In April, I was writing poems using the fabulous prompts from NapoWriMo.Net. Some were very straightforward, some were very weird. At least they kept me writing through my lockdown days.
There’s been a rush of creativity in all forms throughout the lockdown. Personally, I have been knitting for new arrivals in my family (please don’t name anyone Corvid or Corona!) and writing lots of poems about isolation and nature. I even got my paints out after a long rest; my first project was a rainbow, a symbol of hope which lots of children (especially) have been putting in their windows for passers by to enjoy.
So there are two things we could be writing poems about, hope and rainbows. Hope: a good subject for a little poem. And to get you started, you could always try an acrostic. writing acrositcs is a great way of getting into an idea or a story, the first letters of the lines read out the title or the subject as you go down the page. There’s scope to move things round to fit your content and you can choose long or short lines; you can rhyme if you want to, too. here’s one I wrote about Hope.
Hope comes in
Opens our eyes
Points the way forward
Eases our anxiety
I’ve always thought of Faith, Hope and Charity as the three virtues; researching them has shown me that they are – in religious terms. Maybe there’s scope for a poem including these three in one poem.
A Google search just led me to the Classical virtues: Prudence, Courage, Temperance and Justice any of which might be a good subject for a poem nowadays.
My rainbow also opened out a lot of possibilities for writing about colours or rainbows. A poet friend told me blue is the hardest colour to write about; but I was able to dig out this little piece I wrote a long time ago to prove to myself it’s not impossible:
Blue is a cool sky,
soft to the touch, icy.
An ice-cream, a sorbet:
smooth, creamy and mellow.
It’s clean, clear ozone scent;
sharp on your nostrils, heady.
Blue hollow sky echoes
the sound of clouds rushing,
the sound of planes cruising
away, above the clouds.
Maybe you could pick your favourite colour and have a go at trying to describe it using imagery from the senses to describe the colour and the mood it creates for you. For example you might chose red and describe it using hot, chilli images and words that refer to the danger associated with the colour. I know a few of my friends might go straight for a political image, too. And if you’re taking inspiration from the world around you – what about the lovely gentle lilac or white blossoms of the May tree which are leading us into summer?
I was reminded of a poem I was made to learn by heart when I was about 11, it was written in 1844. I wish those teachers had made us learn more poems by heart; I didn’t like it at the time, but would love to be able to recite them now.
Spring Goeth all in White
Spring goeth all in white,
Crowned with milk-white may:
In fleecy flocks of light
O’er heaven the white clouds stray:
White butterflies in the air;
White daisies prank the ground:
The cherry and hoary pear
Scatter their snow around.
There are stories all around us at the moment: from stories of kind and helpful neighbours who have come into our lives in times of crisis to the hard working front line workers. What are we going to tell our children and grandchildren when they ask us what went on in 2020? Maybe you are keeping a diary; there’ll be stories in there.
If you’re still looking for inspiration for the Hysteria competition, have a look at https://pentoprint.org/ where you’ll find a first line generator to get your creative juices flowing.
Enjoy the month of May, with all the flowers and blossoms it brings.
I’ve been editing the page of a page of the Pen to Print online magazine which has been going through lockdown. You can read my Thoughtful Tuesday pages at: https://pentoprint.org/?s=thoughtful+tuesdays