Tag Archives: Kay Ryan

#245: The First Poem Written at the End of Spring Break

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Here we go, full steam ahead, into my fourth consecutive year of celebrating National Poetry Month by writing a poem on every single day of April. If you are new to these parts, you might be wondering about the number in the title, in this particular case, #245. I’ve participated so far in three years of napowrimo in a row, but I’ve been known on many occasions to write a poem outside of April, and early on I decided to number all my poems, mostly, to distinguish them on the blogsite from other kinds of writing, but at first, initially, to indicate a number for each day of my first month. In three years time, yup, I have written 245 poems. Are they any good? Who knows. I do what I do and napowrimo provides the yearly inspiration to do more of what I do. That’s all.

I have a great fondness for the organizational hub of the National Poetry Writing Month website, curated by Maureen Thorson. During the month of April I visit it religiously every day. I find there wonderful links to poets and their poems, interviews with poets about their poems, cool international poems or poems in translation, but most instructively, I find there a prompt for every day’s writing. Sometimes I follow the prompt, sometimes I don’t. I always feel free to do whatever I want; there is no rule that prompts must be followed. They are there just in case I need assistance, and sometimes I need assistance.

Today, for example. Assistance, please. Our very first prompt is to write a poem in the manner or style of Kay Ryan, former poet laureate of the United States of America, known for her tight, skinny lines, a penchant for humor, malapropism, a touch of surrealism, philosophy, and a curious use of internal rhyme, that is, a rhyme that doesn’t fall at the end of a line where one might expect to find it. If you’d like to see an example, here’s the link that Maureen provided on the napowrimo website: “All Your Horses” by Kay Ryan.

As I write this sentence, I haven’t even begun to write my first poem, so I don’t have a clue about what will follow.

The First Poem Written at the End of Spring Break

Say you hate
the phone
but brought
the phone home
or you found
good reason
to buy a new
truck. You worry
about desire,
a fire that’s
difficult to douse,
never seems
to go out. All
right, put the dogs
in the yard
and hope
they come back.
The fact: you burned
through a tank
of gas but didn’t
go anywhere.

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