NaPoWriMo Prompt 30

By on Apr 30, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

At long last, it is Day 30, the final day of the NaPoWriMo challenge. We began the month by writing an “ars poetica,” a poem about our philosophy of poetry, a type of poem which often begins poetry collections. Now let’s end with the sort of poem that might end a poetry collection. Today, write either an epilogue or a poetic biography. An epilogue is defined as “a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened.” For a great example, look at Robert Lowell’s “Epilogue,” which...

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NaPoWriMo Prompt 29

By on Apr 29, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

On Day 29, our NaPoWriMo prompt is: “Z” is for “Zenith.” Referring once more to Lewis Turco’s The New Book of Forms: A Handbook of Poetics (University Press of New England, 1986), the term “zenith” also means high point or climax. In his discussion of constructional schemas (or “the ways in which words, phrases, clauses, and larger units are grammatically balanced”), he defines auxesis, which is “the building up, in parallel structures, of a catalog or series that ultimately closes at the zenith (high point) of the set (the...

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NaPoWriMo Prompt 28

By on Apr 28, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

Ready for a challenge? Don’t worry: This form is fun. Today, “Y” is for “Yadu.” The Yadu is a Burmese poetry form. Here is the definition from Wikipedia: [The Yadu] consists of up to three stanzas of five lines. The first four lines of a stanza have four syllables each, but the fifth line can have 5, 7, 9, or 11 syllables. A yadu should contain a reference to a season. The form uses climbing rhyme. The rhyme is required on the fourth, third, and second syllables of both the first three lines and the last three...

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NaPoWriMo Prompt 27

By on Apr 27, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

On day 27 of the NaPoWriMo challenge, “X” is for… well, “X.” Today, take inspiration from the various meanings and uses of the letter “X.” According to Wikipedia: As a result of its use in algebra, X is often used to represent unknowns in other circumstances (e.g. Person X, Place X, etc.) X has been used as a namesake for a generation of humans: Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X. It is the generation born after the baby boom ended, ranging from 1961 to 1981. An X-shaped mark has traditionally been used by the illiterate in lieu of a...

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NaPoWriMo Prompt 26

By on Apr 26, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

As we near the end of the NaPoWriMo challenge, we are also nearly done with the alphabet. Today, “W” is for “Word.” Write a poem built around a specific word, or words. For this poem, you could select a random word from a dictionary and then write a poetic definition of that word, focusing on associations, images, and other intuitive forms of interpretation. Another method would be that, instead of coming up with your own definition, you begin with the dictionary definition of a word and highlight specific phrases or words that can springboard you into your own poem....

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NaPoWriMo Prompt 25

By on Apr 25, 2015 in Blog | Comments Off

We are nearing the end of the NaPoWriMo challenge. How are you doing? Today, “V” is for “Viewpoint.” The nature of a poem can change dramatically based on who narrates it. Sometimes the best way to elevate a poem is by changing the point of view. For example, while I was in grad school, I watched a woman with her guide dog on campus, marveling at how well they communicated non-verbally. When I attempted to write a poem from the woman’s point of view, I felt it was flat and uninteresting, but by inhabiting the dog’s point-of-view, I brought the poem to...

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