Day Four. We're just a smidgen over 1/10th of the way through National Poetry Month. So pretty exciting
Let's cut to the chase. NaPoWriMo: "loveless" love poem. PAD: departure poem. You want the longer versions? Here you go.
Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo prompt: "I challenge you to write a 'loveless' love poem. Don’t use the word love! And avoid the flowers and rainbows. And if you’re not in the mood for love? Well, the flip-side of the love poem — the break-up poem — is another staple of the poet’s repertoire. If that’s more your speed at present, try writing one of those, but again, avoid thunder, rain, and lines beginning with a plaintive 'why?' Try to write a poem that expresses the feeling of love or lovelorn-ness without the traditional trappings you associate with the subject matter.
Robert Lee Brewer's PAD prompt: "write a departure poem. Many people depart to school and/or work every day, and they depart on a plane, train, or automobile — some even walk or ride a bike. Of course, that’s keeping things rather physical; there are also emotional and psychological departures. You may even decide to make a departure from your normal writing style in tone or structure today."
Alan this morning wrote me on facebook, "Ah, Vince, there's already a perfect combination of these two poetry prompts, and it's always a joy to teach: "The River-Merchant’s Wife: A Letter" by Ezra Pound." Yes, indeed. I don't think I can probably hope to match that matchless poem, but you just gotta try, right?
But before you read it, let me give you a little background. This poem will be part of a sequence I'm composing about two aswang in love. The aswang are Philippine monsters that come in different varieties: shapeshifters, were animals, ghouls, vampires. The last group includes the manananggal — a woman who can break her top half from her bottom half, grow leathery wings, and fly in search of prey, typically babies or fetuses. My aswang lovers are a manananggal and a werewolf. In the first two poems in the series, the manananngal Clara and the shapeshifting Jesús (pronounced the Spanish way, hey-SOOS) meet and fall in love. The third poem I've already finished occurs during their honeymoon, after they wed. This new (fourth) poem falls in between: Clara, just before meeting Jesús for a tryst, meditates on her love for her man
The poem is a curtal sonnet, a poetic form invented by Gerard Manley Hopkins in the 19th century. The word "curtal" is a now archaic term meaning "short"; the curtal sonnet is 3/4 of a regular sonnet. Instead of 14 lines, it has 10 1/2 lines: a six-line section and a four-line section followed by a half line or "tail line." The curtal sonnet has a tight, rigorous rhyme scheme:
Alan introduces his poem for day four with his take on today's suggested approaches: "The combined prompts are to write (a) a love poem without saying "love" and (b) to write of departure. Here goes."
Alan's always so good at these family situations and relationships, teasing out the deep and tough emotions that accompany being a parent or child or a brother or sister, and so on. Such a poignant moment at the end, where all of us share in facing mortality among our loved ones.
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Ingat, everyone. ヅ
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