Monday, April 25, 2016

Day 25 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2016


Day 25 . . . 5 x 5 days gone by, 5 days left, 5 poems.

Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: "[W]rite a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. This will work best if you just start with a line of poetry you remember, but without looking up the whole original poem. (Or, find a poem that you haven’t read before and then use a line that interests you). The idea is for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for your work, but without influencing you so much that you feel stuck just rewriting the original! For example, you could begin, 'Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,' or 'I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,' or 'I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster,' or 'they persevere in swimming where they like.' Really, any poem will do to provide your starter line – just so long as it gives you the scope to explore."

Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD prompt: "For today’s prompt, write an exercise poem. The poem could be about a specific exercise, or it could just incorporate exercising into the poem. Or it could be dedicated to a piece of exercise equipment–so an ode to an elliptical machine or those hand grippers or something. Of course, not every exercise is physical; there are military exercises, mental exercises, and so on."


Today, I'm mashing up the prompts with a light ottava rima.

Other Ways to Exercise
(opening with a line excerpted from
“Little Exercise” by Elizabeth Bishop)
“Think of someone sleeping in the bottom
of a rowboat.” Not getting much exercise
that way, probably. But really it’s no problem
because the stars are dancing in his eyes
and in an agile aerobic dream he’s caught him
a gigantic fish, not with a rod and flies
but by swimming after it, chasing it down.
Now that’s exercise, in Dreamland’s playground.

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

Jed's poem is mythic today. And he got the word "exercise" in too!

Circe
(with the first line the same as the first line of the fifth stanza
of “The Mutability Cantos,” canto vi, by Edmund Spenser)
“For she the face of earthly things so changed”
By mere presence from nature most mundane
To wondrous, foreign shapes so passing strange
That men no more could see themselves as men
Before her, but did bleat and bark and howl
Like beasts, and like beasts did comport themselves
To violence, from Reason’s throne they fell,
And tare each other sore. Even myself,
Bathed in the light of her strange countenance,
Was not myself, though not as other men
Dragged down to bestial rage or fear, reduced,
But rather raised above my former ken.

Such powers exercised I on that day,
Great glories which I now can scarce recall,
And pride filling my heart did pave the way
For my as rapid and as distant fall.

I hungered for dominion and I strayed
From her embrace and favor. Had I known
Before her only could I be arrayed
With power, I should not have stayed behind
When she departed this base, lesser sphere.
But I thought to rule, solitary, here.
       
Circe Offering the Cup to Ulysses
John William Waterhouse (1892)
—Draft by Jedediah Kurth    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

That's brilliant, Jed! Great voice . . . you capture the mood well.

Alan's poem today melds the prompts to talk about collegiate football.

Bootfall

“From fields where glory does not stay”
return the disappointed fans
in T-shirts bought for Saturday
and celebrating in the stands

a resurrected football team.
We paid for coaches and a band.
We’re building a new stadium
on property with too much sand.

We got a logo with the State
of Tennessee as middle bar.
We got a mascot (faux pirate),
with model’s hands and not one scar.

To keep our health insurance low,
we force adjuncts to work part-time,
but not administrators, though
their benefits are rated prime.

But someone wanted football here,
and publicly, they say it’s fine
that we’ll play conference games this year
with last year’s record 2 and 9.

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

The borrowed line is from "To An Athlete Dying Young" by A. E. Housman (1896). Witty title, Alan!

Here is Ven's mashup of the prompts: an imitation of his model poet.

Sexercise

"For each ecstatic instant"
we pay a price in sweat.
Love as a competition —
foreplay turned into bets.

It’s not about who comes first
but who can finish first most times.
It’s not about comfort or words
Just instants of rising climbs.

So schedule in a session.
Close the blinds and block your calls.
Ignore that sense of doubt
you feel about being able to feel at all.

—Draft by Ven Batista    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Did you figure out who the source poet is? The borrowed line is the opening of an Emily Dickinson poem, Johnson no. 125. Bravo, Ven!

Thanks for reading! Come back for more poetry tomorrow. Five more days in National Poetry Month!   


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.   


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2 comments:

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I think I might like the prompts more if they included specific styles, like your ottava rima. Great posts!

Vince Gotera said...

Jennifer, sorry ... I just saw your comment. Thanks!

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