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Day Four: Poem as a prompt

I’m so grateful for our April and NaPoWriMo and everybody who writes and reads poems, and especially for Maureen’s prompts.

Not only does she provide daily examples of great poetry (I love today’s “Gentle Leader” by Lucy Schiller so much), but there hasn’t been a repeat of a prompt in the last four years, I believe. And today she will get new ideas from our poems since the challenge is…

Prompt 4: “I’d like to challenge you to write a poem . . . in the form of a poetry prompt.” 

I love the finish of the last example poem by Mathias Svalina: “The camera clicks. And whatever the camera fails to see is the poem.” My life as a poetry prompt. Ah, look, got my title already.

My life as a poetry prompt

Today, I’d like to challenge you 
to write a poem as an answer 
to one of these, or all:

Why is it that she leads a writer’s life 
but then only writes 
that month of year?

Who would vow to write a novel
about a dog walk
on which nothing happens?

Will the poetic
win over
the factual?

Will she learn
how to invent
so that it doesn't feel like lying?

Will she be able to choose
one thing without
losing all the rest?

Who told her
that writing poetry
is really asking life’s big questions?

And why does she expect
others will write poems 
to answer them for her? 

The last day in my NaPoWriMo history

2018: Boulevard of Broken Bathrooms
How hard is it
to see life as a shaft
full of crocodiles
with their mouths wide open?
“The bathroom is broken again,”
amid cussing.
Choosing anger over sadness
because it gives you tools to work with. 
(Read on.)
2019: Sad sonnet (click for doors)

Sad Thursday. Great. Exactly what is needed.
As if the stormy winds that threaten wildly
to thwart our careful plans, to put it mildly,
weren’t enough. Sad sonnet? I say: Bring it!

The one to order sadness from me blindly
has not been born yet, or with joy defeated.
There is too much that’s wrong, sad, bad, mistreated,
so take your gloom away and bug off kindly.

It’s not denial. It’s anger. Thought pollution.  
I feel I’ve landed in a tear-jerk story.  
To be sad to a prompt is no solution.  

I’ll keep my colours, doors, hope, fun times, glory.  
Yes, optimism is new revolution.
So let me hear you loudly say: We’re sorry.

2020: Running it
See how it runs:
the story runs,
the action runs,
it’s full of aha moments,
it’s poignant,
it’s daring and it dares,
it’s ripe and ready to reap awards,
it’s world-changing,
it’s life-turning
(or is it the other way around?).
(Read on.)
2021: Sub 
(click for more liminal spaces in photos)

No. No. No… (Browsing Liminal Spaces.) 
This one. 
A suburban scene, empty of everything 
but time. 
Substandard in use, super nova 
in renovation. 
There were times when it lived 
but not now. 
Now it is closed, opening nothing 
but eyes. 
Suburban, substandard, 

This day in my blogging history


Published by Manja Maksimovič

A Slovenian in Italy for love. Blogger, photographer, translator and would-be writer who would be a writer if she wrote. Plus reluctant but emerging poet. Beware.

29 thoughts on “Day Four: Poem as a prompt

  1. This bit rang true in my soul.
    “And why does she expect
    others will write poems
    to answer them for her?”

    I can’t write at all my feelings so I rely on writers and poems especially to express those feelings.

    Well done with the challenge, Manja!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh Deborah, thank you! 🙂 But can you display your feelings with your photography? I say yes, you can! We all just do what we can… I’m glad that you can rely on writers, and that you liked this poem. Huuuugs!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your prompt poem asks great questions. Yeah, why? But yeah, she will get answers from others’ poems because her gentle dog doesn’t have them. I too would turn to poetry for answers in that case.
    Your work is fantastic. Always.
    In the photos you included poetry too. Wow! Amazing, you!
    Loved that sonnet, especially. Thanks for sharing so much of yourself. Be well. No overwhelm please. I send you sunshine and blessings. xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Selma. for everything, every read, every word. My gentle dog is giving answers in other ways. 🙂 It made me smile, this bit. Yes, this month I like to look back and give snippets or full poems from my previous four years of NaPoWriMo. It makes me happy to do this. A sort of closure.


  3. Loved your poetry prompt poem. I so enjoy poems made up of questions, writing and reading them, and your questions were divine. I couldn’t pick a favourite one because I really loved them all. I was quite moved by the 6th and 8th stanzas ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Once again, with brevity and feeling, you’ve shared wisdom that resonates with me. I’m particularly charmed by these lines.

    Who told her
    that writing poetry
    is really asking life’s big questions?

    And why does she expect
    others will write poems
    to answer them for her?

    These lines remind me that the best poetry (and I’m enjoying yours so much) feeds us nourishment for our own reflections to find our own answers. Thank you. This is so beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thank you, Carol Ann. 🙂 I’m so happy that you enjoy reading my output. Every April I suddenly turn into this daily poet and hope for the best. Answers are many and I find it best to just lay them out.


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