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Monday, April 1, 2013

Oh Thou...My first fling for NaPoWriMo 2013 is an online challenge to write a poem a day during April, National Poetry Writing Month.  Their daily page will give optional prompts, which I'll try to use every day.  I will be writing 'off the cuff' with little or no editing, so it may end up as drivel, doggerel, or incomplete...but that's just like life, right?  It's all in fun, and for practice.  Today's task is to compose an original poem starting with the first line of an existing poem.

So, here goes...building on the first line and the form of one of my favorite hymns, written in 1791 by Joseph Swain, posted online in numerous video and text variations. My intention is not to make another variation,but just to use the first-line-starting-point.  With advance apologies to Mr. Swain.

Oh thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
my pen and computer do call.
The solace of writing shines forth every night,
when fond thoughts of the past I recall.

So why when the time and the place are so right,
clear articulation doth flee?
Why silence of brain and shortness of sight
when the urge to compose comes to me?

Its not as though audiences wait on my word,
or publishers pay me with praise.
No expectation save desire to be heard
compels voice and pen to be raised.

Oh when will I learn discipline, have faith,
simply let the pen start, and begin
with whichever word doth appear, like a wraith,
let the flow of ideas come in?

Oh thou in whose presence my soul takes delight,
be my mentor, my light and my guide.
Give clarity, vocabulary, grace so to write
that the joys I recall may abide,       --by Shirley Smith Franklin
                                                             April 1, 2013

1 comment:

  1. I found doing this 'first line exercise" maybe the hardest of all...(I think mine is up an Thursday, but I forget. I wrote a few ahead of time and now I'm following the prompts. I'd never be able to do this at work : )
    Why is this harder this year than last???? : )