Day nine of NaPoWrimo bring us to two new prompts. Today, we’re being asked to write a visual poem and a poem about work. NaPoWrimo’s prompt is the first one and Writer’s Digest the second. I’m all about economy in verse so I’m combining the two prompts for my offering.
Visual poetry is a refreshing and sometimes challenging way to express a feeling or idea. It’s as if the positioning of the letters and/or the shapes used, are actually the poem and the words are just the backdrop or simply a means with which to hang the image being offered.
Work…Oh, work work, work. What can I say? We love to hate to love it. It’s our way of supporting our families, it gives us something to do with our day, it can provide for our passions, but no one wants to do it. Then there’s the other types of work that are enjoyable like working on a pet project, your art, building something from scratch, etc. It’s all up to as to what you consider good or bad work. Either way, we are to write about it, in whatever way it manifests itself in your life.
Happy poeming to all! :
Craig Raine is widely regarded as among the foremost of England’s contemporary poets, writing allusive, learned poetry punctuated by his use of wordplay, startling imagery, and strange metaphors. Critically, he has been seen as the spark needed to bring a resurgence to British verse by leading the so-called “Martian” school of poets, a loose knit movement which takes its name from the title of Raine’s book of poetry, A Martian Sends a Postcard Home (1979). Martian poetry, like Raine’s early verse, features unexpected imagery, unique and metaphoric language, and an emphasis on an alien point of view that makes the familiar, everyday world seem fresh, newly discovered, and sometimes humorous.
A Martian Sends a Postcard Home
Caxtons are mechanical birds with many wings
and some are treasured for their markings —
they cause the eyes to melt
or the body to shriek without pain.
I have never seen one fly, but
sometimes they perch on the hand.
Mist is when the sky is tired of flight
and rests its soft machine on ground:
then the world is dim and bookish
like engravings under tissue paper.
Rain is when the earth is television.
It has the property of making colours darker.
Model T is a room with the lock inside —
a key is turned to free the world
for movement, so quick there is a film
to watch for anything missed.
But time is tied to the wrist
or kept in a box, ticking with impatience.
In homes, a haunted apparatus sleeps,
that snores when you pick it up.
If the ghost cries, they carry it
to their lips and soothe it to sleep
with sounds. And yet they wake it up
deliberately, by tickling with a finger.
Only the young are allowed to suffer
openly. Adults go to a punishment room
with water but nothing to eat.
They lock the door and suffer the noises
alone. No one is exempt
and everyone’s pain has a different smell.
At night when all the colours die,
they hide in pairs
and read about themselves —
in colour, with their eyelids shut.