NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 30

Farewell

Au revoir
to see again
en avril prochain
next April
mais en attendant
but until then
excusez-moi
pardon me
parlez-vous allemand
do you speak German
bien sur
of course
hausaufgaben (homework)
house of goblin
geschenk (present)
get shanked
I’m out of here

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far… okay 25 years ago in Hamburg, NY I took 5 years of high school French. Did it pay off? No clue I have only used it to confusalate my children. It actually helped Rachael in middle school once when they got a new student who spoke French. The teacher asked if anyone knew French in Arizona? Well Rachael rose her hand, my mom speaks a little French. It was enough to get Rachael assigned as the new kid’s guide. One phrase mom liked to use, Ferme la bouche. I know it’s not polite but it’s fun to say. Well in 6th grade Rachael’s homeroom teacher was Ms. Bouche; the new student started to laugh. Until then no one else in the class knew their teacher’s name was mouth.

And now Gretchen is taking German in high school. One evening at dinner she said she had math homework. But she said it in German. Rachael looked up at her and asked, you have house of goblin? Phonetic translations are fun. Then a couple weeks ago Gretchen said she will never forget present in German. Apparently her teacher said, I won’t give you a geschenk if you get it right. Ha-ha though since I’ve also been told, Ich bin so dick, means I’m so fat. I don’t think anyone in this house will forget fat in German either.

NaPoWriMo Prompttoday I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language. If you don’t know a foreign language, or are up for a different kind of challenge, you could try a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem (or other text) in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words. Stuck for a poem to translate? Why not try this one by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska? Or here’s one by another Laureate, Tomas Transtromer. Happy writing!

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 29

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Hometown Goodness 

Sahlen’s hotdogs sold
in Arizona, brings me
taste of Buffalo

Shawn and I decided to move out to Arizona at the start of 1999. Shawn was recuperating from losing his spleen back in November due to mono and we were living with my mom and dad. At the beginning of 1999, we had a lot of snow in Buffalo. Both Shawn and I were tired of dealing with snow and cold. We decided to move to warmer climes. When we first moved out here, we would fly home to visit family every summer and pack an extra box of hometown food to bring back to Arizona. We can now buy real hotdogs at our local grocery store. Yesterday Rachael and I went out to get an oil change for the car. A first for me – you know 42 is the meaning of everything; I guess it’s a good thing I learn how to keep the car maintained. Note – I do NOT have a driver’s license; it’s not as bad as it sounds. But since Rachael got her license at the end of last summer and she’ll be going to college at the end of this summer, I thought someone should teach her vehicle maintenance. Then we went out to Yogurtini for some frozen yogurt and to support 4 paws, the local cat shelter Rachael works at. She asked me what we were doing for dinner. Well Nonnie did say Fry’s had Sahlen’s hotdogs.

Remember summer
playing outside after dark
catch fireflies in jars

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other. You could start by adopting Brainard’s uniform habit of starting every line with “I remember,” and then you could either cut out all the instances of “I remember,” or leave them all in, or leave just a few in. At any rate, hopefully you’ll wind up with a poem that is heavy on concrete detail, and which uses that detail as its connective tissue. Happy writing!

Speaking of memories, Silver Birch Press is running a learning to drive series now. Lots of great poems and memories on how it feels to drive for the first time.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 28

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Gretchen had to write about a national day

A Snippet of April

curl up in bed
brush teeth
put on pjs
watch TV
load the dishwasher
put away dinner
eat chicken salad
sauté chicken
cut up onions
chop and wash lettuce
send haiku text
cancel poetry
in April impossible
haiku are catching
weak minded controlled
by force – you don’t want to eat
pizza rolls for lunch
Noooo…
too late
in this one
the force is not strong
why did I get out of bed
roll over
turn alarm off

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that tells a story. But here’s the twist – the story should be told backwards. The first line should say what happened last, and work its way through the past until you get to the beginning. Now, the story doesn’t have to be complicated (it’s probably better if it isn’t)!

This is a snippet of my day yesterday. Yes, I am still texting haiku to Gretchen. I put pizza rolls in her lunch yesterday and I was thinking about Star Wars while we were texting during her lunch. I sent the haiku, but apparently the pizza rolls were already devoured. Then she sent me a photo of her assignment in creative writing. They had to write about a day celebrating something. FYI – the first Saturday in May is national naked gardening day. Of course my daughter decided to go with an entire non poetry month. I don’t think so, chickie.😉

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 27

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Poets.0rg April Poster

 

Cultivating Poetry

We
Find
Ourselves
The final
Wednesday writing
Long lines. I start slowly building
Syllable count line by line using Fibonacci
Numbers. One repeats becoming two then three to five adds up to eight becomes thirteen.
The sequence can be carried on as far as one wishes to multiply poetic lines; however the lines do grow unwieldy as weeds.
After climbing up to thirty-four, it is time to trim syllable count line by line.
Twenty-one falls to thirteen, then eight is cut to five.
A gardener cultivates crops
As a poet tends
To meter
And rhyme
Verse
Grows

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s prompt comes to us from Megan Pattie, who points us to the work of the Irish poet Ciaran Carson, who increasingly writes using very long lines. Carson has stated that his lines are (partly) based on the seventeen syllables of the haiku, and that he strives to achieve the clarity of the haiku in each line. So today, Megan and I collectively challenge you to write a poem with very long lines. You can aim for seventeen syllables, but that’s just a rough guide. If you’re having trouble buying into the concept of long lines, maybe this essay on Whitman’s infamously leggy verse will convince you of their merits. Happy writing!

Long lines, ewww. I’m not really a fan. My attempts at prose poetry always seem to fall short. Also I just prefer short poetry. But since we are suppose to write long lines, I thought I would work on a Fibonacci verse and build up to a 34 syllable line.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 26

April Cadence

I don’t know but I’ve been told.

I don’t know but I’ve been told.

April has four days to go.

April has four days to go.

This old poet’s getting worn.

This old poet’s getting worn.

Repeating cadence in her head.

Repeating cadence in her head.

Sound off

One, two

Sound off

Three, four

Sound off

One, two..

Three, four!

 

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates a call and response. Calls-and-responses are used in many sermons and hymns (and also in sea chanties!), in which the preacher or singer asks a question or makes an exclamation, and the audience responds with a specific, pre-determined response. (Think: Can I get an amen?, to which the response is AMEN!.). You might think of the response as a sort of refrain or chorus that comes up repeatedly, while the call can vary slightly each time it is used.

What happens when a military brat reads, call and response. Of course she thinks of cadence. One, two, three…yay four complete!😉

Navy Marching Cadences

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 25

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The Venus of Urbino 1538 Titian

When I find myself in bed
Wasting away the morning
One more week to push ahead
And keep my verse adorning

Wasting away the morning
I dream of April’s sweet end
And keep my verse adorning
Days start to overextend

I dream of April’s sweet end
When I find myself in bed
Days start to overextend
Waking each morning in dread

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that begins with a line from a another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. This will work best if you just start with a line of poetry you remember, but without looking up the whole original poem. (Or, find a poem that you haven’t read before and then use a line that interests you).  The idea is for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for your work, but without influencing you so much that you feel stuck just rewriting the original!. For example, you could begin, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” or “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” or “I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster,” or “they persevere in swimming where they like.” Really, any poem will do to provide your starter line – just so long as it gives you the scope to explore. Happy writing!

One more week to go and I’m losing steam. And yes, I’m composing in bed today. It’s not the first time I’ve worked from my comfy bed.😉 Poet at work.

When I find myself in bed – a line from Veronica Franco. Poetry in translation.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 24

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Pinterest – Photo Credit

 

Alas
Elocution
Does not sound as distinct
As the days begin to dwindle
F-off

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today I challenge you to write a “mix-and-match” poem in which you mingle fancy vocabulary with distinctly un-fancy words. First, spend five minutes writing a list of overly poetic words – words that you think just sound too high-flown to really be used by anyone in everyday speech. Examples might be vesper, heliotrope, or excelsior. Now spend five minutes writing words that you might use or hear every day, but which seem too boring or quotidian to be in a poem. Examples might be garbage disposal, doggy bag, bathroom. Now mix and match examples from both of your lists into a single poem. Hopefully you’ll end up with a poem that makes the everyday seem poetic, and which keeps your poetic language grounded. Happy writing!

Since yesterday’s prompt was to write a sonnet and today is Shakespeare’s birthday, I’ve had Shakespearian English playing in my head. Alas, poor poet we knew her well. But then I get this way near the end of April every year. I wish I could claim originality with my use of colorful language but then again, no. Here is Beth May reciting Fuck with great elocution.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 23

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All Dressed up for Senior Prom

Feeling Pressed

I hate when asked to write a sonnet
the formula is difficult at best
I want to spend my weekend sipping
fancy cocktails spiced with scotch bonnet
not waste my time on meter or wrest
with rhyme this form is clearly whipping
my behind. Poor poet cannot keep focus
the laundry calls while I am chipping
away these lines I’m feeling pressed
perhaps a little hocus-pocus…
Is it slipping?

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today, I challenge you to write a sonnet. Traditionally, sonnets are 14-line poems, with ten syllables per line, written in iambs (i.e., with a meter in which an unstressed syllable is followed by one stressed syllable, and so on). There are several traditional rhyme schemes, including the Petrarchan, Spenserian, and Shakespearean sonnets. But beyond the strictures of form, sonnets usually pose a question of a sort, explore the ideas raised by the question, and then come to a conclusion. In a way, they are essays written in verse! This means you can write a “sonnet” that doesn’t have meet all of the traditional formal elements, but still functions as a mini-essay of a sort. The main point is to keep your poem tight, not rangy, and to use the shorter confines of the form to fuel the poem’s energy. As Wordsworth put it, in a very formal sonnet indeed, “Nuns fret not at their convent’s narrow room.” Happy writing!

Ugh! Sonnets are too formal and I was busy thinking of a different kind of formal today. But lo and behold I pecked out some lines from my keyboard. Curtal Sonnet don’t worry I’m not impressed with my effort tonight either. But aren’t those a good looking bunch of seniors dressed for prom?

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 22

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Grand Canyon July 2010

National parks will
celebrate centennial
discover nature

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s prompt comes to us from Gloria Gonsalves, who also suggested our prompt for Day Seven. Today, Gloria challenges us all to write a poem in honor of Earth Day. This could be about your own backyard, a national park, or anything from a maple tree to a humpback whale. Happy writing!

Happy Earth Day, everyone! Did you know the national parks (US) are celebrating 100 years this year? Rather apropos Rachael will be visiting Glacier National Park in July. The Grand Canyon is in our backyard. Okay it’s a 4 hour drive to the north, but close enough. Still we haven’t been there since 2010 and my mother-in-law has never seen it. Maybe we can arrange a weekend this summer to go again.

NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 21

 

The Night Watchman

Stuck
At
My post
Standing watch
Bored out of my mind
As the clock strikes midnight, I doze
Off. How did I get gate duty on the night of the
Big ball? My friends teased me about missing all the festivities even though they are
Working, too. At least they have coffee to stay awake. Suddenly I’m roused by commotion and a coach zooms past with a girl hot on its heels.
Then I hear the order, “Close the gates!” Oh shit, too late; maybe I can slink off pretend
I was not in charge of the gate house. The prince runs up.
“Where is she?” I start to stammer
As another guard
Triumphant
Holds her
Glass
Shoe

NaPoWriMo Prompt – today I challenge you to write a poem in the voice of minor character from a fairy tale or myth. Instead of writing from the point of view of Cinderella, write from the point of view of the mouse who got turned into a coachman. Instead of writing from the point of view of Orpheus or Eurydice, write from the point of view of one of the shades in Hades who watched Eurydice leave and then come back. Happy writing!

I decided to do a Fibonacci as 21 is a Fibonacci number. Other than that I don’t think this poem needs any explaining. I was happy to find a Cinderella palace guard picture on another WordPress blog.