Poetry Friday – Recap of the Poetry Marathon

Today is Poetry Friday. Thank you to Laura Shovan for hosting us today.

Last Saturday and Sunday I participated in the Poetry Marathon. It was rewarding to complete, and fun to try to keep up with drafting a poem, posting it on a WordPress blog at their site, and then doing a little living the rest of the hour, including trying to squeeze in sleep sometimes. It was suggested we wait until after the marathon to comment on others’ poems, which was good; I’m sure there wouldn’t have been time. I did manage to write 28 poems in 24 hours.

I always keep a list of poetry prompts and mentor poems handy, so I came with that list to the 24-hour event. That was a good idea because sometimes I didn’t feel inspired with the optional prompts they provided. Here are a few of the poems I wrote, these ones inspired by this Poetry Friday community:

First there is a Zentangle, like so many of you wrote last week based on this post by Kat Apel.

After, write a chapter,
words and lines use summary.
Words describing a story,
a visual, a communicator
ready to ready thinking,
parroting powers of description
in writing.

It doesn’t mean much, haha! It was from a page in a booklet of After Reading Comprehension Activities I put together for undergrad education students one year, but the process was fun.

Next, I wrote a nonet about hunger inspired by the post Laura Shovan wrote a couple of weeks ago. It was a call for poems about World Food Day with inspiring, forward-looking messages against hunger. You can read more about this call for poems on Laura’s blog if you are interested. The deadline is September 10. 

Quivering, savage, ravaging pain
Intolerable, mean, and fierce
Hunger hollowing inside–
But…a just full world can
drive off hunger’s pangs
food for all;

I had been wanting to write a poem like Buffy Silverman’s “Rainbow-Colored Springtime.” I decided to use a Poetry Marathon photo prompt to write about taking a bath, which sounded great at 10:00 p.m. I have revised this poem since trying to make it sound better than the first attempt by using assonance and rhythm.

Photo by Olena Sergienko on Unsplash

Wet bath
Laze bath
End of the day bath

Rest bath
Loaf bath
Soft and pruny soak bath

Praise bath
Peace bath
All cares decrease bath

Calm bath
Moon bath
Lolling, lazy tunes bath

Warm bath
Free bath
Fears absentee bath

Release bath
Embrace bath
Tensions down the drain bath

Then, I wrote a definito poem because the Dictionary.com word of the day for Saturday was paucity. Learn more about definito poems here by Heidi Mordhorst.

When something is lacking or
more is needed,
when there is only a bit
of any particular thing,
a deficit of dimes for the coin collector,
a scarcity of snakes for the snake lover,
a shortage of shoes for your tired feet
a dearth of earths for the whole hot world–
then we can say there is a paucity of that thing.

July is Parks and Recreation Month. Did you know Kwame Alexander is putting together a community poem about Parks and Recreation? I learned about it from Kim Johnson. Here’s more information from Kim. The deadline is July 9. Here is my draft:

Everything Around You

Everything around you is
a plaything
at the park–
a magical, generous, glorious,
windowful, open stream of joy.

Sitting in the tunnels,
worn smooth from years of
children sliding, crawling, playing,
imagining, creating, resting inside.
These concrete cylinders were painted in
bright primary colors–red, blue, yellow–
free, generous, worthwhile, relaxing,
Saved from an inelegant assignment of
stopping floods in a culvert somewhere.
Instead, they
serve as playthings.
Everything around you is a plaything
at the park.

Finally, one of the prompts at the Poetry Marathon was to write a self-portrait. The mentor text was by a Polish poet named Adam Zagajewski, “Self-Portrait”.  I found it to be a great skeleton for my own poem. Have you read his work before?


By Adam Jagajewski

Between the computer, a pencil, and a typewriter
half my day passes. One day it will be half a century.
I live in strange cities and sometimes talk
with strangers about matters strange to me.
I listen to music a lot: Bach, Mahler, Chopin, Shostakovich.
I see three elements in music: weakness, power, and pain.
The fourth has no name.
I read poets, living and dead, who teach me
tenacity, faith, and pride.

Continue reading here

Last week Linda hosted Poetry Friday and offered us a clunker exchange. This was my first time with a clunker exchange, so I wasn’t sure how to play along! I did love taking the line about Susan B. Anthony and doing research about her. I wrote a septercet sandwich poem about Anthony. 

Here is my whole chapbook’s worth of Poetry Marathon poems.

Today’s Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by Laura Shovan. Head over there to see all the poetry others have shared today.

24 thoughts on “Poetry Friday – Recap of the Poetry Marathon

  1. You wrote 28 poems in 24 hours? That is awesome! That first poem does mean something, not to worry. It’s very encouraging. What is a chapter, after all, but words and lines? If you think of it that way, it’s doable, right? I can write words and lines = I can write a chapter. And if you’re unsure, you can parrot powers of description until you realize you’re actually doing the describing yourself! Very nice.

  2. I’m so impressed, Denise! 28 poems in 24 hour is a real accomplishment! Thank you sharing your work and inspiring a few new forms.

    1. Thank you, Rose. I liked that the challenge did not specify how long the poems needed to be. Even one line would have been fine. That then becomes doable. I always felt if I tried more than a haiku, I was doing great.

  3. Wow, Denise. You produced amazing work during the marathon! After a long week, your bath poem is the one that I could sink into happily.

    1. Yes, I would love a bath like the one in my poem. We only have a shower here, so for the past eight years, baths are only a vague memory!

  4. WOW! You must feel great after all that writing during the marathon. It’s a good idea to have prompts at the ready–that “freeze” feeling gets me often. I really love the bath poem. That is lovely and fun and funny and serious. What a collection. Again, you must feel great!

    1. Thank you, Linda. It was a rewarding experience, to be sure. I like what you said about the bath poem. fun and serious. Hmmmm….that’s a success.

  5. There’s been no paucity of poetry in your life of late Denise. Your plethora of poems provides a comforting wrap of worked up words. It also gives you options. An interesting array of poetry forms as well. Well done on your stickability. Sometimes when we write it is like a tap being turned on. Now you can savour your creative efforts. Your anthology perhaps…

    1. Yes, I like that metaphor of a tap being turned on. I definitely have been feeling that of late. Yes, there is no paucity of poems for me. Thank you, Alan!

  6. Oh my heavens–did you really wake up all night to write a poem every hour? Goodness. What an array of different forms and voices! I’m partial to the definito, not just because it’s mine, but because of this line: “a dearth of earths for the whole hot world–
    We really have to keep that in front of us somehow, don’t we!?

    1. Heidi, I did! Though I quickly figured out how to write two poems and then sleep. For instance, at 12:50 I wrote a poem, and then another one at 1:00. I was back asleep by 1:15 until 2:45. I did that three times, and it wasn’t so bad really. 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words. Yes, we have a paucity of planets. I hope we figure it out NOW!

  7. Impressive! You surpassed the challenge in every way possible. I’m not a hot bath person, but your poem is enough to convince me to try again. Well done!

    1. Thank you, Mary Lee. I actually had to surpass the challenge because I started writing ahead. I had not understood that part, so I discarded those four poems and rewrote some more when the hours came. Yes, give that bath a try. A cool bath might be nice in the summer!

  8. Like everyone’s reply, Denise, WOW! I imagine you scurrying for all those special words & from those you shared, they are wonderful. I love the zentangle (time to do another) & the bath is a favorite, just right after 28 poems! Congratulations on achieving this marathon!

    1. Thank you, Linda. Yes, I do want to try some more zentangles. It will be great to find some variety of text and see what happens.

  9. I am in awe – 28 poems in 24 hours?

    I too have been wanting to write something after Buffy Silverman’s poem – your bath poem is wonderful!

    Once again you’ve introduced me to a new form (definito poems) – thank you!

    I always feel like I’m at a rich, sumptuous poetry banquet when I stop by your blog. So many treats to enjoy – each one invites savoring.

  10. Denise, this is amazing what you have done! My favorite is your poem “Paucity”, with its “dearth of earths for a whole hot world.” It must have been an experience writing so many poems in such a short time. Now one or two will seem like nothing. Also Jagajewski’s work is amazing! Thanks for introducing his work to me.

  11. Denise, you made it through a long twenty-four-hour span. Wow! Congratulations to you. Now, go take that wonderful laze bath and bathe in your thankfulness for being in the creativity zone.

  12. Wow!!! I think we ought to roll out the poetic carpet for all the poems you penned, brava! I like the alliteration in your zentangle, the bath poem is a delight, including the image, and “Paucity” covered all the right points–no scarcity there… Thanks for sharing this bevy of poetry Denise!

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