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20 April 2014

20th DAY APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE

[NOTE: April is National Poetry Month. In 2012, I wrote an original poetry prompt for each day of the month, but I didn't write much actual poetry of my own. This year I am trying to do double duty—posting prompts + a new poem draft each day.]

For today's poetry prompt, the twentieth day of the Poem-a-Day-for-Poetry-Month, I offer my 2012 prompt, DAY 20: ODE. An "ode" is a lyric poem usually marked by exaltation of feeling and style, varying length of line, and complexity of stanza forms. Arthur O’Shaughnessy's “Ode” is from his 1874 collection, Music and Moonlight. In the original film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Wonka responds to Veruca Salt's whine, "Snozberries? Who ever heard of a snozberry?" with lines from this poem: "
We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams…" 
          When I first saw the film, I sensed that the lines were from another, richer source. I went looking and found the complete poem, which is the source of the expression "movers and shakers." An English folksinger used the first three stanzas as a lyric, and many others, including W.B. Yeats admired this ode. But read the entire nine stanzas by following the link above. It provides another layer of meaning to the film. 
          Read O'Shaughnessy's poem by clicking the link above. Can you beat this? Can you meet it? Can you creep into its light in the space of 30 minutes? Go ahead, give it a shot. Write an ode. Write a poem calling those you would choose to be the movers and shakers of your future or ours. Recall the past, the generations of which we are a link—the inevitable passing, the blink of an eye. Praise, persuade, present visual details. Notice what has passed and what comes, and what will happen next. We pass away, but Led Zeppelin said it: "The song remains the same."

NaPoWriMo2014 offers something different, to "write a poem in the voice of a member of your family. This can be a good way to try to distance yourself from your own experience, without reaching so far away from your own life that it’s hard to come up with specific, realistic details. But watch out! This type of exercise can also dredge up a lot of feelings. So if you think writing in the voice of your grandfather will be too heavy, maybe try the voice of your four-year-old niece. Four-year-old problems might be a little lighter in scope." This is, in fact, a persona poem!


In the mean time, the Academy of American Poets still has "30 Ways to Celebrate" National Poetry Month. Check out this wonderful list!

Powell's Book Store is now voting in round three of their annual Poetry Madness, this time a "cage match" of women poets. Round four was supposed to begin the other day, but you can still vote for round three.

If you decide to write one poem each day or just one for the month, please let me know how it goes.

Tomorrow I will report my own choice of prompt and I'll post the poem draft I wrote today.
__________________________
Passover and the spring equinox are past, but today is Easter and I used my own prompt to write about a beginning and inspired by my 4th period class, which asked me the other day" How did you meet your husband? It's not yet a poem, but my nineteenth:

How We Met 

The jeans and flowered shirt,
the long hands and mustache,
the guitar music sparked
my imagination like the paintings
hung over the stairs. Perhaps
you were too old for me
too good, I thought, better
than I deserved.

At the movies, I believed
you were with another girl.
We sat in the same row
in the dark for hours,
and we saw the smitten
die for love. I thought,
I envied her.

You sat on the grass, fingers
gathering a constellation
of strings. You said, “Juliet!”
and somehow I remembered
the name: “Romeo.” I sat
at your feet and listened
to your music and imagined
where it might lead.

At Seward Park, the music
loud enough to penetrate
souls. I sat on grass this time
making daisy chains. You
walked past all your friends
and sat beside me. You accepted
a chain about your head,

breakable and dear.

On the rock in the river
well past Mount Index,
you kissed me for the first
time and I thought, yes,

please, and that was that.

That's nineteen poem-like objects done, eleven to go...

Any fool can write a bad poem in 30 minutes. (Or an hour, or two…)
I am such a fool.

ABOVE: Carl Larsson's portrait of his wife, "Karin Reading", 1904 in Sweden.

19 April 2014

19th DAY APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE


[NOTE: April is National Poetry Month. In 2012, I wrote an original poetry prompt for each day of the month, but I didn't write much actual poetry of my own. This year I am trying to do double duty—posting prompts + a new poem draft each day.]

For today's poetry prompt, the nineteenth day of the Poem-a-Day-for-Poetry-Month, I offer my 2012 prompt, DAY 19: "Persona Poem" based on Ezra Pound's "The River Merchant's Wife." This is a persona poem, in which the author speaks as a young Chinese bride of the past.

          A persona, then, is an adopted identity—the poet writes as if he or she is someone else. Many people assume that poets write only about themselves, but this isn’t always the case. “The River Merchant’s Wife” is a famous example.
          Pound's poem is an English rewrite of an Italian translation of a Japanese translation of a famous Chinese poem. Depending on whom you talk to, it’s a mediocre translation of a great Chinese poem or a great poem inspired by a conventional, if also brilliant, Chinese original. Two Chinese-born Chinese-speaking American poets gave me these widely diverse opinions.
          Regardless of where it came from or how it came to be, this persona poem was written by a man from the point of view of a child bride who grows to love her husband. At the end she promises to come as far as it takes to find her now beloved husband.
          Write a poem in which you briefly describe defining moments in your relationship with another precious person. You might choose a parent or friend, as well as a lover. You might choose, as Pound does, to inhabit the character of someone other than yourself. In either case, these moments you describe should demonstrate an evolution in your relationship to that person. Address the treasured person directly, using “you.”



NaPoWriMo2014 offers something different. "This is a bit silly, but it’s Saturday. I recently got a large illustrated guide to sea shells. There are some pretty wild names for sea shells. Today I challenge you to take a look at the list of actual sea shell names [found on the website through the link], and to use one or more of them to write a poem. Your poem doesn’t have to be about sea shells at all—just inspired by one or more of the names."

The Found Poetry Review's new prompt, Oulipost #19: SESTINA. This goes the opposite direction. A sestina takes time. Even a raw and new one can sound better than it is. Persist and you will probably have a marvelous poem. "This will be one of your most challenging Oulipost prompts! A sestina is a poetic form of six six-line stanzas. The end-words of the lines of each stanza repeat those of the first, but in a differing order that in each successive stanza follows the permutation: 615243. The entire sequence of end words is thus: 123456; 615243; 364125; 532614; 451362; 246531. All words and phrases must be sourced from your newspaper text." My advice: starting ignoring the Oulipost rules almost immediately; the sestina doesn't need help to make it a challenge. Go look up what a real sestina is, because this definition doesn't go far enough. Here's a better one that explains the complete form, including the envoy missing from the above description and offers an example. I think I might be done with Oulipost after today.In the mean time, the Academy of American Poets still has "30 Ways to Celebrate" National Poetry Month. Check out this wonderful list!

Powell's Book Store is now voting in round three of their annual Poetry Madness, this time a "cage match" of women poets. Round four was supposed to begin yesterday, but you can still vote for round three.


If you decide to write one poem each day or just one for the month, please let me know how it goes.

Tomorrow I will report my own choice of prompt and I'll post the poem draft I wrote today.
__________________________
I thought I would not manage anything yesterday, but this stirred and stored in my head. It's not yet a poem, but a poem-like object, my eighteenth:

Finding the Line 

Duty calls:
The land with the gun,
the invader, the threat
abroad and the call
to defend myself,
my country.

The threat before me:
the man with the gun, 
pointed at my chest,
the head of my child,
my neighbor's child—
the moment I choose.

The land I loveand my way of life,
my home, my dearest
possession. The thief
in the night, the child
with the plastic gun,
the fool who will not
shut up in the bar—
the poor, grumbling 
and dissatisfied masses—
the ones who annoy me,
the babe who pulls 
hair from my head.

Somewhere there 
is a stopping, somewhere
a line in the sand, 
a moment I set aside 
my need to win
the argument. 


Eighteen poem drafts done, twelve to go...

Any fool can write a bad poem in 30 minutes. (Or an hour, or two…)
I am such a fool.


ABOVE: 中文: 中国唐朝诗人李白手书真迹《上阳台帖》,现藏于北京故宫博物院。
English: "Shàng yángtái tiě" (《上阳台帖》), Going Up to Sun Terrace (or On the Balcony) calligraphy scroll by the Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai, the only surviving example of Li Bai's own calligraphy, is now housed at the Palace Museum in Beijing, China

18 April 2014

18th DAY APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE


[NOTE: April is National Poetry Month. In 2012, I wrote an original poetry prompt for each day of the month, but I didn't write much actual poetry of my own. This year I am trying to do double duty—posting prompts + a new poem draft each day.]


For today's poetry prompt, the sixteenth day of the Poem-a-Day-for-Poetry-Month, I offer my 2012 prompt, DAY 19: "What we know about happiness" with Edna St. Vincent Millay, Charlie Brown and John Lennon: 'In June 1934, the poet Arthur Ficke asked Edna St. Vincent Millay to write down the five requisites for the happiness of the human race:
1. A job—something at which you must work for a few hours every day;
2. An assurance that you will have at least one meal a day for at least the next week;
3. An opportunity to visit all the countries of the world, to acquaint yourself with the customs and their culture;
4. Freedom in religion, or freedom from all religions, as you prefer;
5. An assurance that no door is closed to you—that you may climb as high as you can build your ladder."


"In 1962, Charles M Schulz published Happiness Is a Warm Puppy.

"In 1968 John Lennon wrote 'Happiness Is a Warm Gun,' (on The White Album) which was likely a direct satirical comeback.

"But sometimes what we know about happiness is serious. Though you risk sentimentality and cuteness, maybe it can be a poem. What does happiness look like? What does it sound like, taste like, smell like, feel like? Write a 100-word prose description of happiness as a three dimensional experience. Then create meaningful linebreaks. ”

NaPoWriMo2014 challenges us to "write a ruba’i. What’s that? Well, it’s a Persian form — multipe stanzas in the ruba’i form are a rubaiyat, as in The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. Basically, a ruba’i is a four-line stanza, with a rhyme scheme of AABA. Robert Frost’s famous poem Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening uses this rhyme scheme. You can write a poem composed of one ruba’i, or try your hand at more, for a rubaiyat." This is new to me.

The Found Poetry Review's new prompt, Oulipost #18: HOMOCONSONSANTISM. "Choose a sentence or short passage from your newspaper to complete a homoconsonantism. In this form, the sequence of consonants in a source text is kept, while all its vowels are replaced. For example:

"ORIGINAL: To be or not to be: that is the question.
"CONSONANTS ONLY: T b r n t t b t t s t h q s t n
"FINAL PRODUCT: As burnt tibia: it heats the aqueous tone." 


I'm not seeing it—where is that first T?—but oh well… they're making this up as they go and it looks like fun.
In the mean time, the Academy of American Poets has posted "30 Ways to Celebrate" National Poetry Month. Check out this wonderful list!

Powell's Book Store is now voting in round three of their annual Poetry Madness, this time a "cage match" of women poets. Round four begins tomorrow.

If you decide to write one poem each day or just one for the month, please let me know how it goes.

Tomorrow I will report my own choice of prompt and I'll post the poem draft I wrote today.
__________________________
For my poem draft, I have a little nonsense.

Here's my seventeenth poem draft, I began somewhere and then Janis Ian and regret came to sit in my lap. Maybe it will remain a teenager or grow up into a sonnet in about forty year:


Tomfoolery at Seventeen


Janis Ian and regret came to sit in my lap.
My nose that seemed so big when I was young
no longer bother. My eyes still squint when I laugh
but the lashes I was vain of have thinned to wisps
and my perfect brows are fading fast. My weight
has stabilized, my feet have spread, my body hair 
seems fried away in the air. My sense of style
has improved and so has what I know of pain.
I am the age my mother was when she began 
to fall. My memory stretches to decades past, 
before my students’ birth, before their parents'. 
I cannot help knowing more than I did at seventeen. 
When they pronounce foolishness, I can not always
resist pushing my nose forward into their affairs.


Seventeen poem drafts done, thirteen to go...

Any fool can write a bad poem in 30 minutes. (Or an hour, or two…)
I am such a fool.


17 April 2014

17th DAY APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE



[NOTE: April is National Poetry Month. In 2012, I wrote an original poetry prompt for each day of the month, but I didn't write much actual poetry of my own. This year I am trying to do double duty—posting prompts + a new poem draft each day.]


For today's poetry prompt, the sixteenth day of the Poem-a-Day-for-Poetry-Month, I offer my 2012 prompt, DAY 17: "Metaphysics" based on May Swenson's "Question." "Swenson’s poem asks one of the great philosophical questions: What will happen when my body dies? Human beings have always questioned life after death, virtue, sin, redemption, a life of purpose and meaning. In a comedy routine Bill Cosby contrasted his wife’s Philosophy major in college with his own. His wife wonders: 'Why is there air?' He responds, 'Every Phys Ed teacher knows that. There’s air to fill up basketballs and footballs.' Many of us wish it were that simple. Author John Rember advises that we go deep.
          "Questions about the meaning of life and death often turn into abstract discussions with nothing to cling to. Note how this poet uses extended concrete metaphors to discuss her question. Try following her model or follow Cosby’s lead and answer a serious question with a satiric or facetious metaphor.”


NaPoWriMo2014 challenges us to "write a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses. So, for example, your poem could carefully describe the smell of something, the taste of something, and the sound of something. It might be helpful to pick things you have actually encountered during your day: a cup of coffee at the office ('burnt, flat, and joylessly acrid'), or a hyacinth in the neighobr’s yard ('riotously curled petals shading violet-lavender-white, against the dark-green glossy-smooth leaves').


The Found Poetry Review's new prompt, Oulipost #17: HAIKUISATION. "The haiku is a Japanese poetic form whose most obvious feature is the division of its 17 syllables into lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Haikuisation has sometimes been used by Oulipians to indicate the reduction of verses of normal length to lines of haiku-like brevity. Select three sentences from a single newspaper article and 'haiku' them."

In the mean time, the Academy of American Poets has posted "30 Ways to Celebrate" National Poetry Month. Check out this wonderful list!

Powell's Book Store is now voting in round three of their annual Poetry Madness, this time a "cage match" of women poets. Round four begins tomorrow.

If you decide to write one poem each day or just one for the month, please let me know how it goes.

Tomorrow I will report my own choice of prompt and I'll post the poem draft I wrote today.

__________________________
For my poem draft, I still wanted to write something about ravens, but for yesterday I used a draft I began with my student on Friday at school.

Here's my sixteenth poem draft, I began messing with ten lines of lies as suggested by 
NaPoWriMo2014, and then I reminded myself that the point is to post a poem draft each day, not to follow directions about where to find them, and so I found this poem mussing on the dawn chorus—which is silent in today's downpour, by the way—instead:



Spring Chorus

After the long winter the tides come in
swift and soft, a shush like whispers push
sand into the shore. Mingled with the scraps
of kelp and shell, bits of turquoise
and white plastic are ground fine
as salt. My steps make no sound
at all, but the ocean is never silent.

Closer to hemlock and salal, the rough
border of land and sea, I hear
the returning robins salute the softer weather,
the fine morning mist, and bright afternoon
when sunlight has burned off the covering chill.

I still wake in darkness, silence
my alarm before it sounds. Starlings
and swallows, the singing sparrows
and finches will find my ear before the sun
is high. The dawn chorus plays already
in me. I am eager for spring’s whisper.


Sixteen poem drafts done, fifteen to go... 


Any fool can write a bad poem in 30 minutes. (Or an hour, or two…)
I am such a fool.


16 April 2014

16th DAY APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE


[NOTE: April is National Poetry Month. In 2012, I wrote an original poetry prompt for each day of the month, but I didn't write much actual poetry of my own. This year I am trying to do double duty—posting prompts + a new poem draft each day.]

For today's poetry prompt, the sixteenth day of the Poem-a-Day-for-Poetry-Month, I offer my 2012 prompt, DAY 16: "Perfect Day" b
ased on Linda Paston's "Three Perfect Days." "Describe a specific, hectic day and then wonder, as Paston does, about a calm and peaceful day—a vacation from complication. Also as she does, include specifics of setting, food, weather, conversation and companionship, or solitude and silence. Identify, as she does, the details of this vacation existence that must be present as well as the details which must be absent. Find a way to repeat a word—as Pastan does turbulence—that exists literally in one scene, but is absent metaphorically from the other.”


You might try The Found Poetry Review for their new prompt, Oulipost #16: CHIMERA"The chimera of Homeric legend—lion’s head, goat’s body, treacherous serpent’s tail—has a less forbidding Oulipian counterpart. It is engendered as follows. Having chosen a newspaper article or other text for treatment, remove its nouns, verbs and adjectives. Replace the nouns with those taken in order from a different work, the verbs with those from a second work, the adjectives with those from a third." And, then, I'd say… the real work begins.

NaPoWriMo2014 challenges us to "
write a ten-line poem in which each line is a lie. Your lies could be silly, complicated, tricky, or obvious." This exercise comes with a Calvin and Hobbes comic shown below, but I'm also posting another one about the invention of color, my all time favorite of Calvin’s dad.






You might also consider Twain's famous sorting of lies into "Lies, damned lies, and statistics." I think we could have a lot of fun with that. 


In the mean time, the Academy of American Poets has posted "30 Ways to Celebrate" National Poetry Month. Check out this wonderful list!

Powell's Book Store is now voting in round three of their annual Poetry Madness, this time a "cage match" of women poets. I am proud to say that I know the work of these poets and my favorites are mostly still in the running! (However, I have to say that the first round pitting Denise Levertov against Joy Harjo and Gwendolyn Brooks against Carolyn Forché in the first round seems unfair to me. Any of these four would be a finalist in my universe.) Mostly, I like how the second round went, but there is the problem of Sappho winning over Naomi Shihab Nye—really? I've been a fan of Sappho since I read everything that exists and wrote about her in high school. But Naomi Nye! I can't deny her.

If you decide to write one poem each day or just one for the month, please let me know how it goes.

Tomorrow I will report my own choice of prompt and I'll post the poem draft I wrote today.

__________________________
For my poem draft, I still wanted to write something about ravens, but for yesterday I used a draft I began with my student on Friday at school.

Here's my fifteenth poem draft, terza rima as suggested by 
NaPoWriMo2014:


The Small Invader

A chipmunk camped out inside my house.

The signs were everywhere I walked
but it took a week of searching to get it out.


Tiny dark droppings like twists of cloth,
and the cat sure didn’t help. We’d look around—
What’s that?—at the scratch and the white-socked


cat went right on purring. Eventually we found
where the stolen candy had been set
inside the piano. We waited beside a mound


of butterscotch drops and prepared to net
it, then rush outside and set it free.
I wonder what I would gather in the wet


under a forest’s furniture? What dainty
treat would I hide in the hollow space
of a fallen log? Who would come for me


and return me to my proper place?


Fifteen poem drafts done, fifteen to go... 


Any fool can write a bad poem in 30 minutes. (Or an hour, or two…)
I am such a fool.


15 April 2014

15th DAY APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE


[NOTE: April is National Poetry Month. In 2012, I wrote an original poetry prompt for each day of the month, but I didn't write much actual poetry of my own. This year I am trying to do double duty—posting prompts + a new poem draft each day.]

For today's poetry prompt, the fifteenth day of the Poem-a-Day-for-Poetry-Month, I offer my 2012 prompt, DAY 15: Ekphrasis. based on "Landscape with the Fall of Icarus" by William Carlos Williams. Click on the link and you will find the poem. Then follow my suggestions: "Ekphrasis is a very old concept, which is experiencing a revival just now: the use of one art form to understand, interpret, or explore another—a painting of a marble sculpture, a poem celebrating a Greek vessel, or a poem describing tapestries which themselves depict myth (arras in Spencer’s The Fairy Queen). 

          "Wikipedia includes this in their entry on ekphrasis: 'In this way, a painting may represent a sculpture, and vice versa; a poem portray a picture; a sculpture depict a heroine of a novel; in fact, given the right circumstances, any art may describe any other art, especially if a rhetorical element, standing for the sentiments of the artist when she/he created her/his work, is present. For instance, the distorted faces in a crowd in a painting depicting an original work of art, a sullen countenance on the face of a sculpture representing a historical figure, or a film showing particularly dark aspects of neo-Gothic architecture, are all examples of ekphrasis.' ”

You might try The Found Poetry Review for their new prompt, Oulipost #15: 
PRISONER'S CONSTRAINT. "Imagine a prisoner whose supply of paper is restricted. To put it to fullest use, he will maximize his space by avoiding any letter extending above or below the line (b, d, f, g, h, j, k, l, p, q, t and y) and use only a, c, e, m, n, o, r, s, u, v, w, x and z. Compose a poem using only words that can be made from these letters AND which you source from your newspaper text." That's just to make it harder—and the hardness sometimes… does its job of providing a distraction from the actual challenge of writing a poem. 

For day 15, Writer's Digest's PAD (Poem a Day) prompt wasn't up when I checked before 6am. I'll tried later and still nothing. Perhaps there was an unhappy response to his "If I were any more good looking" poem? He seemed to be having fun, so I don't know.

NaPoWriMo2014 challenges us to "write a poem in terza rima. This form was invented by Dante, and used in The Divine Comedy. It consists of three-line stanzas, with a 'chained' rhyme scheme. The first stanza is ABA, the second is BCB, the third is CDC, and so on. No particular meter is necessary, but English poets have tended to default to iambic pentameter (iambic pentameter is like the Microsoft Windows of English poetry). One common way of ending a terza rima poem is with a single line standing on its own, rhyming with the middle line of the preceding three-line stanza." Again: The first and third lines rhyme and then the middle line is rhymed in the following three-line stanza's first and third line. 


The Academy of American Poets has posted "30 Ways to Celebrate" National Poetry Month. Have a look at this wonderful list!

In the mean time, Powell's Book Store is on round three of their annual Poetry Madness, this time a "cage match" of women poets. I am proud to say that I know the work of these poets and my favorites are mostly still in the running! (However, I have to say that pitting Denise Levertov against Joy Harjo and Gwendolyn Brooks against Carolyn Forché in the first round seems unfair to me. Any of these four would be a finalist in my universe.)

If you decide to write one poem each day or just one for the month, please let me know how it goes.

Tomorrow I will report my own choice of prompt and I'll post the poem draft I wrote today.

__________________________
For my poem draft, I still wanted to write something about ravens, but for yesterday I used a draft I began with my student on Friday at school.

Here's my fourteenth poem draft, which you might notice is a love poem to my husband with no connection to the prompts posted yesterday:

In the Night When I Listen

In the night I listen to the ocean, the steady
shush and roar of waves. The winter high tide
tumbles rocks, one over another, a clattering,
unending conversation I cannot follow.

In the night I listen for the breaking wave,
close in. The cat purring softly by my knee,
the dog twitching in her rest. My husband
never snores in the middle of the night

when I listen for his breath, quicker than my own.
I consider what I will do when he is gone, how
he will manage without me. We have our little habits
divided between us—I cook, he cleans, my turn

for worry, and then the next day he has his turn,
mine to hold his head—There, there. When someone
needs me to be strong, there ends the litany of regrets
and pointless worry, in the night when I listen.

Any fool can write a bad poem in 30 minutes. (Or an hour, or two…)
I am such a fool.

14 April 2014

14th DAY APRIL POETRY CHALLENGE


[NOTE: April is National Poetry Month. In 2012, I wrote a poetry prompt for each day of the month, but I didn't write much of my own. This year I am trying to do double duty—posting prompts + a new poem draft each day.]


For today's poetry prompt, the fourteenth day of the Poem-a-Day-for-Poetry-Month, I offer my 2012 prompt, DAY 14: The View based on "The View from Here" by W. S. Di Piero. Click on the link and you will find the poem. Then follow my suggestion: "In The Oregonion, David Biespel explains the “cinematic, single-sentence poem ‘The View From Here' strictly authenticates the burden of living in our interconnected society, through the subject of a family sleeping in a car.”
          "In structure this poem is told in first person plural, uses present tense, contains one sentence, uses long and dense lines and lists, contains no rhymes, is narrative in structure though nothing happens; in content it concerns a social issue, a homeless family and details a family at sleep in a car; in concept or idea it presents one example of a much larger picture, and contrasts at the end the perception the observer has of these people with what they know of our view; it tells us a great deal about the subject without identifying who they are or where or when they exist in the world. The family is clearly 'loving' and 'homeless' but neither of those words appear in the poem.
          "PROMPT: Try a narrative poem in 1st person plural. Speak as a group in a long single sentence. Explore a social issue by detailing the lives of the people struggling within it, a story viewed from the outside or inside, where nothing happens; only the reader dreams."


You might try The Found Poetry Review for their new prompt, Oulipost #14: COLUMN INCHES"Refer to the advertising section or the classifieds in your source newspaper. Create a poem by replacing all of the nouns in your chosen ad segment or classified listing with nouns from one article in the same newspaper. You may use multiple ads/classifieds, presented in the order of your choosing."

For day 14, Writer's Digest's PAD (Poem a Day) suggests we 
"take the phrase “If I Were (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles might include: 'If I Were President,' 'If I Were Smarter,' 'If I Were a Little More Sensitive,' or 'If I Were Born on April 14.' ”

NaPoWriMo2014's 14th prompt is 
“Twenty Questions.” You "write a poem in which every sentence, except for the last one, is in the form of a question. That’s it! It can be as long or short as you like. The questions can be deep and philosophical (‘what is the meaning of life?’) or routine and practical (‘are you going to eat that?’). Or both!"

The Academy of American Poets has posted "30 Ways to Celebrate" National Poetry Month. Have a look at this wonderful list!

In the mean time, Powell's Book Store is on round two of their annual Poetry Madness, this time a "cage match" of women poets. I am proud to say that I know the work of these poets and my favorites are mostly still in the running! (However, I have to say that pitting Denise Levertov against Joy Harjo and Gwendolyn Brooks against Carolyn Forché in the first round seems unfair to me. Any of these four would be a finalist in my universe.)

If you decide to write one poem each day or just one for the month, please let me know how it goes.

Tomorrow I will report my own choice of prompt and I'll post the poem draft I wrote today.

__________________________
For my poem draft, I still wanted to write something about ravens, but for yesterday I used a draft I began with my student on Friday at school.

Here's my thirteenth poem draft from yesterday, which has longer lines than easily fit my space here:



Folding Sheets

We peel our flannel sheets from off the bed
once the weather warms. I make a load of purple
cloth, and shake them when they’re clean.
And if spring rain is heavy, I tumble them till dry,
then pull them from the dryer and we fold them, eye to eye.
I match opposite to opposite, each corner matched and folded.
My husband stands across from me and meets me in the middle.
I take four corners in my hands and fold and fold twice more.
I lay aside the fat warm sheet, and do the rest alone.
The bottom sheet is gathered all around the edge. I match
up all four corners to fold the sides in next. Then like the top,
I fold and fold, and fold until it fits, and place this sheet
upon the first and turn to pillow cases. One I fold and fold
just twice, and crown my folded packet and then the last
can envelope the folded set. I flip the open edge across
the tidy folded bundle. In moments this small housekeepers
chose is done and stored for the next season. For now
Tonight I sleep on poplin near summer’s open windows.

Any fool can write a bad poem in 30 minutes. (Or an hour, or two…)
I am such a fool.


ABOVE: "Catbox" by Patti Warashina. I studied with Patti at the University of Washington. Imagine writing a poem with this sort of energy!

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