NaPoWriMo Prompt 24

By on Apr 24, 2015 in Blog

Colorful bird looking inquisitive

“Any Questions?” by Matthias Ripp (

We are nearing the end of the NaPoWriMo challenge, and in case you’re still behind, today’s prompt might give you a break. “U” is for “Utterance.” According to Lewis Turco in The New Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics (University Press of New England, 1986), an utterance is a spontaneous word or phrase. He describes the Japanese form the mondo, which consists of a question and its spontaneous, intuitive answer. As an example, he provides the short poem:

  Why does the brook run?
The banks of the stream are green.

Further, he describes the katauta form, which consists of three lines with 5-7-7 syllables, unrhymed. Again, this poem consists of a question and the intuitive (not logical) answer:

  Why does the stream run?
The banks of the brook bloom
with roe and cup-moss, with rue.

Today, ask and answer a question in a poem, either using the katauta form or perhaps writing a longer poem.

Feel free to share your poem (or a link to your poem) in the comments.

The NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) challenge is to write 30 poems in 30 days during the month of April. To find out more, visit the official site,


Alyce Wilson is the editor of Wild Violet and in her copious spare time writes humor, non-fiction, fiction and poetry and infrequently keeps an online journal. Her first chapbook, Picturebook of the Martyrs; her e-book/pamphlet, Stay Out of the Bin! An Editor's Tips on Getting Published in Lit Mags ; her book of essays and columns, The Art of Life; her humorous nonfiction ebook, Dedicated Idiocy: How Monty Python Fandom Changed My Life, and her newest poetry collection, Owning the Ghosts, can all be ordered from her Web site, In late 2019, she published a volume of poetry by her third great-grandfather, Reading's Physician Poet: Poems by Dr. James Meredith Mathews, which also contains genealogical information about the Mathews family. She lives with her husband and son in the Philadelphia area and takes far too many photos of her handsome, creative son, nicknamed Kung Fu Panda.