NaPoWriMo day 3: Point of view

Let’s build on what we wrote yesterday, with a persona poem.

Write a poem telling yesterday’s fairy tale from the point of view of a casual observer or bit player (one of the mice, Mama bear or Papa bear, the man who sold the first pig straw, etc).

Or make up your own character–a lady in waiting or a crow in a pine.

What’s their point of view, what details do they see, what’s their agenda?

How does the story change? (They might know only one part of it.)

I’m still trying to decide who my teller will be, but here’s an example of a poem written by someone with a different perspective:

 
The Housekeeper of Hades Picks a Bone

What a fuss they made
over those few seeds–
not one of them thinking
about the wine-bright juice,
how it marked my scrubbed pine.
 
I rubbed with water and sand,
roughing the grain
beneath the map
of her appetite.
She became a queen,
cool and useless.
 
Now I milk the sheep,
make a sharp cheese,
launder the clothes,
gather apples,
count grains of rice
like a chest of pearls,
clean the fish,
kill the lamb
 
for the king’s roast,
the marrow she’ll suck.

Reprinted from Weathered Steps.

*** Poem fom day 3 (up about a day–and then “poof”, it will be gone) ***

poof

(This poem looked at the story of the six swans from the experience of the last brother, the one who ended up with one arm and one wing.)

NaPoWriMo prompt for day 2: Tell me a story

Yesterday’s stories started with a broken coffee maker (no power!). Yes, we did figure out a way to get some joe, and the day went more smoothly–until the party that we went to a day late. But that’s the thing with stories–they rely on what goes wrong. What goes right isn’t a good story, it’s a good life. What goes awry and ends well is both.

For day two, let’s look at stories. Start with a fairy tale (Cinderella, Goldilocks, The Three Little Pigs, pick your favorite) and write a poem giving it three new endings.

Three new endings in one poem? How does that work?

It’s one way to tell break a story–take a story–out of its narrative. It’s also a way to rebel against the happily-ever-after status quo OR to dream an ending that’s even more happily–right now. With three, you have choices.

*** Poem fom day 2 (up about a day–and then “poof”, it will be gone) ***

poof

(This poem started with the fairy tale The Six Swans.)

Welcome to Poetry Month: Prompt for day 1

It’s time for NaPoWriMo, so let’s get to it!

Here’s a warm-up for the month. Start with a word–any word, and keep going. Write a list of words or images. Time yourself for about 3 minutes and write everything down.

Look at your list. Does anything repeat? Circle it. Write a draft using that word or image as many times as possible (you can always edit some of them out).

No repeats? Pick your favorite, and write a draft using it as many times as possible.

True confession: I like doing this warm-up whenever I’m feeling stuck. Sometimes, the words will become images and suddenly I have my first line and I’m writing a poem. And if nothing else, I end up with pages that have words on them, and that feels good.

*** Poem fom day 1 (up about a day–and then “poof”, it will be gone) ***

poof

(This poem began with gingham curtains in a black and white movie–what color would they be? Then it couldn’t decide whether it was happy or cynical.)

Prompts for poetry month

April and National Poetry Month are just around the corner. This year, I thought I’d write up a list of prompts. You can also find prompts from Robert Lee Brewer, as well as his daily platform challenge (I’m going to try to do that).

Why write my own prompts? I want prompts that are flexible enough to fit any project I’m working on, any path I’m following. I hope these fit that bill–and I hope that they encourage a little more stretching, out of my comfort zone.

The plan? I’ll post each prompt again on its day. Later, I’ll post my poem (my draft of a poem) for one day. The next day, “poof” (as Jeannine says) and it’s gone.

Here’s 30 days of April poetry prompts:

  1. Write a list of words or images. Time yourself for 3 minutes and write everything down. Look at your list. Does anything repeat? Circle it. Write a draft using that word or image as many times as possible (you can always edit some of them out). No repeats? Pick your favorite.
  2. Start with a fairy tale (Cinderella, Goldilocks, The Three Little Pigs, etc.) and write a poem giving it three new endings.
  3. Write a poem telling yesterday’s fairy tale from the point of view of a casual observer or bit player (one of the mice, Mama bear or Papa bear, the man who sold the first pig straw, etc).
  4. Write a poem exploring that same story from the point of view of an object (the broom, the chair that breaks, the kettle).
  5. Write a list of words that rhyme (or have the same main sound) and write a poem using as many of them as possible.
  6. Pick a body part and write a poem about that body part.
  7. Write a poem in the voice of a guidebook.
  8. Remember that fairy tale? Write a poem that tells the sequel.
  9. Write a poem that starts in your favorite room.
  10. Write a poem about your favorite place (an island, a restaurant, a chair, etc.).
  11. Write a poem about a place you’ve always wanted to go but haven’t—yet.
  12. Write about what you ate for breakfast—or what you  hope you’ll eat.
  13. Write a love poem to your favorite color.
  14. Write a new story for a constellation or a single star.
  15. It’s tax day. Write a poem in the voice of tax instructions.
  16. Read three poems by someone else. Pick a line that you like and use it for your first line. When you’re done, take off that borrowed line.
  17. Take the first lines from three poems (you can use the same ones as yesterday) and use all three lines in your poem (again, take them out when you’re done).
  18. Pick your favorite tool (from the kitchen, the garden, the woodshop, the desk, wherever) and write a poem centered on it.
  19. Write a poem for your birthday.
  20. What’s hidden down deep (for example, 20,000 leagues under the sea)? Write about what’s buried, or a secret world.
  21. What chore or errand do you least like to do? Write a poem about that.
  22. Write an ekphrastic poem about one of these three pictures by Marc Chagall, Anita Malfatti (click the thumbnail to see the picture larger), Mark Tobey.
  23. Choose a story from today’s news and write a poem about it.
  24. Write a poem about something you lost.
  25. Look around: Pick three things you can see and write a poem that includes them.
  26. Write a poem about time, but don’t use the word “time” or any other abstractions.
  27. Write a poem about your favorite teacher or something your favorite teacher taught you.
  28. Pick a nursery rhyme or a moral. Use it, or part of it, as an epigraph for your poem.
  29. What’s the weather today? Write about that.
  30. Write a poem about what you want to be when you grow up—or what you thought you’d want to be when you were still a kid.

Onward to April!