Saturday, February 23, 2008

poem free for all!

Well, it's week four in our poem cycle, time for some fun. Why don't we try a smorgasbord? Pick one and report back with your results!

1. write a poem about a person, place or thing without naming the person, place or thing.

2. find another poem about a name and tell us about it.

3. write a name acrostic--that is, a poem which spells out something in the first letter of each line. ex:

Joy for mothers
is seldom found
lying under
low-flying hairballs.

(first letter of each line spells out my name, Jill.) yes. i know it's a lame poem. i'm kind of tired.

4. write a list poem of all the names you wish you'd had, all the names you've been called, the names of all the personalities you have, etc...

5. write a poem under a psudonym. that is, write a poem from a view point or a voice you would not normally write in, or about a subject you would not normally write about. sort of an anti-you poem.

6. send the poem you wrote about your name to the people who named you.

7. engage in any other creative poetry outlet you feel so inclined to enjoy!

There's a new poem/new poet next month, so stay tuned! And, as always, thank you, everyone, for participating!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

call for "name poems"

Hi, everyone! We hope you had a great week writing from the name prompt. Post links to your poems in the comment section and visit all your poet friends who spent the week naming names.

Next weekend, we'll post a free-for-all and then on March 2 we start the whole thing over again with a new poet and poem up for discussion and inspiration!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

poem. prompt based on My Name

Many thanks to everyone who offered their comments, interpretations and impressions of My Name, by Aimee Nezhukumatathil! We can keep the discussion going, if you like!

Now it’s time to write your own poems about your names. Or maybe someone else’s name.

Read My Name again. Jot down the thoughts/images/lines that come to you as you read. No editing (at least in the idea gathering, gotta give your muse a break…)!

Do you remember learning to write your name? Learning what your name meant? Maybe how your parents chose your name? Do people always mispronounce your name? Have you ever thought about changing your name? How do you relate to your name? Do you like it? Hate it?

In her wonderful book, poemcrazy, Susan Wooldridge writes, “Poetry can be about discovering and naming ourselves. And creating a name can be like writing a poem.”

Borrowing from her chapter entitled, our real names, you could try starting a poem with "my real name is," "yesterday my name was," or "tomorrow my name will be."

Of course, feel free to ignore everything we say! These are all just prompts—little sparks to set your creative fire roaring. The real poem will come from you.

Take a week and give it a shot. When we post again next week (on or about February 17), we'll ask you to share what you wrote. In the comments section of that post, you can publish a free write, draft or finished piece, or you can publish a permalink to something on your own blog.

ps: everyone and anyone is welcome to post a name poem. It's ok if you didn't participate in the discussion. We're equal opportunity poets around here!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Our Second Poem: My Name by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Welcome to February here at poem! Our poem for the month is My Name by Aimee Nehukumatathil. It's from Miracle Fruit, her first book of poetry. * (In case anyone is worried, we actually have Aimee's permission (!) to use this poem! How cool is that?)

As a reminder, this week, all you need to do is read the poem and enjoy a lively discussion of it! Think about it, sit with it, say it aloud, read it to family and friends...then post your thoughts, observations, questions and impressions here in the comments section.

Next week, we will post a prompt related to the poem. The third week of the month you can post your links to your own "name poems," and after that...surprise, surprise, surprise!


My Name

At four, I was ready: fat pencil and paper, lined
the way I like it best--two strong sky blue lines
with a dotted line in between the two, a soft ceiling
for the tops of lower case letters to brush up against.

In New Guinea, to identify a person's family, you ask,
What is the name of your canoe? My seventh grade
social studies teacher made up a dance to help him
remember how to pronounce my name--he'd break it

into sharp syllables, shake his corduroyed hips
at roll call, his bulge of keys rattling in time.
I don't remember who first shortened it to Nez,
but I loved the zip of it, the sport and short of it,

until the day I learned Nez means nose in French.
Translation: beloved nose. My father tells me part
of our name comes from a flower from the South Indian
coast. I wonder what it smells like, what fragrance

I always have dabbed at my neck. Scientists say some flowers
don't have a scent, but they do--even if it's hints of sweat
from blooms too long without drink or the promise
of honey from the scratchings of a thin bee leg, feathered

with loosestrife and sage. I wonder if I've ever smelled
our flower, if the smell ever wafted clear across the ocean.
I would swim out to meet it, brush the salt and bits
of pink shell away, apologize for the messiness of my hair.