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.