National Poetry and Writing Month: Day 3

Today’s poem: “Stars”! Did you miss a poem? Head to my NPWM 2012 archive to read up!

I’m back again for day 3! How have you been during the past few hours? Fine? Good, me too.

Oh, I don’t want to get distracted. This is intended for poetry. Here you are:


As the sphere of light

drops just below the horizon,

that light obscuring the sky

fades to leave a clear veil o’er the Earth.

Now see stars, like a black blanket in front of a light,

crossed by pinholes,

shaped into the outlines of pictures,

all glowing.

And though they seem 2-D,

their glow reminds you how they’re like you,

singular forms in the center of space,

bobbing like seaweed upon waves.

And you see the seaweed through the water,

see the wavering, bending light

which alters your vision but slightly,

looking up into the night.

Stars and the nighttime sky have so far been the most common inspiration for me. That’s not such a big deal, since I’ve only had 3 days, but…yeah. Metaphors are the only way to describe things that you can’t see close at hand. As Frank Gilbreth said in “Cheaper by the Dozen”, “What do you see? Yes, I know what it is, but what do you see?”

In a struggle to celebrate National Poetry and Writing month all the more widely, I’ll give you another poetry challenge. Look at something. If you’re sitting at your desktop computer, pick anything on your desk or table. If you’re on a laptop, look up and decide on the first object you see. Period. Now think of a metaphor, or a way to describe something without being literal. For example, I see a book in front of me. “I see a book,/a vast pool of knowledge/which awaits to tell me/the story in its heart.” Try not to see something in a way somebody has before or a way you read in a book, but decide what you see, what you think of. It doesn’t matter how long it takes you to think about it, just get it done! If you’re not satisfied, don’t worry; since it’s poetry, you can revise it for the rest of your life.

“And,” you say, “I’m guessing I’m going to have tons of ‘challenges’ like these by the end of April. If I don’t have a folder or notebook for writing, what on earth can I do with it?” Well, you don’t like writing?, is my answer, you don’t want to document your work? In that case, don’t. If you really don’t want to do poetry, don’t, but if you think it would be fun, pick up an old folder and stick the writing in it. At the end of each week, I’ll give you something to do that will string all these plibbits together. 🙂

Enjoy the rest of the day!



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