Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Day Six ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2021


Maureen Thorson’s NaPoWriMo prompt today comes from an article by Holly Lyn Walrath: “Go to a book you love. Find a short line that strikes you. Make that line the title of your poem. Write a poem inspired by the line. Then, after you’ve finished, change the title completely.”

Since today is Tuesday, Robert Lee Brewer’s
Poem-a-Day suggestion is his customary 
Two-for-Tuesday prompt:

              1. write a change poem and/or . . .
              2. write a don’t change poem.
             


I worked from both prompts today. With the NaPoWriMo prompt, I followed Holly Lyn Walrath’s directions only partially: I excerpted a title from Franny Choi’s book Soft Science, but then didn’t change the title after writing the poem. Incidentally, this collection of poems is a marvelous tour-de-force and I recommend it highly. I have taught Choi’s Safe Science in literature courses several times.

stop me if you’ve heard / this one / once / upon a
nation everyone got what they  /  were asking for

— from Soft Science by Franny Choi
change  /  no  change
trial of derek chauvin
what’s gonna change
george floyd / is dead
no  change  /  change
chauvin / no chauvin
convict and/or acquit
no one getting / what
they / were asking for

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

I am a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, and I have been watching the Chauvin murder trial with rapt interest. There certainly seems to be a strong possibility this will be a landmark case that could affect our justice system and help make it more fair. But then there is also the long history of injustice. I guess we just have to wait and see.


Here is Alan’s poem today, working with both prompts as well.

New Artificer

Some years ago, before the internet,
I knew a poet jealous of a friend
who seemed, so young, as if the world
would celebrate his work in a short time,
and so the jealous poet mailed some doggerel
to influential editors and signed
the gifted poet’s name. Receiving curt
rejections of some work he’d never sent,
the gifted poet studied the bad verse
and figured out who smeared his name
but never said a word; instead, he wrote
a chapbook anyone would envy, then
submitted it signed with the jealous poet’s name.
The jealous poet, now exalted, never matched
the power of the chapbook, and his pride
would not permit him to confess the truth
he could not prove. We went to his debut
and saw him realize the trap he set
was just a model for the trap he tripped.

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

The quote from Alan’s “loved book” was, “Old father, old artificer, stand me now and ever in good stead,” from James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Bravo, Alan.


Friends, won’t you comment, please? Love to know what you’re thinking. Thanks!

Ingat, everyone.   


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3 comments:

Bruce Niedt said...

I didn't quite follow the prompt, either, as you'll see on my blog - I took the closing lines from a Richard Wright poem, and while I changed the title, I did keep the line as an epigraph. Yours is terse and to the point, as it should be. Does it follow the form of Choi's poetry, with the slashes and all? Alan's poem was very good too.

Thomas Alan Holmes said...

I wish to make it clear that I completely made up that scenario--I was among a lot of young writers back then, and they were competitive, but they were also supportive/competitive, and I rarely heard one comment that another did not deserve whatever praise the other's work earned.

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