What a Poem Needs #NaPoWriMo18 #NPM2018



A poem needs companions
The words of writers
Who traveled this path before

A poem needs a question
Wonderings and discovery

A poem needs space
The distant view out windows
Fields to wander in

A poem needs light
Sunshine to balance the dark
Of difficult things

A poem needs time
A quiet introspection
Solitude, with cats

Notes: I’m pretty pleased that I managed to get prairie (sort of), poetry, AND cats squeezed into one poem, as those are the three topics I have most enjoyed writing about this month and written about most often. The stanzas mix haiku and reverse haiku. I wasn’t sure if reverse haiku was a thing when I was drafting this, but the Internet assures me it is. (There is even a version of reverse haiku which reverses syllable count and also insists on rhyme!). The poem is loosely inspired by the last couple of chapters of Mary Oliver’s wonderful book, A Poetry Handbook. And the cat pictured is Toast, who always takes a good photo.

10 responses to “What a Poem Needs #NaPoWriMo18 #NPM2018”

  1. This is a wonderful last poem. Toast is beautiful. I wrote my Tuesday slice before commenting this evening, and I see my thoughts distilled in this poem. I’m thrilled to know reverse haiku is a thing. I’m adding it to my list. I think poets need space, light, companions, time, and questions, too. I could not have done this poem writing thing w/ out companions. Your poems and Carol Wilcox’s have been my favorites. Thanks for traveling w/ me.

  2. So wonderful Elisabeth. As I was reading this I was thinking about how people are poems and how much we need all these things. Maybe that was your intention?
    I ended up by sharing some poetry writing that I did with primary children. So I shared poetry by me, us, and them.

    • I hadn’t made the connection with people are poems too–but that’s really lovely! I still have posts to catch up on and comment on from poetry month and can’t wait to see yours about writing with the primary children.

  3. Elisabeth, what a perfect tribute to poetry as we end the month of April.

    A poem needs a writer
    willing to grapple with words
    to find its beauty.

    (Pardon the one syllable addition)

    It found that in you.

  4. […] I mostly want to write poems about poetry, the prairie, and cats. Given that I am not a poet and don’t know that much about poetry, it was perhaps ridiculous to write so very many poems about poetry during April. But it was a way to distill my wonderings and questions and struggles. The prairie is an endless inspiration for me: I marvel daily at what I see on my drive, how different this landscape is from any other landscape I have known. And I believe cats are basically walking poems anyway, so they’re a natural subject for poetry. I started to feel like I was overdoing it with the poems about poetry, the prairie, and cats, so I tried to make myself write about other things, but I think I would have been happiest just focusing on those three topics for the entire month. (And I am quite proud that my final poem for the month managed to combine all three!) […]

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