NaPoWriMo Prompt for Day 30


Technically, it is the last day of National Poetry Month, and the last day of the prompts. As for me, I ‘m still working to catch up, and will likely go part way through May to feel like I’ve completed the challenge. But I thought I would at least attempt one of the Day 30 prompts on the right day. Here it is!

The prompt for Day 30 over at NaPoWriMo goes like this: “And now our final (and still optional) prompt! I know I’ve used this one in prior years, but it’s one of my favorites, so bear with me. Find a shortish poem that you like, and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite. For example, you might turn “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “I won’t contrast you with a winter’s night.” Your first draft of this kind of opposite poem will likely need a little polishing, but this is a fun way to respond to a poem you like, while also learning how that poem’s rhetorical strategies really work. (It’s sort of like taking a radio apart and putting it back together, but for poetry). Happy writing!”

I chose the poem I wrote for Day 18, which was to begin and end on the same word. Here is the original:

The Note that Anchors You


La-A (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

End on the note that anchors you
to your life, to the electric hum,
buzz and inhale. Dance
to the tune in your head
on the tip of waves,
at the end of airplane wings, as you fly
to the corners at the ends of the world.

When you stroke off the last entry
on your not-yet-done list, take
one last journey, go
with a banging of drums. Ignore
the whimper of what you didn’t try:
This is the way your story should end.

Here is my “opposite” poem, more or less:

The Song that Sets You Free

Begin the song that sets you free
from your death, from the static,
buzz and exhale. Walk away
from the discordance in your bones
in the valleys of wake
at the stern of your ship, as you fall
from the centre of the world.

English: An illustration from the Encyclopaedi...

English: An illustration from the Encyclopaedia Biblica, a 1903 publication which is now in the public domain. Fig. 21 for article “Music”. Image of a Babylonian Harp – which had only 5 strings. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When you set down the first entry
on your list of things accomplished, make
the first journey, arrive
to the strum of harp strings. Pay attention
to the wail of what you tried,
This is the way your story should begin.

8 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo Prompt for Day 30

  1. I, too, will be plugging away into May to catch up on the days I missed. I just want to post 30 poems, even though they won’t be completed within 30 days. Just between us, I think it’s okay. :)

    • Oh yes, it is okay. I did the three challenges for today (NaPoWriMo, PAD Challenge and Poetry Superhighway) but I have at least a week’s worth still not done, especially the form poems. lol.

      And then I think the next round of the 30-day regimen for Southeast Review is in June. I think! Ah. a month to rest?

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