April 1st, April Fools Day
Here’s a poem by Billy Collins:
In the first line he uses the word ‘fool’, but this isn’t the subject of his poem. This month’s challenge is to do the same with a poem of your own. Well, you don’t have to use the word ‘fool’ in the first line, just place it anywhere in the poem.
St David’s Day. Ah, where can we go from here?
David…whose popularity in Wales is shown by the Armes Prydein, a popular poem which prophesied that in the future, when all might seem lost, the Cymry (Welsh people) would unite behind the standard of David to defeat the English. So maybe could write a poem about nationalism.. or something of the sort. Here’s ‘Blues’ by Derek Walcott: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/blues
Or maybe we could think about David’s life and teachings which have inspired a choral work by Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, Dewi Sant, and an oratorio by another Welsh composer, Arwel Hughes, also entitled Dewi Sant. And in this Dylan Thomas poem the original version had line 17 reading “But for St David, his arms” http://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/my-craft-or-sullen-art.
No it didn’t, I made that up.
On the other hand we could go with his association with corpse candles, lights that warn of the imminent death of a member of the community. The story goes that David prayed for his people to have some warning of their death, so that they could prepare themselves. Here’s a poem about candles for the dead by Bernard O’Donoghue: http://www.poetryarchive.org/poem/candle-dolly-duggan
So there you have it – St David’s Day. Nationalism, inspiration, candles. What does it mean to you – if anything?
Okay, it’s too big to ignore. We’re confronted daily by the antithesis of Light…
Here’s a poem by Edward Baugh:
and another by D.H. Lawrence. It’s worth listening to Glyn Maxwell read it as he adds an insight into Lawrence’s technique.
Poems about the dark can take many turns – political, natural, personal… They raise questions, too – can the dark be positive?
Membership of Cross Border Poets has reached bursting point. Regrettably, from January 2017 onwards, we are unable to accept new members but will review the situation in six months time.
In these short days (but getting longer, hurrah) here’s a poem by David Morley about light. More specifically, artificial light:
And here’s a completely different view of light from Dannie Abse:
Artificial, natural or imagined – Light.
Here’s a poem by Les Murray… He introduces it by saying “I keep a picture of my favourite phobia on the door of my study. It’s a fear of a road with a drop on one side, a corniche. And this poem is taken from that picture – it’s called ‘The Annals of Sheer’.”
Walls and what we keep on them… and why.
So you’ve written 31 poems in the las 31 days and you can’t just give up the habit.
Habits. Make what you will of them…
Here’s a poem by Jonathan Edwards:
On encountering the pearly gates
Goodbye is unexpected.
If the gatekeeper isn’t St Peter it must be her,
my first mother.
She smiles a weird smile which I think
Goodbye I say, smiling back and she grabs hold
of the gates and lifts them up,
then lifts them higher.
I remember my birth certificate with crane driver
inked under Mother’s Occupation.
I duck under and we stand there
not knowing what should happen next
and wondering if we’ll end up
doing whatever it is together.
Just when you thought it was all over…
Here’s a poem by Michael Laskey (to find it click the ‘The Work’ tab):
After it’s all over.
The Last…?: Well, here we are at the end of another 30-day poetic marathon! (Methinks Martin doesn’t know there are 31 days in October. Will there be a final prompt tomorrow? [RMB])
Think of something you couldn’t possibly do without. Now, consider having to face up to savouring it one more time before it vanishes forever.
The last book? The last cake? The last elephant?