NaPoWriMo — April is Poetry Month — Write a Poem A Day

April 8, 2010

April has officially been National Poetry Month in the U.S. and Canada since 1996.   For several years thousands of people have been celebrating NaPoWriMo.

The idea is to write a poem every single day in April.  Groups and websites have gathered and post the poems they have come up with (on Facebook too).    There are  writing prompts and challenges to help you keep writing.

It’s a challenge, because no one feels like writing ON DEMAND every single day.  AND it’s also humbling because good poems usually take a lot of work and many revisions–so sharing poems that are first drafts is…well… humbling.

Anyway, a lot of people take on the challenge and its fun, rewarding and as MOM would say… good for you.

You can jump into it at any time.  Everyone is welcome.    Here are two of my favorite websites that have active NaPoWriMo  participants.    Read Write and    Dash30

You can read some more about it  RIGHT HERE

My  NaPoWriMo  Day 8 (Today)  looks like this:

See below for a prompt I have come up with. ( I’m still planning to add a prompt a day to this Dash30 site after some technical problems get resolved.)

Sometimes it’s also fun to try and combine two prompts or more and write a poem that includes all of them. Okay for Day 8 Poem Starter Septolet collaboration, and a poem off the Prompt and a poem combining
two challenge prompts.

Christopher J. Jarmick

Heated argument
boils into
stubborn stand-off
and melodramatic absurdity.
Breath of fresh air
reminds me of
what’s most important.


Red Rose
Hamlet’s Ghost
Plucked eye
Soliloquy silenced

Juliet’s poisoned
Avon flows
Shylock counts.

I came up with the following prompt/challenge for writing a poem on this 8th day of April.
Use at least 2 of the 135 phrases Shakespeare takes credit for making famous in a poem.
You can use many more if you would like (try 14 perhaps?) You’ll find a list of them right here: Shakespeare quotes

Bard’s Woe

By Christopher J. Jarmick

The game is afoot!
Woe is me.
Phillip Woe Smith, actually,
everyone calls me by my middle name and
thereby hangs a tail.
After the wild goose chase
I vanish into thin air,
(to be or not to be, indeed).
But, truth be told ,
I lie under the greenwood tree
just off the primrose path
in a fool’s paradise
as merry as the day is long,
but as good luck would have it,
as cold as any stone,
dead as a doornail.
was once me.

The Prompt at Read-Write for Today is from Jill Crammond Wickham, Today, think of your current love, your current obsession or the one who got away. Now come up with five or more unusual metaphors for the object of your affection/obsession: wool scarf, cough drop, puddle, half-empty bottle of red wine… Choose your favorite of the bunch and write a poem celebrating (or trashing) your love.

So I combined it with some Shakespeare to make:

Love’s slings and arrows
By Christopher J. Jarmick

I spoke in daggers
to the one who
dares love me.
The tested branch
who knows the deepest sorrows
of rotting fruit when harvests spoil
through abuse, neglect.

Exposed to false hope,

forced to uproot and

retreatfrom a betrayer
for a partial victory be worse

than none at all.
A story, truth be told,
not unlike my own.
Boiling with harsh assessments
when sparks of doubt ignite

her inner fires.

She seeks assurance,

fearful of repeated curse
but must endure these needles


from desired lips,

disguised as words.

A few of my recent Dash Blogs

Day 7

Day 6

Look at all of them if you would like.

My new book is out by the way and is called     Ignition; Poem Starters, Septolets, Statements & Double Dog Dares


Poetry      is      Everything



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