Here's a little meme to post in your social media sites to celebrate. You can see this image larger by clicking on it, but unfortunately you won't be able to share from there. However, you can find a share-able version in my facebook from three years ago.
Robert Lee Brewer’s PAD prompt: "For today’s prompt, write a dead end poem. Of course, I was thinking in terms of the challenge, but a dead end can literally mean the end of a person’s life, a dead end road, a dead end job, dead end mortgage, and so on. Take the phrase 'dead end' and apply it to a noun, and the possibilities are nearly endless (except, well, there’s the whole 'dead end' finality to it, I suppose)."
Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt: "Because we’ve spent our month looking at poets in English translation, today I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language. If you don’t know a foreign language, or are up for a different kind of challenge, you could try a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem (or other text) in a language you don’t know, and then 'translate' it based on the look or sound of the words." This "translation" poem form is also called a translitic.
Thank you VERY much to Maureen Thorson and to Robert Lee Brewer for a great NaPoWriMo and Poem-a-Day once again!
Here is Jed's "translation" poem. See if you can figure out what he's doing rhyme- and meter-wise.
Lost In . . .
Here's what Jed wrote me about the poem: "So it's more metaphorically about translation than a literal attempt at translating something. My ASL isn't really fluent enough for me to do a good interpretation of ASL poetry
Did you get all that? The poem's in pentameter, first of all. And Jed's using normative rhyme: each set of three lines rhymes with the next set of three lines
. . . and so on, all the way down the poem, to the drop-line at the end, where the last word out rhymes with but three lines before. A jaunty, loose slant rhyme. Fun indeed. Bravo, Jed!
Sarah's contribution today ia a haiku that hearkens to today's NaPoWriMo prompt.
Above Jed mentioned wanting to interpret a poem in ASL (American sign language) and here is Sarah writing about ASL. Brava, Sarah!
Here's the story of my poetic adventure today. Along with her prompt above, Thorson provided links to a couple of poems one could use for a homophonic translation or translitic. One of these poems was "Den halvfärdiga himlen" by the Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer; I tried for quite a while to write a translitic from this text but it just wasn't happenin'. I also attempted to find other texts to work with but to no avail. I've successfully pulled off translitics in other Aprils, but not this time.
So I turned instead to erasure. Wave Books has a website, Erasures, that offers up brief texts one can partially erase, leaving visible a found poem. The text I chose was "The Authoritative Life of General William Booth" by
And here is my found text, after partial erasure.
Then I finished the poem with my own "dead-end" conclusion. So, unlike Jed and Sarah, I have followed Brewer's prompt.
Between and among the three of us, Jed, Sarah, and I covered the two "official" prompts.
"Going rogue for the last day because the prompts are meh," Ven says, "and I feel this poem should live on somewhere. I've fiddled with it somewhat to make it have a story sort of." What Ven is talking about needs a bit of backstory.
Thursday being the last day of class for my Poetry Workshop class, we sat in a circle and played Exquisite Corpse. In this version of the old surrealist game, everyone writes down a line of verse on a piece of paper and passes it to the left. Then each person writes another line of verse based on the first line already on the paper. You fold the paper back so only one line (yours) is showing and pass again. Then everyone writes another line responding to the one line showing, and so on, until you get your own sheet back, after it's gone completely around the circle. You then write a closing line to finish off the poem. Afterward, everyone takes turns reading the poems out loud. It's an incredibly fun game, which can sometimes be raucous and even inappropriate.
Ven's contribution for today, then, is not his alone. It's the Exquisite Corpse poem Ven ended up with. The title as well as the opening and closing lines are his, but the rest were written by members of the class. I should warn you the poem will be NSFW for some, and others may be offended by the last line, but I'm not going to censor.
Alan also went rogue today. He pointed out to me that he worked with the prompts almost every day in the month but he happens at the moment to be on the road. Now that is devotion. Alan wrote and posted this poem while away visiting family! Thanks so much, Alan.
Such a self-aware confessional poem about family and the fears of potential parental inheritances. Thank you, Alan.
Alan, Jed, Sarah, and Ven
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Ingat, everyone. ヅ
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