#NaPoWriMo Day 25 ‘Ice Filigrees Painted on Glass’

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#NaPoWriMo Day 25 Poetry Challenge

Today’s featured video resource is this short film featuring a reading of Keats’ To Autumn,” along with a sumptuously sensuous dessert. This video makes me hungry, and also, weirdly nostalgic for September!

And now for today’s prompt (optional, as always). Taking a cue from our video resource for the day, and from Keat’s poem, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that:

  • Is specific to a season
  • Uses imagery that relates to all five senses (sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell)
  • Includes a rhetorical question, (like Keats’ “where are the songs of spring?”)

Happy writing!

I have a work in progress for this prompt but in the meantime here’s a Triolet

Ice Filigrees Painted on Glass (Triolet)

Click image for ease of reading (opens in a new window) or see the words below.

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Image Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

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Ice Filigrees Painted on Glass (Triolet)

Behold youthful memories of past Decembers
stirred by the bitter, biting breeze
as smoke taints the air from the chestnut vendors embers
behold youthful memories of past Decembers.
Most flowers now sleep as autumn surrenders
ice filigrees are painted on glass, and snow dusts skeletal trees.
Behold youthful memories of past Decembers
stirred by the bitter, biting breeze.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English

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#NaNoWriMo Day 24 Harmsworth’s Universal Encyclopedia (WIP)

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Day 24 #NaPoWriMo Poetry Challenge Inspiration

Today’s video resource is this rather charming film by Marie Craven, based on Sarah Sloat’s poem “Dictionary Illustrations.”

Today’s (optional) prompt is to write a poem that, like “Dictionary Illustrations,” is inspired by a reference book. Locate a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia, open it at random, and consider the two pages in front of you to be your inspirational playground for the day. Maybe a strange word will catch your eye, or perhaps the mishmash of information will provide you with the germ of a poem. For what it’s worth, my 1961 edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica, Volume 11, has just informed me that despite “his beauty,” the “profligacy” of the Emperor Heliogabalus’s life “was such as to shock even the Roman public,” while also presenting me with a lovely little line drawing of a variant of heliotrope, the flowers of which are said to smell like cherry pie.

Happy writing!

Dictionary Illustrations by Marie Craven

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This is an exciting prompt and I have just the thing. However, I have a long car drive to visit family today so it will have to wait until later. For my inspiration I used my beautiful collection of Harmsworth’s Universal Encyclopedia. My collection holds nine volumes and although undated inside it is believed they were printed in the early 1920’s.

Harmsworth’s Universal Encyclopedia

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Harmsworth’s Universal Encyclopedia (WIP)

A pitiful attempt in a day full of distractions
along with great knowledge from books filled with attractions.
Nine volumes in Harmsworth’s Universal Encyclopedia
a lot different from today’s interactive multi-media.
So the book I pull out is vol. number nine
Skram to Zyrians I’m sure will be fine.
The Front page is number seventy one, sixty nine
and I’ll flick through each page to the books finish line.
The pictures throughout almost all black and white,
with a few sparsely coloured for our pleasure and delight.
The main illustration on the very first page,
is a skull of a human of indeterminable age.
It’s shown from three views, from front, left and below,
each carefully numbered an engaging tableau.
It explains to us where, each part does lie
then our minds fill with wonder and a new question why?
So the page tells us See: Anthropology, bone and brain,
which may well explain, but bring up more questions again.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English 

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Please note that this is still a work in progress.(WIP)

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#NaPoWriMo Day 23 ‘Queen Bee’

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#NaPoWriMo Day 23 Poetry Challenge

Today’s featured video resource is this film adaptation of Elizabeth Bishop’s poem “The Sandpiper.” If you’d like to follow along, you can find the original text of the poem here.

And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always)! Taking a cue from Bishop, I’d like to challenge you today to write a poem about an animal. If you’d like to take a look at some other poems for inspiration, you might like James Dickey’s The Dusk of Horses,” or Tennyson’s The Eagle.”

Happy writing!

I have a work in progress for this prompt but in the meantime here’s a little haiku.

Queen Bee (Haiku)

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Image Stefan Schweihofer from Pixabay

Queen Bee (Haiku)

Pussy willow in
spring-time, catkin to flower
attracts the queen bee.

Copyright © April 2019 Rose English

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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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