Saturday, April 11, 2015

Day 11 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2015


Allison Joseph, Vince
Gotera, & Eugene Gloria
at AWP, 4/11/15.
Photo by Karen Singson.
Day Eleven. I'm at AWP right now, sitting at the North American Review booth in the book fair. AWP is the Associated Writers and Writing Programs, the trade organization for creative writing, currently holding its annual conference in Minneapolis. At the right is a picture of me with two ole poet-friends, Allison Joseph and Eugene Gloria (I'm in the middle), taken earlier today at AWP.

Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt today is, "I challenge you to get rather classically formal, and compose a poem in sapphics. These are quatrains whose first three lines have eleven syllables, and the fourth, just five. There is also a very strict meter that alternates trochees (a two-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed, and the second unstressed) and dactyls (a three-syllable foot, with the first syllable stressed and the remainder unstressed). The first three lines consist of two trochees, a dactyl, and two more trochees. The fourth line is a dactyl, followed by a trochee."

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD suggestion for a poem is, "For today’s prompt, write a seasonal poem. This should be a snap for haiku poets; after all, inserting seasonal words is a rule for the form. However, you don’t have to write haiku to write a poem that references or happens in one of the four seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. Pick a season or include them all."

Here's my poem for day eleven, combining the sapphics and seasonal prompts.

Advertisement

If you’ve got to write a small ode to seasons . . .
SAPPHICS! That’s the ticket, ’cause most their names are
trochees: winter, summer, and autumn, spring time.
                Cycles of beauty.

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

A little tongue in cheek. No images as such . . . apologies to my students who will surely point out that the last line is abstract. And that the poem (that is, me) has not yet earned the right to use such an abstraction. But . . . the meter works exactly as it should and fulfills the seasonal prompt. I know, it's not the greatest excuse. But I wrote it in 15 minutes between customers and writers I've published wanting to visit and hobnob at the AWP bookfair.

Moving to the next poem, Alan trumps with a more serious offering: "I am combining the NaPoWriMo prompt for a Sapphic form with the PAD for a seasonal poem."

Housebound

Winter made me feel as if cold would alter
home forever, ground frozen hard as metal,
air as dense. Inside, as we piled the blankets,
we were ensnared, love,

weight of worry, listening, hope that power
lines would stay intact and if roads got icy
all of us could stay in the house, doing laundry,
baking some cookies,

cheered that cold would force us to stay together,
keep commitments like when the kids were little,
not so close to grown. Let us huddle close, steal
time when it freezes.

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

Okay, friends, your turn. Try writing some sapphics. It's not as hard as it seems once you get the rhythm going in your head: trochee, trochee, dactyl, trochee, trochee. DAH-dum, DAH-dum, DAH-dum-dum, DAH-dum, DAH-dum.

Friends, won't you comment, please? Love to know what you're thinking. To comment, look for a red line below that starts Posted by, then click once on the word comments in that line. If you don't find the word "comments" in that line, then look for a blue link below that says Post a comment and click it once. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   


NAPOWRIMO / PAD 2015 • 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


3 comments:

colonialist said...

*miffed* You and Holmes make it seem so easy to use that form!

Bruce Niedt said...

Yeah, those Sapphics are tough all right. I tried my very first one for the prompt - I guess it came out okay. By the way, I gave you a shout out on my Day 10 blog post.

Vince Gotera said...

Colonialist, thanks. Though Alan's way better at it than I am. I had to make mine a joke so I could keep it down to one stanza. I wasn't sure I could do several sapphics like Alan did.

Bruce, thanks! I'll come and take a look.

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