NaPoWriMo Day 15 Prompt 16

Here are two prompts, first from Chris Jarmick the second from the NaPoWriMo site:

“Prompt 16— Dust off an old poem or something you wrote in the past and turn it into a new poem. Don’t simply re-write it… turn inside out, upside down, shake it around and write it again in a completely different way. You can do this with a poem you just a few days ago… or one you wrote a long time ago in a galaxy far far….. anyway… you get the idea. Be really brave and share both the old in its original form and the new. Keep writing.”

“Today, I challenge you to write a pantun. Not a pantoum — though they are related. The pantun is a traditional Malay form, a style of which was later adapted into French and then English as the pantoum. A pantun consists of rhymed quatrains (abab), with 8-12 syllables per line. The first two lines of each quatrain aren’t meant to have a formal, logical link to the second two lines, although the two halves of each quatrain are supposed to have an imaginative or imagistic connection.”

I’m not sure what old poem to use… I do occasionally rewrite old poems, but the ones that need rewriting are all already rewritten and the ones I’ve written recently need some time to percolate. So, for a challenge, how about a really old poem that I do not think needs any changes? One of the first poems I wrote, it is not very deep, but it did just sort of write itself, and somehow with a perfect syllable scheme. I’ve never thought to change it let alone rewrite it, so this might be interesting.

The Wolf

the wolf
thin and sly
you howl
twinkle in your eye
at the moon
in the midnight sky

the night
is your own
yours and yours alone
quick you run
through the wood of home

chill mist
hear your tune
you hunt
ghosts through the damp gloom
howls once more
at the pale full moon

I don’t know how three stanzas with identical syllable count and almost identical word count popped out of my head, but it did, and this bit of free writing gives me a starting place. Perhaps not appropriate, but this poem did just pop out of my head one day, it popped out of my head fully formed… So my starting point will be to include Athena in it somehow… I am not optimistic… but I will try writing something and see what happens…

you were born
or hatched
with eyes of owls
and a mind
nimble and quick

Athena seems to be a worst-case-scenario of indigestion
So much for that, back to the wolf…

in faith
in darkness
you see
beyond our limits
and we smile
knowing your our kin

shots ring
from sky
blood in snow
blind men
in helicopters
kill them selves
one shot at a time

in your eyes
you turn
return to the dream
leaving me
longing to join you

the wolf
in mist
hear its howl
in the quiet part
where the mist
becomes clarity

a wolf
howling in my mind
is only
returning my call

blink and
on the wolf
in the emptiness
of my mind
becoming myself

the call
of wolves
by hearts
kin to the forest
do you hear your soul?

I guess I have been wanting to try that syllable scheme as a short form for some time, I’m glad I finally did it.

The second prompt, pantun, 8 to 12 syllable unrelated imagistic pair of couplets with an A B A B end rhyme scheme:

how come I am thinking of limericks
when writing this form, are you from Nantucket?
a sea breeze stretches across the bridge fix
you can see the repairs reflected in this locket

This is just too forced for my taste, too much structure. And I am not a fan of end rhymes, the can be done in a way that works well, but they usually do not. At least, thats my thought. Which may be nothing more than electrical rot. Or impacted snot. But some people like end rhymes, I prefer my rhymes to be internal within the limes… I mean lines.


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