NaPoWriMo #30 – Dead End

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Well, it’s been a big and busy month for this year’s NaPoWriMo. I always enjoy the month though, as even though I try to write something everyday to keep poems, plays, and essays generated – April forces me to make sure that I have something relatively close to a finished poem by the end of each day. This year was no different, and I’m happy to say that I did write to one of the two prompts put out by the NaPoWriMo or the April PAD Challenge sites, and posted to my own blog and to the NaPoWriMo blog every day…even though sometimes it was very near Midnight!

As I post this last poem for National Poetry Month, I just want to mention that as things go back to “normal” that if you do peruse my blog for prompts that I will begin posting once a week again in May – I probably will revert back to my Wednesday posts, but I may even sneak in a few extra blogs as I get inspired myself. And, I will go back and write to some of the prompts that I missed from either NaPoWriMo or the PAD Challenge when I chose the other site’s prompt to work with during April. But I will always start tossing out ones that I’ve come up with as well beginning again in May. So, without further ado – here is my final poem (a senryu) for April, “At Any Station in Life,” the prompt used, and the NaPoWriMo prompt that I didn’t use. Enjoy!

 

At Any Station in Life

“Dead end” sounds so final,
feeling helpless and dumbstruck –
until the phone rings…

The Day 30 PAD Challenge prompt:

Yesterday, the blog seemed to take the haphazard prompt a little too seriously–as some people were able to access the blog while others were not. Our tech team was working on the very unorganized problem and hopefully have a solution, or else the final prompt of the month will live up to its name as well.

For today’s prompt, write a dead end poem. Of course, I was thinking in terms of the challenge, but a dead end can literally mean the end of a person’s life, a dead end road, a dead end job, dead end mortgage, and so on. Take the phrase “dead end” and apply it to a noun, and the possibilities are nearly endless (except, well, there’s the whole “dead end” finality to it, I suppose). I hope it’s fun and that the blog is alive and well today.

The Day 30 NaPoWriMo prompt:

Today I’d like you to try your hand at a translation of your own. If you know a foreign language, you could take a crack at translating a poem by a poet writing in that language. If you don’t know a foreign language, or are up for a different kind of challenge, you could try a homophonic translation. Simply find a poem (or other text) in a language you don’t know, and then “translate” it based on the look or sound of the words. Stuck for a poem to translate? Why not try this one by Nobel Laureate Wislawa Szymborska? Or here’s one by another Laureate, Tomas Transtromer.

As always, if you want to post something, there’s the comments section below!

Keep writing!

Lylanne

Writing Prompt Pit Stop

Welcome to Writing Prompt Pit Stop! Obviously, because I’m starting to immerse myself in the Oulipost warm-ups for NaPoMo in April, I’ve been thinking quite a lot about constraints, and formal poetry. I usually avoid sonnets, villanelles, sestinas, and the sort like the plague. Not because I don’t like them or feel intimidated, but mainly because they take a lot more time. As I write that, that sounds bad, because it sounds like I don’t spend a lot of time on the poetry I write, but I do – a lot. I guess the thing is, I steal a little time here and a little time there and can write something to my liking that I can work with – a lot quicker. It doesn’t feel forced. When you get into the rhyme schemes and things like that, that can come (not always!) with sonnets, sestinas, etc., it feels like what you can write about is limited.

However, one of my favorite poems to do in form is the pantoum. I’ve had a lot of success with them, and I find that I enjoy what they have to offer. I also love to write haiku and senryu poems which also come with their own rules. But as with anything, rules are meant to be broken – and you’ll find, if you look into these structured poem forms the rules have been broken by many poets throughout the years…even if it’s with tense changes in the pantoum, or the “American-ized” haiku that doesn’t always follow the 5-7-5 rule.

Since in the next month I will be writing a lot more here with the Oulipost assignments (and posting them daily in April!) I thought that I would give you a few ideas for writing some “formal” poetry if that interests you during April – National Poetry Month.

I’ve linked the forms that I’ve mentioned, but below I’ve posted a “template” that I made for my students to use as an exercise – and that can give you something to work with too. Pantoums lend themselves well to things that happen over and over again (such as weight loss, relationships, seasons, history, etc.) I usually work with five-six stanzas myself, but they can be as long as you want, but your last stanza must end with the second line as C and your last line as A. I challenge you to write a pantoum! If you feel so inclined you can share it here in comments, or email me here. Have fun!

Pantoum Poem Template:

A

B

C

D

 

B

E

D

F

 

E

G

F

H

 

G

I

H

J

 

I

C

J

A