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napowrimo #1

April 1, 2010

People who are regular readers aren’t used to seeing poems here at “caroleesherwood.” I usually post drafts of poem under lock and key at “i am maureen.” But since I post poems during NaPoWriMo without a password anyway, I don’t see a need to force the frazzled 30-poems-in-30-days poets to suffer a bunch of extra clicks.

This one is inspired from today’s prompt at Poetic Asides: “Write a lonely poem.” I decided to try to do so without using the word lonely, using instead actions that are lonely and using details from my day yesterday. Who knew the piece would take an optimistic tone at the end? (Sheesh, Muse. It’s supposed to be a lonely poem. You’re going to have to play nicer if we’re going to get through this month.)




I often make notes after the drafts I post about what I like and don’t like, what’s working and not. This month, I’m going to try to skip that level of reflection about the pieces. NaPoWriMo is about the creation of the poems. It’ll be easier if the editor is silenced. It is assumed the poems are raw material at this stage. Totally un-glamorous. Hot, sloppy messes.

  1. April 1, 2010 2:12 pm

    I really enjoyed your “lonely poem.”

    But I didn’t find it lonely or really “longing.”

    I thought it wise and a bit wishful.

    Good luck with the month.


    • April 1, 2010 2:52 pm

      doug, it did end up with wistful being the overall sensation instead of loneliness. when i started it, i didn’t expect it to leave the quarrels, the ICU, the loss of the mother or to circle back to the hope of the daffodils. never can tell! thanks for reading!

  2. April 1, 2010 2:29 pm

    really loved this. We’re not that lonely after all. Sometimes we end up being single though not lonely…(as indeed “our hemisphere/leans toward the sun”)

  3. April 1, 2010 2:31 pm

    I particularly liked the “intersections” part for some reason.

    Our regular daffodils are just coming into bloom today (the miniature ones opened last week).

    • April 1, 2010 2:54 pm

      dave, the sun did indeed bring the daffodils today. ask and ye shall receive! tomorrow, i’m writing a poem about being a multi-millionaire.

  4. April 1, 2010 3:36 pm

    I liked the intersections, too.

  5. joannejohns permalink
    April 1, 2010 6:50 pm

    I especially love “We are not corpses / and then we are.” Simple, but packs quite a punch.

  6. quillandkey permalink
    April 1, 2010 7:09 pm

    I enjoyed the evocation of precise places in this piece, and the way that they accumulate to form personal meaning.

  7. April 1, 2010 7:21 pm

    I love the imagery here. Nicely done and yes there some hope in the finale of the piece.

  8. April 1, 2010 10:11 pm

    “Wide umbrellas at every café
    shade couples and children in flip flops.”

    My favorite!
    Flip flops are my life.
    Plus, it reminds me of being at a beach in Maine.
    The rain comes and goes, you see umbrellas open up,
    and the whole world is littered with color…even when it is dreary.

  9. April 1, 2010 10:24 pm

    Wow. “[O]pposite intentions make evenly timed exchanges.” And the personal touch of the coat grounds the piece for me. And the beach, the way life should be. I love daffodils even though they also make me sad. They’ll likely appear shortly in one of my attempts. A local cemetery has rescued heirloom daffodils from a construction site and planted them in their garden of tombs. My wife gave me a bouquet of typical daffodils before she returned to where she’s living; they never opened.

    BTW, today’s the first over 80-degree day in Atlanta. We’re all hot, sloppy messes already.

  10. April 1, 2010 11:07 pm

    lots of good stuff here Carolee…enjoyed your words…keep shuffling

  11. Mari permalink
    April 1, 2010 11:13 pm

    I stumbled upon your site by following one of those bizarre internet trails that leave you somewhere you never intended on being… and was gobsmacked by references to places I see everyday, to intersections I know well.

    Reading this poem on a day of bad news, on a day where I begged for more crocuses – was just perfect. Thank you – I’ll be back.

  12. April 2, 2010 12:02 am

    as one of us and then become one of them” I love that. The separation and the distance you have to develop.

  13. April 2, 2010 3:43 am

    Though the tone towards the end of the poem gets ‘ it will be spring soon’, there are images all through the poem of people alone (the father in the ICU with his son, your mother becoming ‘one of them’ and the poet wearing her mother’s the robin’s egg blue coat) – this makes the poem interesting. Loved reading your poem, Carolee.

  14. April 2, 2010 5:32 am

    frazzled? we’re frazzled already?

    I like the longing/leaning for sun through this — is that when we don’t feel alone? when we’re in the sun?

    (why do I have so many questions?)

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