National Poetry Writing Month 2022 April 30th 2022


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History of National Poetry Writing Month

National Poetry Writing Month (also known as NaPoWriMo) is a creative writing project held annually in April in which participants attempt to write a poem each day for one month. NaPoWriMo coincides with the National Poetry Month in the United States of America and Canada.

NaPoWriMo, or National Poetry Writing Month, is an annual project in which participating poets attempt to write a poem a day for the month of April.

This website is owned and operated by Maureen Thorson, a poet living in Washington, DC. Inspired by NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month), she started writing a poem a day for the month of April back in 2003, posting the poems on her blog. When other people started writing poems for April, and posting them on their own blogs, Maureen linked to them. After a few years, so many people were doing NaPoWriMo that Maureen decided to launch an independent website for the project.

My History with National Poetry Writing Month

I started writing poetry in 1988 after I had been exposed to T.S. Elliot in my honors English class in high school. In 1992 I started reading my poetry publicly at Espesso Europia Coffee Shop in Abilene Tx while I was in the United States Air Force. This continued for many years when I ran my own poetry reading at Cannova’s in Loves Park Illinois and attended the poetry slams at The green Mill in Chicago Illinois. While living in Rockford Illinois I published my first book of poetry Throwing Yourself at the Ground and Missing in 2007 followed by Postcards From Someone You Don’t Know in 2008 Wisdom From the Sack in 2010 and Shaving Crop Circles In My Chest Hair in 2017. You can get copies of all of these books in my merch section. In 2009 I started participating in National Poetry Writing Month which became the basis for my book Wisdom From the Sack and Shaving Crop Circles in My Chest Hair. In 2020 I started publishing my podcast version of the challenge and those can be viewed here for 2020 and here for 2021.

April 30th Poetry Prompt

And now – our final (but still optional!) prompt. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a cento. This is a poem that is made up of lines taken from other poems. If you’d like to dig into an in-depth example, here’s John Ashbery’s cento “The Dong with the Luminous Nose,” and here it is again, fully annotated to show where every line originated. A cento might seem like a complex undertaking – and one that requires you to have umpteen poetry books at your fingertips for reference – but you don’t have to write a long one. And a good way to jump-start the process is to find an online curation of poems about a particular topic (or in a particular style), and then mine the poems for good lines to string together. You might look at the Poetry Foundation’s collection of love poems, or its collection of poems by British romantic poets, or even its surprisingly expansive collection of poems about (American) football.

April 30th Poem

Not My Words 

30 April 2022 

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking 
Everybody knows that the captain lied 
Everybody got this broken feeling 
Like their father or their dog just died 
Everybody talking to their pockets 
Everybody wants a box of chocolates 
And a long stem rose 

Those who have crossed 
    With direct eyes, to death’s other Kingdom 
    Remember us-if at all-not as lost 
    Violent souls, but only 
    As the hollow men 
    The stuffed men. 

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight 
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay, 
 

Eyes I dare not meet in dreams 
    In death’s dream kingdom 
    These do not appear: 
    There, the eyes are 
    Sunlight on a broken column 
    There, is a tree swinging 
    And voices are 
    In the wind’s singing 
    More distant and more solemn 
    Than a fading star. 

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming 
Everybody knows that it’s moving fast 
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman 
Are just a shining artifact of the past 

Is it like this 
    In death’s other kingdom 
    Waking alone 
    At the hour when we are 
    Trembling with tenderness 
    Lips that would kiss 
    Form prayers to broken stone. 

though wise men at their end know dark is right, 
Because their words had forked no lightning 

In this last of meeting places 
    We grope together 
    And avoid speech 
    Gathered on this beach of the tumid river 
    
    Sightless, unless 
    The eyes reappear 
    As the perpetual star 
    Multifoliate rose 

And everybody knows that it’s now or never 
Everybody knows that it’s me or you 
And everybody knows that you live forever 
Ah, when you’ve done a line or two 

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight, 
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way, 

Between the desire 
    And the spasm 
    Between the potency 
    And the existence 
    Between the essence 
    And the descent 
    Falls the Shadow 

And everybody knows that you’re in trouble 
Everybody knows what you’ve been through 
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary 
To the beach of Malibu 

And you, my father, there on the sad height, 
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray. 

In death’s other kingdom 
    Waking alone 
    At the hour when we are 
    Trembling with tenderness 
    Lips that would kiss 
    Form prayers to broken stone. 
 

Everybody knows the war is over 
Everybody knows the good guys lost 
Everybody knows the fight was fixed 
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich 
That’s how it goes 

Do not go gentle into that good night. 
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. 

2 

This is the way the world ends 
    This is the way the world ends 
    This is the way the world ends 
    Not with a bang but a whimper. 

  1. Everybody Knows Leonard Cohen 
  1. The Hollow Men T.S. Elliot 
  1. Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night Dylan Thomas 

Reaching Out

To reach out to me, email timothy@createartpodcast.com I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and let’s start that conversation.

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