Did you hear the terrible news? The title of this blog post is, alas, misleading. National Poetry Month has been cancelled. Forever. Never to return again. It's over, friends.
APRIL FOOL'S! シ You didn't believe me, did you? Just kidding.
Getting to the poeming
Robert Lee Brewer, in his Poetic Asides blog, gives us his first Poem-a-Day challenge prompt, a "Two-for-Tuesday" one (customary for him with Tuesdays in April). Robert says, "For folks new to the challenge, you can choose one prompt, write to both, or try to mix them together in one poem.
Maureen Thorson, in her initial prompt from NaPoWriMo HQ, says, "Today, I'd like you to go to Reb Livingston's Bibliomancy Oracle. Clear your mind, push the button, and then write a poem based on the quotation that the oracle provides." I did that — actually, more than once, I'll admit — and came up with this interesting quotation: "Take notice of your marks and bearings" from "When You See with Not Through the Eye" by Jane Wong.
I think I can combine Robert's two-for-Tuesday prompts
Things We Navigate By
This fun little poem is in hay(na)ku stanzas (HIGH-nuh-coo)
I do find sometimes people ask me, "Why limit yourself to such a small space?" Well, why do anything? That's the thing about forms, right? You try to write the best poem you can within given rules and restrictions. The beauty of writing in forms is that sometimes — one hopes, always — the requirements of the form will push you in directions that allow you to say things you had no idea you were going to say and that produce a much better poem than if you had written in free verse. That can be an extremely rewarding moment, almost as if the poetry gods have given you a most amazing gift.
Speaking of "most amazing gifts," I have the great privilege and pleasure today to present, all month, the daily poems of my writing buddy Thomas Alan Holmes. Alan is a professor in the Literature and Language department of East Tennessee State University in Johnson City. Alan and I are in a facebook NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day writing group with my colleague Rachel Morgan and his colleague Catherine Pritchard Childress, who was my April blogging buddy two National Poetry Months back.
Here is Alan's poem for Day One. He struck out on his own, since he is an early-morning writer and started this poem before the prompts had even surfaced!
On Planning to Be Photographed Naked on My Fifty-fifth Birthday
I love the freshness and humor of Alan's poems and of the voice in this one particularly. I really appreciate how this is, finally, a subtle and quiet love poem for the "you" who has been the fun accomplice in these semi-decade revisitings of the body's "silent say."
We'd really like to hear what you have to say about our poems. Or anything else in this post. Won't you comment below, please? Look for a blue link below that says "Post a comment"; if you don't see that, look in the red line that starts "Posted by" and click on the word "comments." Alan and I are looking forward to your comments.
And thanks, as always, to Maureen Thorson and Robert Lee Brewer. Ingat, everyone. シ
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