                                                      we always love us.


—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Kathy and I always look at the official prompts together first thing, and she was disappointed this morning upon seeing this last set. I knew she was thinking "no love poem today." Although a couple of my April poems alluded to our relationship sweetly, I hadn't written a proper love poem yet. So this poem is a surprise for my love; yes, I was able to write a love poem while also saying farewell and calling it a day. Hurray!

In terms of this curtal sonnet's craft, its sonnetly charms, I replaced the usual d rhyme with an a, so the rhyme scheme is abcabc/abcac. Aren't those three repeated abc's cool? Beyond that, in fact, the last line contains (accidentally) an internal b rhyme within it — "al" . . . in which case the rhyme scheme would be abcabc/abca[bc], with the brackets indicating two rhymes within a single line, the last. Thus, it's abc's all the way down. Ha! (Though maybe I'm stretching here because that "al" sound is in the middle rather than the end of a word.)


Okay, now here's Alan's final NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day sonnet. He says, "I believe I have combined Brewer's 'call it a day' with Thorson's 'poem of farewell,' if you can call a 'kiss off' poem a 'call it a day' poem. Why is it sometimes easier to write a poem when I'm ticked off?"

To the ’70s Era Avocado Refrigerator

I was not there when they wheeled you away,
although I emptied almost all your shelves.
I wish that we had rolled you out ourselves
and done it long ago, before that day
your coupling broke, permitting water spray
behind to saturate the floor and bow
our basement ceiling, water filled below,
until the drywall burst, God damn it. Say
goodbye, good riddance, thank you, go; but may
somebody find a use for all your parts —
your whole is worthless — and, with all our hearts,
we will be glad to meet with you someday,
converted to some lids on pickle jars
or stamped into a set of Hot Wheels cars.

—Draft by Thomas Alan Holmes     [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]


Ah yes, fridges can be infuriating, right? But sometimes they can be cool for the oddest of reasons. In the early '60s, we had a Fridgidaire that made a soft whirry, bubbly noise that sounded exactly like the Blob. You should google a clip from that movie to "hear" my childhood fridge.        Actually, here's a suitable clip; this link should start you up at 3:47 where the sound is pretty clear for the next while. Oh . . . uh . . . sorry about the bad pun on "cool" in the second sentence of this paragraph, regarding fridges.

In terms of sonnetly charms, Alan's is an interesting example of a Petrarchan sonnet: in the closing sestet's rhyme scheme of addaee Alan begins with a third envelope quatrain — so cool! — and then ends with a Shakespearean-ish couplet. Fun. The poem is fun in its content (if you don't think too much about the water damage) and in its bravura technique. Bravo, Alan!


Won't you comment, please, friends? To make a comment, look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. If you don't see that, look in the red line that starts Posted by Vince, then find the word comments and click it once.

Ingat, everyone.  

POEM-A-DAY 2014 • Pick a day in April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


6 comments:

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Vince, I don't recall that I have shared a love poem this month in this forum, so I will be contrite for a while. I'm happy that we are both working with fixed forms today, but, I have to admit, seeing that shade of avocado again so soon brings unpleasant sensations. ;)

Thank you for keeping me honest on the poem-a-day challenge. This year marks the third time I have done it in April, and I find that writing along with others helps me to stay committed. It has been kind of you to include me as part of your blog this month, too; this forum has made me work even harder.

Once I get some of these final essays graded, I look forward to sitting down with my poems from this month to see what works, what needs revision, and what tics and bad habits I may have relied on. The month is done, but revision goes on forever.

It's been a pleasure to follow this challenge along with you. Thank you.

Bruce Niedt said...

Lovely curtal sonnet, Vince. Just wanted to let you know that my valedictory sonnet for Poetry Month was a hay(na)ku. You can find it on my blog: http://bniedt.blogspot.com/2014/04/wow-i-cant-believe-another-national.html

Vince Gotera said...

Thanks, Alan. It's been a pleasure and a privilege for me.

Vince Gotera said...

Thanks, Bruce. I'm coming over to your blog to take a look.

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Thanks for adding the Hot Wheels car, too!

vstefani said...

Vince, it's been too long since I looked at your blog! Haven't checked out the video of your reading (but I will), but I wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading "Fare Well." I'm sure Kathleen was delightfully surprised. (For some reason it reminds me of the last love poem I wrote, longer ago than I like to admit; I really should do more of those.)

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