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Friday, July 18, 2014

Napowrimo Day 29--What a challenge!

From the Napowrimo website:  "And now our prompt (optional, as always). This may remind you a bit of the “New York School” recipe, but this prompt has been around for a long time. I remember using it in a college poetry class, and loving the result. It really forces you into details, and to work on “conducting” the poem as it grows, instead of trying to force the poem to be one thing or another in particular. The prompt is called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. And here are the twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem:"
1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.
9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).
11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”
12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”
14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

What does this mean?

I've subtitled  my blog "poetry, music, and travelogue which, as Pooh would put it, all turn out to be about the same thing."  Let's see how we're doing, shall we? (Poor word choice:  what it you should decide to respond with a no? Or wonder who in the heck "we" are.)  Anyway.  A quick review:  National Poetry Writing Month is over.  I'm done with that, unless an unexpected poem wanders in between now and next April.  There may or may not be thirty poems here, from  this year's challenge.  When I saved some as drafts to work on at later dates...well into May...I lost track.  Sorry about that.

Music.  Hmm, well, I could muse in words, which I occasionally do.  But unless I learn that and how there is a way to include audio here, those musings will be relatively unmusical.  I would love to be able to share a video of playable music developed from an image of birds sitting on a wire (You can find it at, which left me speechless.  What order and symmetry is yet to be discovered, all around and within us?!

Which is a nice segue into another emphasis of "The Last Page...", that of travelogue.  But that will wait until I travel again...Lordwilling in the fall and/or winter.

When and where are you going?

Here we go again!

Pooh is about to take up a new challenge.  Starting August first, I will join a 30 day challenge of responding to daily prompts for journalling.  Oh, I already keep a random journal of 'a number of things' (thank you Robert), but this will be a concerted effort to make, share, and celebrate journal writing with other journalers around the world.

Please see the description of the challenge at:
and consider joining us!

In defense of The Last Page's recent hiatus, friends and readers (and I hope you are both), physical therapy can be a full time job.  After the April poetry challenge, The Last Page took a break while I ramped up physical therapy for both shoulder (broken at the end of February) and knee (replaced last September). Renewed activity periodically provokes bursitis, requiring its own stretching and resting, on the opposite side. I can't imagine how enervating it can be to rebuild strength and mobility after more serious injuries/surgeries. Rest (read: naps) took priority over writing since May, but, lordwilling, and with the encouragement of writing peers, I'm baaaackkk...

Meanwhile, my writing goal will be editing poems to submit to the League of Minnesota Poets'
annual contest,  and begin work on a new chapbook, as well as attend writing practice, critique sessions, and readings with other poets and writers.  We give each other new energy to go back and sit alone at our desks...and WRITE!.