NaPoWriMo2021 Day One

Well, I’m going for it. Last year I joined in with NaPoWriMo about two thirds of the way through April and enjoyed the crazy pot-boiler pressure of coming up with first drafts of poems quickly each day in response to prompts, so this year I am going to go for 30 days of the same high!

The prompts I am following are to be found on the NaPoWriMo site linked here in case you want to join in. There’s tons of other poetry related info on there each day – live readings are signposted and lots of other interesting stuff, so thanks to Maureen Thorson, the poet living in Washington, DC, who runs the site. She is keen to point out there are other similar sites and that she doesn’t ‘own’ NaPoWriMo, but I am following her site and think it is great.

The Day One prompt was, roughly paraphrased, about how helpful it can be to get outside of your own head, and learn to see the world in a new way when you are trying to write poetry. Maureen suggests that you try and ‘derange yourself – make the world strange, and see it as a stranger might’.

I am currently part of a pretty fab poetry workshop taught by Gill Lambert – a talented poet and a wonderful teacher and motivator local to me here in Yorkshire, UK. One of the techniques Gill has taught us in workshop that really makes you see things with a ‘strangers eye’ is to take a poem by someone else and respond to it line by line but backwards – starting at the end. So I decided to try that for Day One!

As it’s best to use a poem you have not read yet, and I had just received Gill’s lovely collection in the post (Tadaima published by Yaffle Press) – I used a poem from that (Laphroaig, if you are wondering). I’m loving the collection as I read through it, so I’d recommend you go and buy it! Thanks Gill.

The photos at the top of the post are of the first set of sample crochet squares I made in the New Year of 2018 when I stumbled on the craft through a book recommendation from a friend – and now I don’t know how I did without it in my life for so long.

You may have noticed I’m posting this on Day Two, and so I will shortly post the second poem today as well. I wasn’t quite organised yesterday so it didn’t get posted! I’ve decided to take a relaxed view of it all – as long as I get 30 poems done – hopefully one a day – but however it falls out is fine. Low stress NaPoWriMo! Here we go…poem number one…

Muscle Memory

The tip of  that moment; surprise that her hands already knew

how to hold the hook, work the yarn; fated partners like Fonteyn

and Nureyev; from countries far apart yet twinned like doves or towns.

Joy dissolved her prerequisites, her self-dreamt cages; she woke

 

from the oak casket of snobbery about the woolly sisterhood.

A chance gift, a rope thrown out – escape from the next phase

of life’s treatment plan, The best medicine, this drive to touch, 

unwind, smell grass in wool, twist and stitch to the tune in her blood.

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