NaPoWriMo 2016 Day 20


Dad’s Birthday Present from Be-Be & Tu-Tu


Real old-fogey
Over seven decades
Grew up without television
Retired Lieutenant Colonel
Flew jets in Vietnam

NaPoWriMo Prompt – Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who suggests a prompt very much in keeping with our poet in translation, a “kenning” poem. Kennings were riddle-like metaphors used in the Norse sagas. Basically, they are ways of calling something not by its actual name, but by a sort of clever, off-kilter description — for example, the sea would be called the “whale road.” Today, I challenge you to think of a single thing or person (a house, your grandmother, etc), and then write a poem that consists of kenning-like descriptions of that thing or person. For example, you might call a cat a mouse-stalker, quiet-walker, bird-warner, purr-former, etc. If you’re looking for examples, you can find one that Vince wrote here and a different example here. Happy writing!

Once upon a time… okay in 2014 we wrote a kenning. I used a couple Old Norse words in this poem so I’m not sure if the syllable count is accurate for cinquain as I don’t speak Norse, but it works for me.

True story my dad’s family did not own a TV until he was in high school. He would exclaim to my mom often, Only rich people had a TV in grammar school, Pam. My mom’s family got a television when she was in the 2nd or 3rd grade. And I’m sure everyone knows from Back to the Future there was only one television in the house. My girls think it’s strange their mother grew up without a computer. I was in high school before we had a computer and yes, it was only ONE. No everyone gets his/her own to play on. The first paper I wrote on a computer was my 20 page composition on MacBeth for AP comp when I was a senior. Rachael asked me, what did you use before then, a typewriter? Yes girl, is it that hard to fathom.

Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. I would assume he enjoyed it as when I called I got the answering machine. Also the last line in my poem works twofold. He – first two letters in Heintz and Ro – first two letters in Ronald. It is a kenning for Heintz, Ronald as well as a description for my dad.

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