PAD 2021 – Day 5

Today I experimented with the NaPoWriMo.net prompt to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. The poem I chose was this translation of “Alcaic” by Tomas Tranströmer. The tone is certainly divergent from the original, but it was interesting to see what came out when I had to write within the constraints of starting letters and line-syllable counts.

Agitator

That devil in me. I wait for your yell:
the way your voice goes high, then deep. Simmering.
		In my bedroom, I bury my hot
face in the pink quilt you made for me.	

I am never able to access why.
Can’t tell you in words, the need to be seen
		takes over from the want to be good.
Testing a needle against a balloon.

PAD Challenge – Day 30

The End. Finito. The Final Day. I feel both relieved and rueful that today marks the end of the April poem-a-day challenge. It’s been fun, frustrating and enlightening, as so many of the prompts I’ve followed have allowed me to try new things. And I hope it’s not the end for some of the poems I’ve written. From revision comes afterlife.

For today’s poem, I took the “dead end” prompt at Poetic Asides and combined it with This Is Not A Literary Journal’s suggestion to write a poem to a place you’ve never been.

 

Addressing the Road

 

The mystery is too inviting,

so we choose you, trackless road

with your shadowy mouth,

and moss-coated branches

that crook and join

their sisters on the other side.

And we do hear the crows calling

deadend deadend deadend, but

crafty as they are, what do they

know about adventure?

It’s a gamble, we know, but

we’ll take our chances, road.

We’ll know when

we’ve found the place.

We’ll hear it in the swish of leaves,

whispering, where you end

is where you start.

 

The NaPoWriMo site has been celebrating poets in translation all month long. It’s been wonderful discovering the work of poets who write from a voice and experience outside the North American one I’m so often exposed to. And it’s been a great reminder that the best poets create images that are universal. Because it’s “the end” of the PAD journey for this year, I was reminded of this stellar poem “After a Death” by Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer.

And a final note: to anyone who’s read even one of my posts this month, thank you so very much. I’ve been writing all month to stretch my own poetic muscles, and posting to keep myself on track, but to know there are readers out there who’ve joined me in the experiment is extra sweet icing on the cake.