Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Day 30 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2013

Day 30. One of the hallmarks of my "teenagehood" was the slogan of the youth movement of the '60s: "Don't trust anyone over 30." This turned out to be a severe irony of youth because all those people eventually turned 30 (who'll you trust then, Mac) and surely most of them are now double 30. Mick Jagger, for example, will be turning 70 soon. Who'd a-thunk it? He's still doing live performances with the Rolling Stones but now keeps a tank of oxygen just offstage so he can keep up his energetic on-stage persona.

In today's last NaPoWriMo prompt, Maureen Thorson suggests, "Find a shortish poem that you like, and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite. . . . Your first draft of this kind of opposite poem will likely need a little polishing" (NaPoWriMo). Robert Lee Brewer's final Poem-a-Day Challenge assignment is the usual "Two-for-Tuesday prompt . . . a finished poem [or] a never finished poem" (Poetic Asides).

I have assigned Maureen's prompt to my poetry students in the past, so I know it works, but I just wasn't in the proper mood for this prompt today. Similarly, Robert's prompt is interesting, and his sample attempt at a poem responding to the prompt cleverly includes both themes of unfinished and never-to-be finished. But his prompt didn't click for me either, so I struck out on my own today.

Epiphany While Laying Out

                                        for Kathy

I can't recall now if I was invited,
or if I just happened to come upon you
catching some rays out front on your new lawn
at the little apartment you'd recently rented
for the summer. Soon I was next to you,
both in swimsuits, while you stifled a yawn.

You were holding a torch for our classmate Red.
I was so dazzled by your plum bikini and the sun.
"I’m gonna take a shower," you said. I asked to
join you and you smiled yes. I knew then you wanted
                much more than a tan.

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

How do you like that? It's been at least 30 years, maybe more, since I've written one of these — a curtal sonnet á là Gerard Manley Hopkins (like his poem "Pied Beauty"). Though I imagine Father Gerard wouldn't much appreciate what I've done with the form he invented to praise the Lord. But love is love, right?

Okay, that's the end of National Poetry Month 2013. Hope you've enjoyed not just my 30 poems but also the others that have appeared all over the blogosphere. Congrats to all my fellow NaPoWriMo poets and Poem-a-Day Challengers. See you all here next April?

Won't you comment below, please? Look for a blue link below that says "Post a comment"; if you don't see that, look in the red line that says "Posted by" and click on the word "comments." Ingat, everyone.   ;-)

POEM-A-DAY 2013 • 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


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