Category Archives: NPM2020

Prompt April 20 2020

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Humans are suffering right now, and many are experiencing personal tragedies. While this pandemic runs its course, locked down humans create an incredible opportunity for nature to regenerate. Just yesterday, I saw an oriole enjoying a birdbath. Let’s hope once we are free to move around in the world that we decide to live in harmony with nature.

Here are a couple of short poems about the orioles. Both are in the public domain, so I can reproduce them here.

To an Oriole
by Edgar Fawcett

How falls it, oriole, thou hast come to fly
In tropic splendor through our Northern sky?
At some glad moment was it nature’s choice
To dower a scrap of sunset with a voice?
At some glad moment was it nature’s choice
To dower a scrap of sunset with a voice?
Yearning toward Heaven until its wish was heard,
Desire unspeakably to be a bird?

Sir Oriole
by Amos Russel Wells

“This is a merry world,
Truly a jolly world”—
So sings the oriole.
He is a winged flame,
He bears a lighted breast,
Sunshine incarnated.
His is a swinging song,
His is a swinging nest,
His is a swinging flight.
Ever a-tilt is he,
Tilting at gloominess,
Happy Sir Oriole!

Write a poem about oriole or any other bird you choose. Enjoy.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 19 2020

 

A good poem is more than just words. It also sounds pleasant to an ear. But today’s prompt isn’t about the meter or other sound devices in poetry. It’s about the sounds that you have internalized. Certain sounds such as ice-cream truck jungle might transport you back to those warm summer days of your childhood, or a sound of sleigh bells will bring back happy memories of Christmas. Hearing an ambulance siren of a firetruck alarm may bring awful memories if you ever had to encounter these sounds during personal tragedies. Sometimes even the seemingly happy sounds may trigger unhappy memories if those sounds are associated with the sad times in your own life. Think about a sound that either makes you happy or sad or triggers some bittersweet feelings within you. Write a poem about that sound.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 18 2020

Today’s prompt is about Anaphora.
Anaphora is the intentional repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of a sentence or a clause. For example, Biblical Psalms often repeated the phrase “O Lord” at the beginning of each line of a prayer. Anaphora is a popular rhetorical device used for added emphasis in spoken word poetry and speeches. The repetition adds cadence, and it sounds rhythmic and hence easy to memorize, not to mention the emotional impact.

Have you ever counted the number of occurrences of the phrase, “I have a dream” in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr speech?

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state, sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

Read it aloud to feel the impact.

Read Charles Dickens’s opening of “A Tale of Two Cities.”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

Additionally, check out the lyrics to the song “I Envy the Wind” by Lucinda Williams.

Write a poem that makes use of anaphora.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 17 2020

image source unknown

 

So, we are past the halfway mark. How many poems have you written this month? How many have you posted? Give yourself a pat on the back for your dedication and perseverance.

On to the next prompt. Think of a time when you were scared — I mean really scared. What things/people/events scare you? Fear may be paralyzing in real-time, but looking back at that time, think about how your feelings have changed? Write a poem in any poetic form of your choice.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 16 2020

image from uwaterloo.ca

Let us do an experiment today.  Do some free-writing using your non-dominant hand.  Try to fill a whole page. Writing by hand increases neural activity in certain areas of the brain. It also forces you to slow down and allows more time to think.  Using a non-dominant hand can strengthen the current neural area, and it also helps to grow new connections. This will allow you to tap into creative thought patterns.

Write a poem using the ideas found in the free-writing above.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 15 2020

 

source unknown

Find ten words that have the same vowel sounds. Some examples are

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers (repeats the short e and long i sounds)
A host of golden daffodils” (repeats the long o sound)
Don’t let the cat out of the bag. (repeats short a sound)
Never mix business with pleasure. (repeats short i sound)

Use the ten words you have listed above in your poem repetitively to create pleasurable sound effects.
In simple poetic terms, use assonance in your poem. 🙂

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 14 2020

 

On April 14, 1912, RMS Titanic hit an iceberg at 11.40pm off Newfoundland. If you need to, you can find out more factual details at Encyclopædia Britannica or any other reputable site. Based on what you learn, write a poem from the point of view or the ship herself as in “Titanic Speaks.” This will give you an opportunity to imagine people and events that you may not know from the historical accounts.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 13 2020

Most likely, at some point in life, you have been blindfolded and played “pin the tail on the donkey” or have broken a piñata at a party. Think about the sensations while you were blindfolded. How did it affect your reflexes? Did you have the enhanced tactile sense? How effective or ineffective was your spatial orientation? Imagine any of your usual activities from the visually deprived perspective and write a poem about the experience.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 12 2020

Summer Evening on the River By Swetlana Hasenjäger (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Let’s write an ekphrastic poem today. Just in case anyone is unfamiliar with the concept, here’s the definition of Ekphrastic Poetry from Poetry Foundation.

“Description” in Greek. An ekphrastic poem is a vivid description of a scene or, more commonly, a work of art. Through the imaginative act of narrating and reflecting on the “action” of a painting or sculpture, the poet may amplify and expand its meaning.

Write a poem based on the image above.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 11 2020

 

Following surgeon general’s advice on handwashing, some of you may often be singing that 20-second handwashing birthday song these days. Today’s theme for poetry is the quarantine birthday.  How would you celebrate a loved one’s birthday when you can’t be physically there. Suppose you were quarantined by yourself on your own birthday. Think about these scenarios and write a poem. That’s it – short and sweet.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.