A New Writing Challenge: A Daily Poem

national poetry month 2016.jpg

I’ve decided to tackle a new writing challenge in April: NaPoWriMo. April is National Poetry Month, which means it’s also National Poetry Writing Month. I don’t write poems. Ever. Except I wrote several for the March Slice Challenge. I couldn’t quite bring myself to call them poems. They were “kind of sort of poems.” They were poem-like or poem-ish. I had to add some kind of qualifier or diminutive as an apology.

A few days ago, I realized I wanted to keep writing every day in April. There is momentum from the March Slice Challenge. I am living as a writer every day. I don’t want to lose that.

I was intrigued when I read about NaPoWriMo on several of my favorite Slicers’ blogs. But I don’t write poetry. I wasn’t in.

But then I read these lines this morning at Sharing Our Notebooks from Stacey Dallas Johnston: “Do anything in your notebook that you wouldn’t normally do.”

Poetry. I would never write poetry.

Maybe I should write poetry?

Writing prose is diving into a pool and settling into a comfortable stroke.

Writing poetry is trying to swim in the ocean. And not one of the nice swimming oceans either. One of the cold, choppy ones with riptides.

I’m not planning to publish poetry on my blog every day in April. I want to get back to my regular blogging schedule, and I don’t want to overwhelm my readers with poetry. I don’t write poetry. Really.

Except, apparently, in April.

I do plan to write a poem a day this month, drawing inspiration from The Poem Farm and NaPoWriMo. Mostly I will work in my notebook, but at least once a week, I’ll post some of my attempts at poetry along with reflections about my writing process and learning.

Today, I experimented with lunes, a form I’d never heard of. From NaPoWriMo’s prompt today:

This is a sort of English-language haiku. While the haiku is a three-line poem with a 5-7-5 syllable count, the lune is a three-line poem with a 5-3-5 syllable count. There’s also a variant based on word-count, instead of syllable count, where the poem still has three lines, but the first line has five words, the second line has three words, and the third line has five words again.

I wrote seven lunes about a college Creative Writing course I took.

Here’s my favorite of the seven:

Sought inspiration

Killed a fly

Wrote a short poem

I wrote several drafts of a longer piece about this Creative Writing class (the last time I ever wrote a poem on purpose).

Not a Poem.jpg


17 responses to “A New Writing Challenge: A Daily Poem”

  1. Watching you take the plunge helps me feel a little braver, too. If you hadn’t said it, though, I’d never known that you don’t write poetry. The SOLC does give you a sort of momentum, a wave to ride that I’m not quite ready to get off of. I look forward to reading more about your poetry writing this month. I think you will discover a hidden poet.

  2. Oh my heavens, Amy. You and I share the same mind. I just finished the draft of my post voicing my own poetry writing challenge for the month of April. Mine will go out in the morning because I’m too tired to edit. We can hold hands through another glorious month of writing!

  3. Oh my heavens, Elisabeth. You and I share the same mind. I just finished the draft of my post voicing my own poetry writing challenge for the month of April. Mine will go out in the morning because I’m too tired to edit. We can hold hands through another glorious month of writing!

  4. Oh my! Kinda sorta poetry would be my favourite kind if I wrote poetry which I kinda sorta did a few times in March. At least that’s what commenters said. I am impressed. Go you writer, write on!

  5. May you fall in love with writing poetry in April! Thank-you for being brave and sharing – and writing from your heart (and insecurity). Because that’s what poetry is. Honesty. And as a reader, I felt that vulnerability. I *know* that vulnerability. Well done. I particularly liked your last two lines.

  6. Yay, Elisabeth. I’m so glad you decided to try a little poetry. Your plan to write in your notebook and share once a week is a smart plan. I kind of wish I was doing the same, but I’m going to give this crazy daily thing a try again for one more month. Of course, you do remind me that I also need to get back to a regular blogging schedule on my professional blog.

    This poem was such a perfect start for this month. I was just having a conversation with a friend yesterday that circulated around the “I don’t write poetry” theme. You really created quite an image of the creative writers you inspired to join. I enjoyed the way your poem told a story through your careful selection of lines.

    Good luck this month,

  7. Anyone who falters to a stop, mid breath, and lets her words breath, then echo, then die, is a poet. I hope that April brings you breathless to May, unwilling to stop, the die cast, the step taken, the hesitation forgotten, your voice found, naked and admired.

  8. […] Notes: I wrote this for a friend, who is not a poet, nope, never writes a poem. No, Sir. Know anyone like that? She wrote a few poems in March (by accident!), and she now plans to write a few more in April. Only because it’s National Poetry Month, and they probably won’t get posted. Nope. Unlikely. No way. If you’d like to find and encourage her, she has a most poetic blog name, the Dirigible Plum. […]

  9. I found you at Brenda’s and glad I did! I started blogging 3 years ago to just shoot hte breeze, then I started another blog to write uncensored, so under a pseudonym. I found over time I was writing poetry…free verse…some forms but the free verse was therapeutic for me to get the demons out. Then I fell in love with haiku. I find the loon fun too (smiles) Perhaps you would like to join us sometime at chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.ca our haiku master and mentor has taught me so much and no one judges anyone…it is like a family. I have not been in a while and that is also nice, no pressure to be there every day if you don’t want to. Good luck on NaPoWriMo, Cheryl-Lynn

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