Magnet Poetry: Playing with Poetry #playingwithpoetryNPM 30/30 #sol19

This month, I’m tagging along with ChristieMargaretJoneMary Lee, and other writers to play with poetry for National Poetry Writing Month. I’ll be creating poems using haikubes, metaphor dice, magnet poetry, paint chips and anything else that catches my fancy.

I’m always sad when the end of March comes around, and it’s time to stop the daily slice. But I’m always relieved when the end of April comes around, and it’s time to wrap up the daily poem challenge. National Poetry Writing Month turned out to be a lot more fun and surprising than I expected, thanks to metaphor dice, magnet poetry kits, paint chips, and nail polish colors (and yes, even the dreaded haikubes). It wasn’t until the last week of the challenge that the constraints started to fell, well, constraining.

The last few days have been especially hard, though yesterday’s paint chip list poem telling the story of what I saw on my hike is one of my favorites of the month. That’s mostly because it turns out there are paint colors called Dakota Trail and Prairie Dog. I will never run out of paint chip poems to write as long as there is Dakota Trail and Prairie Dog.

Today’s task was my final magnet poem. I got the idea for it yesterday when a colleague said something about writing a list poem about enthusiasms. I thought a poem about enthusiasms sounded perfect for what would no doubt be a cranky and uninspired final day of the poetry challenge. But I couldn’t find the word enthusiasm in my set. I had happiness three times, however, so that’s what this poem ended up being called.

the soft purring body of a cat
the smell of earth after rain
the comfort of grass beneath blue sky
bird song in the gray light of snow
a slow day that promises silence
the moment you begin to write this poem

To be honest, happiness on Day 30 of a thirty day poetry challenge is really the moment you finish writing this poem. Also, Chipotle has discovered that he likes magnet poetry at least as well as haikubes, and I spent most of the writing of this poem fending off a cat who was determined to do violence to the magnet strips. This sweet napping lap cat photo was taken on a day when I was not writing magnet poetry and sending him into a frenzy.



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17 responses to “Magnet Poetry: Playing with Poetry #playingwithpoetryNPM 30/30 #sol19”

  1. arjeha Avatar

    Let’s face it, Chipotle just wanted to write his own magnet poem. Love your poem about happiness. How bright each of our days would be if we took the time to enjoy the things around us that make us happy instead of complaining about things we need to do or people who annoy us. Happiness is contagious so we need to spread it around.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I agree! I wasn’t sure where this poem idea would take me–but spotting “purr” right away let me include cats, as of course I had to. I wonder if you could use a cat for a random poem generator. Chipotle would definitely pull magnet words out of a box if I let him!

  2. margaretsmn Avatar

    I think this is my favorite of your poems this month. I want to steal this idea. That’s how poetry is. It just leads to more poetry. All in all, I am proud of getting through the month. I didn’t always follow the rules and I missed 2 days, but I’m OK with that. I’ve enjoyed playing along with you. I plan to take a break in May!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      That’s what I love about poetry too: it leads to more! I couldn’t have made it through the month without your inspiration and ideas and stealing from you! I have a new writing idea for May, but I plan to take a few days off before I get started!

  3. franmcveigh Avatar

    So many forms of happiness, but this line was my favorite . . . “a slow day that promises silence”
    Too much noise, even inside my brain on many days so silence is a welcome treat!
    Congratulations on a great month of poetry!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      The older I get, the more I treasure silence. I really think the world is just getting louder! Music and noise everywhere!

  4. cweichel Avatar

    I share your happiness in many of these things. that smell, that silence and comfort. Before I developed allergies, cat purr was my favourite.
    I am so thankful that this month is over. I too hope to continue writing daily, and am planning on continuing to work on a story in verse of my family’s journey north. I’ll be posting weekly on Friday to keep me on track!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Heck yes to feeling thankful the month is over! I SO need a break! I also have a writing idea that I want to pursue, but I will be so happy not to have the pressure of publishing something daily. Overall, I really liked the whole “playing with poetry” theme and had much more fun this month than I have with previous poem challenges. But 30 days of poems is a lot!

  5. readingteachsu Avatar

    I took a week off but you kept me going through April. I love what I tried, what I learned and what I shared with students and their teachers. Thanks for the beautiful poetry, the dogged (pun intended) determination and mostly the inspiration. I’m a better writer and teacher for it.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you!! I am excited to try some of these ideas with my writing students in the fall.

  6. Wondering and Wandering Avatar

    We made it! I started off strong, but definitely lost steam with the prompt tools about half way through. I’m really looking forward to just writing what comes to me when it comes to me. Those last two lines are just perfect! I’m adding them to my notebook as future inspiration. I’ll let you know when I use it!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Thank you! What an honor! I couldn’t have gotten through the month without your blog. There were several days when I was just stuck and uninspired and then found an idea after I visited your blog. I really enjoyed the tools but wouldn’t have minded having 3 or 4 more to add to the mix!

      1. Wondering and Wandering Avatar

        You are too kind! It sure was tough at times, but a great experience. It was fun to have others to play along with. 🙂

  7. Amanda Potts Avatar

    Chipotle’s got your back – he knows that it’s time to be done. I’ve really enjoyed reading your playful poetry this month. This list poem is a wonderful end, especially because it inspires me (and others, apparently) to try writing. Interestingly, I think the last line is incredible even though you felt like it was kind of a lie. Ah well, at least Chipotle won’t let you do this again until you’ve regained the energy to fend him off.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      My cats probably ARE ready to be done with a daily poetry challenge–the lap they expect to be empty and waiting for them . sometimes has inconvenient items in it, like baking sheets covered with magnet words!

  8. Alice Nine Avatar
    Alice Nine

    Hahaha… even Chipotle knows when it’s time to end the challenge. Seriously, I love the images of “Happiness.” I’m ready for a “slow day that promises silence.”

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I’m ready for that slow day too!

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