Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! One more day left of NaPoWriMo after this is posted. It is hard to believe! On this next to the last day, I used the prompt from NaPoWriMo, but I didn’t end up sticking with the “I remember” format – instead I just delved into one of the memories and used that. It’s funny, the memory I chose, because it’s not near Christmas, yet today’s weather still feels a bit like December! For some reason the April PAD Challenge site is not opening for me tonight…maybe everyone is hurrying and posting 29 poems there at once! Anyway, here is a snippet of a memory in my poem, “I (used to) Believe in Santa Claus,” and the prompt used.
I (used to) Believe in Santa Claus
I rue the day when I heard
Santa Claus was not really real – and
my parents didn’t stick up for my dreams;
crushed were the reasons to watch
for Santa’s sleigh with Rudolph
heading up the herd of reindeers
kick gliding through the air among the stars,
as I sat in the backseat of a warm car on a
dark country road, in PJs, head against the back window
while on a thirty minute ride to celebrate
Christmas Eve with family; dashed was
the wish for snow each year so Santa
could land softly on our roof, even though we
had no chimney to shimmy down
because he was smart enough to find a way
to leave unwrapped gifts near the tree just for me;
with Santa Claus, anything was possible,
until the fateful day Santa became fiction in my eyes.
The Day 29 NaPoWriMo prompt:
Poet and artist Joe Brainard is probably best remembers for his book-length poem/memoir, I Remember. The book consists of a series of statements, all beginning with the phrase “I remember.” Here are a few examples:
I remember the only time I ever saw my mother cry. I was eating apricot pie.
I remember how much I cried seeing South Pacific (the movie) three times.
I remember how good a glass of water can taste after a dish of ice cream.
The specific, sometimes mundane and sometimes zany details of the things Brainard remembers builds up over the course of the book, until you have a good deal of empathy and sympathy for this somewhat odd person that you really feel you’ve gotten to know.
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.
If you get anything that you’d like to share, post it below in comments!