A Week Late and Seven Poems Short: Catching up with NaPoWriMo

I’ve been out of town for much of this week visiting my mother while she continued to donate her body, piece by piece, to science. She’s alive and well, thankfully, as all the pieces she’s handed over to the medical students have been, though missed, nonessential to her survival and, in any case, sprouting tumors. Once again, she came through surgery beautifully:  antiseptic, non-narcotized, non-metastatic, and determined to lay some Easter on her visiting grandson.

While I was there, I missed the first several days of National Poetry Writing Month, a poem-a-day project fueled by prompts collected by poet Maureen Thorson and the remarkable online community she forms for the thirty days of April.  Participating poets–over 800 this year–register their web sites with NaPoWriMo.net to hold themselves accountable to the commitment and share their daily poems. I may be getting started too late to register–I need to find that out–but since assignments work really well to get me writing new poems, I plan to set pen to paper this month and keep up as best I can with the larger project.

So here are the prompts I’ve missed so far:

  1. “Seize the day”
  2. Triolet (an eight-line rhymed poem with lines repeating in a specified sequence)
  3. “The #1 song on the day you were born”
  4. Epithalamion (a wedding poem)
  5. Blues-song poem
  6. “Opening Day”
  7. “Animal”

To catch up quickly, I incorporated almost all these words and prompts–and/or words from the prompts (except #3)– into my first poem:

Blues Song

The blues is a loneliness so far gone,
you’re near halfway to forgetting
your heart is an epithalamion.
The blues is a loneliness so far gone,
the cry of an animal seizes the song.
The day is a wedding, an opening,
but the blues is a loneliness so far gone,
your heart’s halfway to forgetting.

I chose the triolet form because I thought it would be a tidy container in which to organize all the material from the other prompts. Not only did it help me do that; it also turns out to mimic the repetitions of a blues song–not precisely, but interestingly. I enjoy how both the triolet and blues-song forms allow for variations on the repeated lines and hold the whole contraption together with rhymes.

Fun! I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s prompt. Maybe I can combine that one with “The #1 song on the day you were born” (which happens to be “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge) to come up with my next poem. I guess we’ll see.

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2 comments on “A Week Late and Seven Poems Short: Catching up with NaPoWriMo

  1. jik says:

    Was SO pleased to click on Participants’ Sites on NaPoWriMo and see yours, front and center on page 1. I look forward to daily doses from the intersection.

    • Thank you, Judy! Yes, they let me in, even though I was so late to the party. I had a small twinge of panic when I saw my site there–now I have to keep UP!

      I need to tell you: your daily wordages this past week are one of the reasons I decided to join in. I know I keep saying this, but they’re delightful–and inspiring. Brava!

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