Ahoy folks. There has, inevitably, been a huge falling off in the number of people writing a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month – but my cockles are warmed tremendously by the poems that are still rolling in, in response to my daily prompts on Facebook and Twitter.
For those of you foolish enough to revisit them, here are all the latest prompts. Remember that many of these links allow you to hear, as well as to read, a poem. The poet’s own voice can make the poem a very different experience.
Day 10 – A litany is a poem or prayer in which a single word or phrase is repeated at the beginning of each line. Here’s a classic example, the Litany of Loretto – and three modern examples from Billy Collins, Allen Ginsberg and Richard Siken. If stuck, use one of these as your repeated word: Unless, Or, Whatever, If, Finally.
Day 11 – List twenty intensely physical experiences you have had. Write about one of them. It doesn’t have to be a good one!
Day 12 – Read this poem by Anne Bradstreet. Now read these poems about Anne Bradstreet by Eavan Boland and John Berryman. Now write a poem addressed to a favourite (or unfavourite) poet of yours. Think of where, how and in what style s/he wrote. Talk to them. Tell them things.
Day 14 – A laudation is a poem of self-praise. Read this one from Tomaz Salamun and write your own. British persons in particular will complain that this is too hard. It’s meant to be hard, you slackers. Pull all the stops out, show your wit and celebrate yourself unapologetically!
Day 15 – read this poem from Liz Lochhead, A Favourite Place. Think of a favourite place of your own and make notes on it. Write a poem about it. Include one personal name, and one piece of reported speech (something someone said, quoted directly). Focus on one event or occasion. If it takes you somewhere else, like Liz’s poem – so much the better.