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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 30: Two exercises in 'Turning Poems Inside Out'

Today's challenge is to "find a shortish poem,...rewrite each line, replacing .. as many words as you can with words that mean the opposite. For example, ... turn “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “I won’t contrast you with a winter’s night.” Your first draft of this kind of opposite poem will likely need a little polishing, (But is) a fun way to respond to a poem (and learn) how that poem’s rhetorical strategies really work. (... sort of like taking a radio apart and putting it back together, but for poetry). "  I'll try a couple very short ones, by Burns and Sandburg:  Oh-oh, the natural result of writing a sort of opposite for positive, or at least neutral, thoughts is going to be negative, right?  Unnhhh I hate to end NaPoWriMo month on such a somber note, but end I will.  Time to let these efforts rest for awhile, then take them down for future possible revisions...It has been a fun, challenging, sometimes frustrating, deadline-delaying, month.  Kept me on my toes, addressing my long-standing, short term goal of faithful writing practice.  And practice is has been.  Thank you, NaPoWriMo, and all my readers.  Your comments have been heartening -- as in, 'take heart.'  Oh, which day was my favorite, you ask?  Day 21,"It's not the cake," hands down, when the challenge was to write new fortune cookie messages.  Which was yours?

Fog                                                   Sun behind bars

BY CARL SANDBURG                                                                           BY SHIRLEY SMITH FRANKLIN
THE fog comes                                                            Broad daylight strides
on little cat feet.                                                          on giant, lion's paws,

It sits looking                                                              Paces, restless, 
over harbor and city                                                  stares at face and hands
on silent haunches                                                     with jaw-cracking roar,
and then moves on.                                                   never leaves its cage.

Pippa's Song                                                    Bubba's Bawling            
by Robert Browning                                       by Shirley Smith Franklin

The year's at the spring,                               The day is spent,   
And day's at the morn,                                  and a year's almost gone,
Morning's at seven,                                        evening's just begun,
The hill-side's dew pearl'd'                           the pavement's dirty gray.
The lark's on the wing'                                  the worm turns underground,
The snail's on the thorn;                               the shadow's on the flower;
God's in His heaven--                                   Satan stalks abroad--
All's right with the world!                            all hell will soon break loose!


  1. Congrats Shirley!!!! What a ride ride his has been. I love your re-working of these poems...I found that very hard to do.
    My favorite prompt was the fortune cookie one as well, and I got a pretty good poem out of that.
    See you soon!
    Congrats again : )

  2. I meant "wild" ride...see you soon!

    1. LOL, your two-word typo might be an interesting place to start another piece of writing?!
      I've enjoyed your commonts...I anticipate more cheering each other on as we go forward...Write on!