Thursday, April 1, 2010

NaPoWriMo Prompts 2010 (not used)

4/6 Pictures Rhiannon’s prompt gives you something else on which to focus these conversations: pictures. Many people collect favourite images, whether as memories or posters, sketches or computer files. Pick one such collection of yours – a stamp collection, a postcard book, a file of photos – and rifle through it until something catches your eye. (If you don’t have such a collection, try putting a word – any word – into Google image search or flick through the website of an art gallery.)Once you have an image, begin to interrogate it for poems. Ask: Who or what in this picture could speak? What would they say? Why is this image meaningful to me? When I look at it, what am I remembering? How does this image make me feel? Which of my moods is easiest to find in it? Where would I want to display picture? Who do I want to see it?Collect the answers to your questions as a hoard of words or phrases. Scatter them across a blank sheet of paper, then check for patterns. What rhymes? Where is there alliteration? Is any rhythm apparent? Patterns might suggest a form for the poem.If there aren’t enough patterns, you have two choices: either write your poem as free verse or go back to the images and generate more words. Have fun

napowrimo #7: love, funny side upApril 7th, 2010by the Read Write Poem StaffToday, Alan Summers wants us to write poems about “humor in love,” and he has a specific form in mind!Write and capture humorous incidents related to love in a 5-line love poem called a tanka. (You may even decide to create your own tanka journal for love poems!) Here’s how to write one:Describe in concrete terms one or two simple images (two or three lines) from your humorous love encounter, not just what you saw but also what you tasted, touched, smelled or heard.What were you were thinking at the time this love encounter happened? Write that down, too, as two or three lines, so you have five lines in total for the poem.Think about making the third line of your poem into a pivot line, so that it links to both the previous two lines and to the final two lines.Test the tanka by dividing it into two parts so the third line acts both as the last line of the first part and as the first line of the second part. Does each section make sense separately, and then together?Think about reducing — and even avoiding — capitalization and punctuation because a tanka needn’t be like a sentence or merely a flat statement.

4/8 NaPoWriMo 8 Unusual Love ConnectionsToday, think of your current love, your current obsession or the one who got away. Now come up with five or more unusual metaphors for the object of your affection/obsession: wool scarf, cough drop, puddle, half-empty bottle of red wine… Choose your favorite of the bunch and write a poem celebrating (or trashing) your love.

NaPoWriMo #9 Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to:
Use at least twelve words from this list: flap, winter, torch, pail, jug, strum, lever, massage, octopus, marionette, stow, pumice, rug, jam, limp, campfire, startle, wattle, bruise, chimney, tome, talon, fringe, walker;
Include something that tastes terrible;
Include some part (from a few words to several lines) of a previous poem that didn’t quite pan out; and
Include a sound that makes you happy.

4/10 write a horror poem. Make it scary. Make it cheesy. Make it funny. Whatever you do, link it somehow to horror. Who knows? Maybe someone will write the next great raven poem.

Here's my attempt:

"The People Outside"

We wait outside your windows for a chance
to peek inside, to see what you do when
the lights go out without warning. We don't
understand, so we scratch at your walls and
shake your door handles. If we could, we would
reach out for you and try to pull you close.

4/11 take the phrase "The Last (blank)," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make that the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Some examples: "The Last Train," "The Last Kiss," "The Last Time I'll Give Directions to a Complete Stranger," "The Last Dance," etc.

Here is my attempt:

"The Last Thing I Said"

Let me begin by explaining:
I am not an astronaut; my
body is not a capsule. When
I was fired into outer space,
I had no idea I'd return.

4/11 write about the choice we didn’t make:

Everyday we make choices. Some are small: English breakfast or Lipton? the highway or back roads? Some are more significant: convertible or mini-van? farmhouse or condo?

Some choices lead us straight into the life we’re living, but for this poem, think about one of the things in your life you didn’t choose.

Be concrete. Pick an object — something tangible* — and write your poem directly to it, as if you were writing it a personal letter. Explain why you didn’t choose it. What could things have been like if you had? Talk about what your life has become without it. See where the “confession” takes you.

*As an alternative, dig a little deeper and write your poem to a person you left behind

4/12 pick a city, make that the title of your poem, and write a poem. Your poem can praise or belittle the city. Your poem could be about the city or about the people of the city. Your poem could even have seemingly nothing to do with the city. But the simple act of picking a city will set the mood (to a certain degree), so choose wisely.

Here's my attempt:


Oaks hover over us as we walk
toward River Street. We stop to read
a sign. A man holding a trumpet
asks Will if he can take his stroller,
but Will just points at a bird hopping
along the brick sidewalk. Tammy laughs,
and I lean in to kiss her. We don't
have any plans today, so we turn
away from River Street to see if
we can get lost and find our way back.

4/12 Found poem: 6-word autobiography:

For sale: Baby shoes. Never used.

To see more six-word autobiography poems:

write a self-portrait poem. Other artists study themselves to create compositions (not all of them exactly flattering either), so it is only natural that poets, who are word artists, write self-portrait poems from time to time. In fact, some poets make self-portrait poetry "their main thing." For at least today, make it yours.
Here's my attempt:


Look at me and cry wolf; say hands
and shoulders; say legs; my eyes burn
bright through walls and clothing; I turn
mistakes into miracles and

push harder when pushed; look at these
arms; they absorb the fine knuckles
of this world; my back won't buckle;
my heart reaches for the trapeze.

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