Today’s NaPoWriMo.net prompt called for writers to create a poem that responds, in some way, to another. This could be as simple as using a line or image from another poem as a jumping-off point, or it could be a more formal poetic response to the argument or ideas raised in anothe poem.I have too many favourite poems, so decided instead to open randomly to any page in All Of Us: The Collected Poems by Raymond Carver (who is a favourite writer or mine). I happened up on the poem “The Minuet” (photo below) which I had never read before, but which, by some poetic magic, definitely spoke to me at this moment in my life. I didn’t set out to match the poem’s line rhythms and number, but once I started in with the voice of his poem’s dancer, it sort of fell into step.
New moon night.
I am awake with want of everything.
This life to move in triple time. Or stop,
when someone comes in.
A person who tiptoes, or could.
Would see the glimmer of light
off the diamond I carry.
How it acts something like a spark.
That ancient igniter.
Of fire. I’ve danced through that
by chance and choice.
Am still asking for more.
Hooray! It’s April, and the start of National Poetry Month! I love April for many reasons, like more hours of sunshine, the promising sight of tulips pushing out of the brown earth, and the fabulous Edmonton Poetry Festival. While I adore T.S. Eliot **, I just can’t agree that April is the cruelest month…not when so many poets come together to celebrate words.
Last year I approached the April poem-a-day challenge with gusto, and managed to squeak something out every morning. Some of those poems will always remain the unseen wordblurt of a first draft, but several have become poems I’ve felt confident enough to share at readings, or to include in my manuscript-in-progress. What I really took away from last year was a kind of discipline to write every day, and the realization that there are no wasted words. I also learned so much by reading the work of other poets.
This year I’m trying to use the prompts at both the Poetic Asides poem a day challenge, and the NaPoWriMo prompts posted at This Is Not A Literary Journal. I’m not sure I’ll manage to write two poems every day, but I’ll see where the ideas from each site take me.
Some days I will post my own poems here, and some days I will post a link to beloved poems by others. Whenever possible, I will try to post links to works by Canadian poets.
So hooray for April, the wordiest month!
Oh, and here’s the quick bit I wrote for today’s Poetic Asides prompt to write a “fool” poem: