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. margaretsmn Avatar

    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. Shari Daniels Avatar

    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!

    1. Shari Daniels Avatar

      Good heavens, I mean Elisabeth!!!

      1. Shari Daniels Avatar

        I just came from Amy’s poetry farm and still had her on my mind! 😍

  3. Shari Daniels Avatar

    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. Donna Smith Avatar

    Glad you are trying your hand at poetry this month. I’ll bet you find the water gets warmer after you’ve been in for a while!
    Donna Smith
    A to Z Challenge and NaPoWriMo
    Mainely Write

  5. carriegelson Avatar

    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!

  6. katswhiskers Avatar

    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.

  7. Cathy M Avatar

    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,

  8. Brenda Davis Harsham Avatar

    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.

  9. Echos | Friendly Fairy Tales Avatar

    […] 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. […]

  10. Flossie Benton Rogers Avatar
    Flossie Benton Rogers

    Came here from Brenda’s blog. Well done! Good round up of people for the project too. Enjoy! http://flossiebentonrogers.com

  11. Cheryl-Lynn Avatar

    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

  12. Brenda Davis Harsham Avatar

    I hope you don’t mind me linking to you here. My comment wasn’t content remaining a comment. I wrote a poem here: http://friendlyfairytales.com/2016/04/03/echos/

  13. […] A new challenge–National Poetry Writing Month […]

  14. Amy Ludwig VanDerwater Avatar

    Oh, I know this feeling. Poetry makes ME feel naked! Here’s to bravery and sharing! Happy National Poetry Month! xo

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