Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Day 15 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2015


Day Fifteen. We're at the tipping point, the proverbial hump! Or, using the roller coaster theme from yesterday's blog post, it's all downhill from here and the real fun parts are just getting going!

Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt: "Today, I challenge you to write a poem that addresses itself or some aspect of its self (i.e. 'Dear Poem,' or 'what are my quatrains up to?'; 'Couplet, come with me . . .') This might seem a little meta at first, or even kind of cheesy. But it can be a great way of interrogating (or at least, asking polite questions) of your own writing process and the motivations you have for writing, and the motivations you ascribe to your readers."

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD suggestion: "For today's prompt, pick an adjective, make it the title of your poem, and then, write your poem. If you're feeling stuck on this one, go back through your poems earlier this month and find adjectives you used — if any. Or crack open a dictionary. Or scan other poems for ideas."

At first, these two prompts didn't really work for me. But all month I've been trying really hard to use both prompts each day; I've quietly committed to myself that I will not deviate from the prompts. After putting the prompts on back burner for several hours, it occurred to me that the hay(na)ku sonnet, a form I created, might be worth writing to. And of course, as you can see by the title of the blog, the adjective blue was a foregone conclusion.
A little set-up. The hay(na)ku is a form the Filipino American poet Eileen Tabios invented: a tercet with one word in the first line, two in the next, and three in the last. A deceptively easy form, it is most challenging and also most rewarding when one tries to get good, productive line breaks, rather than simply breaking up groups of six words into three lines.

Eileen had originally wanted to call the form "The Filipino Haiku." I came up with the name "hay(na)ku," a pun on the Filipino exclamation, "hay naku," which is a bit like "oy vey" in Yiddish, or "oh my gosh" in English. The "na" in being in parentheses is part of the punning: if you remove it, you get "hayku." (Notes: 1, 2, 3)

The hay(na)ku sonnet, which I invented for NaPoWriMo/PAD in 2012, is made up of four regular hay(na)ku stanzas (adding up to 12 lines) plus a fifth hay(na)ku that's been made into a couplet with three words per line. (Note: 4)
Here's my poem combining the PAD adjective prompt with the NaPoWriMo "speak to your poem" prompt.

Blue
—a hay(na)ku sonnet
   (a form I invented)
Dear
Hay(na)ku Sonnet:
Since your birth,

you’ve
covered midnight,
morning glory blooms,

supertyphoons,
both oceans’
aquamarine and teal

waters,
acetylene blaze
lighting shattering sky.

Blue on, child.
Sail cerulean air.

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

Here's Alan's intro for his poem today: "I would like to find the person who decided that the busiest month of the academic year needed to be the month of celebrating poetry by writing a poem every day. I have something to say to that person."

Alan, you can blame someone (or more likely, several someones) at the Academy of American Poets, which established National Poetry Month in 1996. It's modeled after Black History Month and Women's History Month, and it occurs in April because those other celebrations were in the preceding months of February and March. You can also blame the Academy of American Poets for the idea of writing a poem every day during April; the Academy established Poem-a-Day in 2006.

Friends, here's Alan's poem for today regarding this topic.

Fixed

Why anyone would pick a form
to exercise creative storm
or exorcise creative swarm
                of stinging thought
and hope fixed form keeps image warm
                when it will not,

is far beyond my ken. What drought
of life could possibly have brought
me to this point? I haven’t got
                a single clue
why bloggers’ prompts somehow are what
                I have to do

these April weeks to make it through
my “sacred” obligation to
write poetry each day. And who
                will rat me out
if I should miss a day? It’s true
                sometimes I doubt

I’ll find a thing to write about,
and worry about online clout
of viewers who might read and shout
                out their alarm
and drive me offline in a rout.
                I mean no harm.

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

Wow, Alan. Double wow. Alan's using a now-little-known form called the Burns stanza, a sestet with the rhyme scheme aaabab, where the b lines are shorter. But that's not all. Alan has also interlocked his rhymes. The second rhyming sound of the first stanza (-aught) becomes the first rhyming sound of the next or second stanza. Then the second rhyme of that stanza (-ooo) is the first rhyme of the next or third stanza. The pattern continues like this throughout. At the end, the second rhyme of the last stanza (-orm) comes full circle because it was the first rhyme of the first stanza. Triple wow.

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


4 comments:

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Vince, you do realize that my accent sometimes permits rhymes and near rhymes when other accents might not? For me, "awning" and "atoning" rhyme. I am grateful for sight rhyme, though.

Vince Gotera said...

Of course. Another example might be the word "poems." Which some might say as "pomes" while others say "poe-ehms." A PhD classmate from Mississippi said it as "poy-ehms." Also, if you're couting syllables, that could be a blessing or a curse, right?

Probably true with anyone's dialect. As you know, I do syllabics quite a lot, and my San Francisco accent could make a difference.

I'm realizing that I've never heard you speak so when you say "my accent," I don't really know what you mean except that it's some sort of Southern.

To me "awning" and "atoning" rhyme anyway because I'm pretty liberal about my slant rhyme.

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

Ah, my accent. I was born in north central Alabama and attended the University of Alabama, where, I discovered, a number of us, just as we shifted our dialects from situation to situation, also shifted the broader qualities of our accents from situation to situation. Therefore, I developed a kind of Southern professional accent (more enunciation with distinction of vowel sounds) that differs from my more familial and friendly accents, corresponding with choices of words and terms. What does that mean? Depending on situation, I will say either GUITar or guiTAR. And, during a meeting on campus, when I say "y'all" it will be only one syllable, when in other situations, I might drag it out for three or four. I'm not joking.

Vince Gotera said...

Alan, sorry. I just found this. Yes, indeed, code-switching. Me too, GUITar and guiTAR. I also say GUITbox after a good friend of mine.

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