NaPoWriMo 2016: day two


Day two!

My (first) poem for today came to me in the middle of the night.
It was a gift poem, lines that welled up in response to something I had been thinking about yesterday.

Some time this month, you may get what I refer to as a gift poem (lines that just won't stop repeating themselves in your head). WRITE THEM DOWN. Even if it isn't the poem you're "supposed" to write, even if it isn't the poem you want to write.

Practice writing down the lines as they come.

(Unless you're driving. Stop driving first, then write or dictate the poem out.)

Before you get into the swing of writing daily poems, gift poems might not happen, and that's ok, too. That's what
prompts are for, during NaPoWriMo - for those times when a poem isn't pressing itself into your skull. Sometimes when you're staring at the blank page, you need a prompt. You can find many other prompts with a simple Google search., if this one doesn't spark your words. Sometimes I've even asked friends to give me five words, and made myself craft a poem around them.

Neither type of poem - a gift or a prompted poem - is better or worse. There have been amazing poems that took forever to write, and poems that were written in two minutes. How the poem gets written doesn't matter, what matters is the poem!

Yesterday, I talked about being in the moment. Today, let's go back in time with our prompt. (While remembering that a poem is always written in the moment, so it is always connected, somehow, to the moment, even if it isn't in the poem itself.)

Memory poems tend to be longer (and narrative), so I'll link you to a few instead of writing them out here:

I Go Back to May 1937 by Sharon Olds.
The Aunts by Joyce Sutphen
Fern Hill by Dylan Thomas
Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

One thing these poems have in common is that they are childhood memories. In Sharon Old's poem, she's interwoven a memory of before she was born with memories of childhood and the now: it is one of my favorite poems, ever. In The Aunts, Joyce Sutphen only really brings up the memory at the very end, but the whole poem has the feel of a memory, a reflection of her aunts. Fern Hill, by Dylan Thomas, is lush and musical. Robert Hayden's is sparse and economical, almost - both styles suit the poem perfectly.

So, today's prompt is: write a poem about a memory you have (or a made up memory). Include all your senses (even if you have to make them up). What do you see/taste/touch/hear/feel? How does that relate to the memory? Use a style that fits the memory, if you can.

And now it is your turn to write!

Happy Poeming!