Friday, April 17, 2015

Day 17 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2015


Day Seventeen. Today, the number of days gone and left in National Poetry Month are both prime numbers: 17 and 13. Word.

Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt: "write a 'social media'-style poem. Namecheck all of your friends. Quote from their texts, tweets, FB status updates, twitter accounts, and blogposts, and the back of the cereal box on your breakfast table. The poem is about you and you are about what you say, think, talk, eat."

Robert Lee Brewer's PAD suggestion: "write a swing poem. Sure, there are park swings and mood swings; there’s swing music and swing dancing; and there are swingers. Some people swing one way; others swing another. In politics, there are swing votes and swing states. And many people have swung a bat, an ax, and/or a hammer in their lifetimes."

It's really cool to have the "swing" prompt from Robert today, because my son Gabe and I went this evening to a Self-Help International fundraiser called The Rat Pack Live, with SNL alum Gary Kroeger and three local celebrities putting on a show as Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Joey Bishop, with surprise guests, all from 1962. The swing music was provided by the wonderful Bill Shepherd Big Band.
Self-Help International "is a non-profit dedicated to alleviating hunger by helping people help themselves. We offer long-term solutions to global problems... not a quick fix," according to the group's facebook page. Self-Help is currently concentrating its philantrophic work in Ghana and Nicaragua.

If you'd like to learn more, or you'd like to help out, go to the Self-Help International website at http://www.selfhelpinternational.org.
Just got home from that fundraiser a few minutes ago, and I was able to craft two haiku stanzas that are the length of a single tweet — exactly 140 characters — combining the two "official" prompts of social-media poem and "swing" poem. Hope you enjoy the poem.

Swinging with Dino and Friends
—two haiku as one tweet
#RatPack #Live #Dean #Frank
#Sammy #Joey #AllOfMe
#MyWay #MackTheKnife

#FlyMeToTheMoon

and #AnnMargret #DonRickles
#ShirleyMacLaine #FUN
!

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

I don't know if I'd call it a poem, exactly. It's certainly verse, especially because its syllabic structure makes for two chunks that are exactly 17 syllables, divisible into patterns of 5-7-5. You decide.

Here's Alan's offering for today. "This is intended to fulfill the requirements of the two prompts," he tells us. "It reads like a social media posting, and its reliance on dactyl meter makes it swing in a different manner than my usual iamb attempts do." For those who don't know, a dactyl is a pattern of three syllables, stressed followed by two unstressed, like the word everyone or gallery (EV-ry-one / GALL-er-y).

#Dactyl

Speaking to
Catherine
yesterday,
I realized I was
letting suggestions take
over my writing, and
I am not
ready. Surrender the only thing
left to myself so a stranger can
tell me to swing in my
verse in some
lame ¾ time? Hashtag
“no!” Sorry
Thorson, apologies
Brewer; I
don’t want to play today.

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

Everyone, each line is made up of one or two (sometimes three) dactyls, exactly . . . like the lines "LAME three four / TIME hash-tag" or "THOR-son a- / POL-o-gies." Brilliant! Hard to stack up SO many dactyls in a row.

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


2 comments:

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

That's good fortune for Vince that he had such inspiration to pull off the challenge in the final moments. I was beginning to sweat it out a bit. Please excuse the curmudgeonly approach today.

Vince Gotera said...

Thank you, Alan. I had been thinking about it all day. I just needed such details as song titles. That there were also rat-pack friends on hand helped to fill out the poem. It was then just a matter of juggling names and titles until the syllable count and the character count worked out. I was lucky that I was able to push it all way to the maximum 140 characters.

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