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#NaPoWriMo Day 22 ‘Dali’s Swans and Elephants’

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#NaPoWriMo Day 22 Poetry Challenge

The prompt for the day shows, art and poetry can richly affect one another. Frank O’Hara’s poem, Why I am Not a Painter,” speaks to this mutual engagement, as do explicitly ekphrastic poems (i.e., poems that are about a specific work of art), like Thom Gunn’s In Santa Maria del Popolo.” The challenge is to write a poem that engages with another art form – it might be about a friend of yours who paints or sculpts, your high school struggles with learning to play the French horn, or a wonderful painting, film, or piece of music you’ve experienced – anything is in bounds here, so long as it uses the poem to express something about another form of art.

Happy writing!

Dali’s Swans and Elephants

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Image ‘Swans Reflecting Elephants’ Salvador Dali 1937 (Dalipaintings)

Dali’s Swans and Elephants

A masterpiece of surrealism is
Dali’s ‘Swans and Elephants’.
Set against the landscape of his
Catalonian homeland,
the fiery autumnal glow
makes for a stirring backdrop.
Swirling brush strokes on the cliffs
are in stark contrast of the double image
created in the stillness of the water.
Dry, gnarled and twisted trees edge the lake,
upon which three elegant swans rest preening,
a symbol of love, music and poetry.

Study the image closely.

Do you see three majestic elephants?
Their heads and trunks are the reflections
of the bodies and long necks of the swans.
The dried leafless trees reflect to form
the bodies and legs of the strong beasts,
a symbol of strength, unity and power.

Look again to see the man himself,
self-portrayed to the left of the swans.
Some say this represents his frustration,
with the direction of the surrealism movement.
Yet others claim this to be his friend
Marcel Duchamp but who knows?
One thing we can be sure of,
is that he was a great fan of the self-portrait.

‘Swans and Elephants’ is one of his
most acclaimed works of art.
Created using the
paranoia-critical method.
The method of irrational thought
and a self-induced paranoid state
bringing forth hallucinations.
He achieved this by standing on his head,
until he was close to passing out.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English

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#NaPoWriMo Day 21

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#NaPoWriMo Day 21 Poetry Challenge

(Optional) prompt, which takes its inspiration from another surrealist work, Federico Garcia Lorca’s poem City that Does Not Sleep.” Lorca took much of his inspiration from Spanish folklore, but also wrote a group of harrowing poems based on time he spent in New York. (Lorca was not a fan of the Big Apple). “City That Does Not Sleep” is from that collection. Subtitled “Brooklyn Bridge Nocturne” in the original Spanish, it presents a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory vision of the city as a wild countryside roamed by animals. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that, like The Color of Pomegranates and “City That Does Not Sleep,” incorporates wild, surreal images. Try to play around with writing that doesn’t make formal sense, but which engages all the senses and involves dream-logic.

Happy (and perhaps weird) writing!

Haiku for today until I get around to the prompt

Click image below to open in a new window for ease of reading or see below.

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Image by Josef Zenner from Pixabay

Flowers Weep (Haiku)

As the sun rises,
flowers weep for the loss of
the stars in the sky.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English

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#NaPoWriMo Day 20 Red Sky at Night

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#NaPoWriMo Day 20 Poetry Challenge

Write a poem that “talks”, take a look at this poem by Diane Seuss. While it isn’t a monologue, it’s largely based in spoken language, interspersed with the speaker/narrator’s own responses and thoughts. Try to write a poem grounded in language as it is spoken – not necessarily the grand, dramatic speech of a monologue or play, but the messy, fractured, slangy way people speak in real life. You might incorporate overheard speech or a turn of phrase you heard once that stood out to you – the idea here is to get away from formally “poetic” speech and into the way language tends to work out loud.

Happy writing!

Red Sky at Night

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Image by Ales Krivec from Pixabay

Click the image above for ease of reading or check out the poem below

Red Sky at Night
Talking to mum on the phone
she tells me “It’s been red hot today”.
“Yes same here, wonder what it will be like tomorrow”
“Oh” she says “I’m just looking out the window,
Red Sky at Night oooh, Shepherds Delight.
It’s going to be another nice one.”
She always says that ‘Red Sky at Night,
Shepherds Delight and Red Sky in the Morning
Shepherds Warning’. She has been telling us this
since we were all very young. I googled it once you know,
now we have all this technology at our fingertips.
Wiki told me it was first used in the Bible,
over two thousand years ago. New Testament,
Matthew 16: 2-3 so I got out the Bible.
Apparently the Pharisees asked Jesus to show them
a sign from heaven. He said ‘When it is evening you say
it will be fair weather: for the sky is red. And in the morning
it will be foul weather today: for the sky is red and lowring.’
This is believed to be where the saying originated from.
And I will tell you something else, it works very well as a rule of thumb,
more reliable than any TV weatherman.
Oh dear, mum’s still talking away down the phone
and I’m not taking much notice. “Sorry Mum what was that?”
“Just saying dear, I’ll be able to peg my washing out.”
Another thing she’s always saying.
“OK Mum, I’ll let you get back to Corrie.
Love you, talk again soon.”
“Love you too, bye love”. Then she hangs up.
I’m curious if we have a red sky here too, so I check through the blinds
and it’s going to be a sunny day again tomorrow.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English

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#NaPoWriMo Day 19 (WIP)

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#NaPoWriMo Day 19 Poetry Challenge

(Optional) prompt! Today, I’d like to challenge you to write an abecedarian poem – a poem in which the word choice follows the words/order of the alphabet. You could write a very strict abecedarian poem, in which there are twenty-six words in alphabetical order, or you could write one in which each line begins with a word that follows the order of the alphabet. This is a prompt that lends itself well to a certain playfulness. Need some examples? Try this poem by Jessica Greenbaum, this one by Howard Nemerov or this one by John Bosworth.

Happy writing!

 

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Image by Squirrel_photos from Pixabay

 

Food and Flora for our pretty Butterflies and Bees (WIP)

Abelia evergreen shrub with its heady fragrance an autumn treat for bees
Buddleia or the ‘Butterfly Bush’ with its rich supply of nectar loved by many butterflies
Chives loved by the short tongued bee, or the crocus for the queen bee newly emerged
Daisies host for painted lady caterpillar and loved by the queen butterflies
English Lavender with its powerful fragrance
French Marigold, Forget-Me-Not and Fennel
Goldenrod a favoured nectar source of the red admiral
Honeysuckle deciduous climber desired by long tonged bees and moths in the night
Ivy and holly favoured by the blue caterpillar
Jacobs ladder flowering May to June a pretty perennial
Knapweed to host the meadow brown who loves to lay her eggs here
Lavender and Lupin
Monarda commonly known as bee balm attracts bees and swallowtail butterflies
Nectar rich plants favoured by all pollinator’s birds, butterflies and bees
Oak is a favourite food of the purple hairstreak caterpillar
Primrose and passion vine
Queen Anne’s lace host food for the anaise swallowtail
Red Valerian, rosemary or the single rose plant
Snowdrop for the early risers of winters end
Thyme, teasel or thistle for painted lady’s or red admirals
Urtica dioica the stinging nettle one of the most important plants for caterpillars
Vipers bugloss the best plant for bees flowers June to August
Wisteria cascading beauty
Xenogamy a term for the cross pollinations by our birds bees and butterflies
Yarrow the ferny leaved wildflower favoured as a heal herb too
Zinnia attracts several types of butterfly and bee.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English

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After Winter by KR Staten

WOW check out this #abecedarian poem by krstaten for #NaPoWriMo Day 19 well worth reading.

 

Katie Staten

NaPoWriMo Day 19–Prompt Here

After winter one year they found a man’s
body not far from our apartment,
caked in mud along his back, lying low in the
ditch along the side of the highway.
Everyone was shocked, but no one really was.
Finding a body is unusual, violence is not.
Gratitude kisses the whole city on mornings like this,
hovering in the mouth of every survivor.
“I’m so glad it wasn’t me. I’m so glad it was
just someone.” Someone may as well be no one. Ambivalence
kisses the whole city on mornings like these.
Later that day, once the sirens had ceased
mingling with the sounds of spring,
news stations had already moved
on to fresher prospects.
People somewhere were dying of something
queerer, more unexpected than
rounds of ammo leaving holes for
snow to melt into. More exciting
tales to be spun. A week later I drove…

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#NaPoWriMo Day 18 Elegy of a Butterfly

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NaPoWriMo Day 18 Poetry Challenge

Optional prompt for the day takes its cue from how poetry can help us to make concrete the wild abstraction of a feeling like grief. “The Lost Pilot” does this, as does this poem by Victoria Chang, called “Obit.” In both poems, loss is made tangible. They take elusive, overwhelming feelings, and place them into the physical world, in part through their focus on things we can see and hear and touch. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write an elegy of your own, one in which the abstraction of sadness is communicated not through abstract words, but physical detail. This may not be a “fun” prompt, but loss is one of the most universal and human experiences, and some of the world’s most moving art is an effort to understand and deal with it.

I wish you, if not happy, then meaningful, writing!

Elegy of a Butterfly (WIP)

Click the image below for ease of reading (opens in a new window)

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Elegy of a Butterfly

Exhausted the butterfly rests
upon the pure white petals of a daisy.
Paper thin, are the wings
filigreed in fine grey veins
like the hair line cracks of a glazed vase.

Only the faintest movement
of the thorax gives an indication of life.
Slowly the proboscis unfurls
to take a last savouring sip of nectar.
After withdrawing, all movements cease.

The sun slips behind a cloud
bringing dull grey shadows.
Mother Nature quietens her children.
All become still as life slowly seeps
from the frail butterfly.

A frog croaks in the distance,
marking the time of death.
Zephyrus snatches away the butterfly’s last breath.
Then the soft gentle breeze lifts the lifeless soul
carrying it to earth, ready to begin the cycle of re-birth.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English

 

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#NaPoWriMo Day 17 (WIP)

Sadly still working on this one

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#NaPoWriMo Day 17 Poetry Challenge

Today’s prompt (optional, as always). As long as we are on uncovering or embodying feelings that may not be commonly presented, I’d like to share this poem by Sharon Olds, who I think of as sort of a Master (or Mistress, I suppose) of discomfiting the reader. This poem is beautiful in its focus on detail, its word choice, and it has an earthy, witchy slyness to it. It reverses what we might think of as the “usual” relationship between the sexes in a disorienting way, with the woman as the appraising watcher, and the man as the vulnerable and innocent party.

Today, I’d like you to challenge you to write a poem that similarly presents a scene from an unusual point of view. Perhaps you could write a poem that presents Sir Isaac Newton’s discovery from the perspective of the apple. Or the shootout at the OK Corral from the viewpoint of a passing vulture. Or maybe it could be something as everyday as a rainstorm, as experienced by a raindrop.

Happy writing!

 

 

Changed my mind no poems is coming as yet. Happy Writing

 

Copyright © 2018 Rose English

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