Being a poet, NaPoWriMo, NaPoWriMo2018, Personal Experiences

NaPoWriMo Day Eighteen


The prompt for today included using the lines of an established poem to inspire new lines of a new poem. I turned to my favorite poet, Christian Wiman and a poem called “For D.” from Wiman’s 2010 book of poetry, “Every Riven Thing”.  You can read a bit more about Christian, the book, the poem, and hear audio of a reading of “For D.” here.  An excerpt of today’s prompt is below.

First, find a poem in a book or magazine (ideally one you are not familiar with). Use a piece of paper to cover over everything but the last line. Now write a line of your own that completes the thought of that single line you can see, or otherwise responds to it. Now move your piece of paper up to uncover the second-to-last line of your source poem, and write the second line of your new poem to complete/respond to this second-to-last line. Keep going, uncovering and writing, until you get to the first line of your source poem, which you will complete/respond to as the last line of your new poem. It might not be a finished draft, but hopefully it at least contains the seeds of one.

White limbs

Slow disappear like the sun behind the horizon

None so lonely as the chasm of space that fills

in where you once stood

Black the sun has left, and with you only the breeze

the leaves felt

And even deeper still the growing stillness

of water once rippled now placid like glass

The present now an echo

of you looking over your shoulder

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