MD Kerr Profile picture
Apr 2, 2018 47 tweets 29 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
I'm doing #NaPoWriMo - I won't share the draft poems cos I like some sheltering privacy to write freely, but I love seeing other people's prompts and starting points, so I'll share mine too.
Day 1 of #NaPoWriMo (yesterday; haven't done today's yet): I wrote a draft of a list poem, listing one experience in terms of just its sounds, just its sights, etc. It was a really interesting exercise because I was writing about chronic pain but not about the actual sensations.
Day 2 of #NaPoWriMo: my #writingprompts came from my partner who suggested I wrote him a poem, and gave me two options: "futility", and "waiting for summer". I used both, for a free-write free-verse poem.
#NaPoWriMo day 3: I took a list of abstract nouns around an experience (surprise, shock, delight, etc) and wrote an image for each one ("Surprise like a heron swooping" etc). Then removed the abstracts ("Like a heron swooping" etc). Then made them sentences ("A heron swoops" etc)
I don't know which version I like best of versions 2 and 3. The repeated "Like a..." of v2 invites the reader to find the unifying thought, which I like, whereas v3 feels perversely obtuse. But I like the active verbs of v3 more than the ___ing forms of v2. #amwriting #poetry
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 4: I asked my partner for a non-negotiable prompt and got "butterflies in my stomach", so I treated it quite literally (starting with the caterpillars). I love making figures of speech literal; it creates such unexpected results.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 5: playing with a French medieval rondeau, which has more repetition than the English version. (On the left, A and B lines are repeated entirely.) I always write doggerel versions first to try out a new form, but was quite pleased with them! French medieval rondeau pattern. on the left, the 8 lines: A B x A y z A B. On the right, the rhyme scheme: a b a a a b a b.
My first doggerel, to try it out:

Afternoon wine at the Plough
In the first chilly warmth of the sun
And the first leap of laughter is now
Afternoon wine at the Plough.
The canal parts, a narrowboat prow
Pushes forward, and summer's begun:
Afternoon wine at the Plough
... Handwritten version of the poem: <br />
<br />
Afternoon wine at the Plough<br />
In the first chilly warmth of the sun<br />
And the first leap of laughter is now<br />
Afternoon wine at the Plough.<br />
The canal parts, a narrowboat prow <br />
Pushes forward, and summer's begun:<br />
Afternoon wine at the Plough<br />
In the first chilly warmth of the sun
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts: Day 6 came from @robertleebrewer at @WritersDigest: a food poem. Odd, I've been looking at MsLexia's "cooking" theme for months and it's left me cold, despite a passionate interest in cooking, but this prompt caught me as I slid a curry in the oven...
The prep is where all the sensual magic happens for me; I like eating but have a small appetite, whereas I'm an absolute glutton for prep. So that's the bit I wrote about, as very raw draft, and I'm working on a new form of woven poetry for it.
#NaPoWriMo #WritingPrompts day 7: I tried out a sestina ( - as always with a new form, I let myself take it for a spin with doggerel. Rather than find a new subject and panic over the end words, I took 6 lines from yesterday's food poem as my first verse.
I could've written complete doggerel & that would've been legit, to try the shape of the form, but actually it went very interesting places. And "squelch" as an end word was the difficulty that became its strength! No metre, though; I'd like to fix that. Some ace internal rhyme.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 8: I tried a coupling poem (@KMcCarthyWoolf's invention), weaving my lines between someone else's text. I went looking in my phone's screenshots and took these 3 excerpts from Rachel Aviv's @NewYorker article on fugue states:… Text: dissociative fugues are organized and purposeful, operating according to some internal logic. The person’s thinking is dominated by a “single idea that symbolizes or condenses (or both) several important ideas and emotions,” Loewenstein writes.Text: for several hours. “I had lost the ability to understand categories,” she said. “I no longer had a chronological measure of time. I no longer experienced myself in a specific place. I didn’t have anText: understood why someone might forget her identity during the storm. “There was a lot of trauma,” she said softly. “It cracked things wide open.” A man
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 9: a free-write free-verse ekphrastic poem (ie based on art), using this painting:
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 10: A (draft) list poem, "Things You Can't Do In Advance", inspired by immediate holiday anxiety and branching outwards from there

#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 11: knackered from travel, so in a late-night Cyprus bar, trialled a rondeau redoublé, taking the form for a spin with whatever lay around me. Here's the form:…
It's a DELICIOUS form, I'll enjoy playing with this a lot more. visual diagram of a rondeau redoublé as explained in the link
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 12: WORDS OF ONE SOUND. A poem entirely of single-syllable heavy-stress words, also with max rhyme, alliteration, assonance. (I tried for a single rhyme but that lasted one line!) All around one experience, but grammar & sentences flung to the wind.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 13: A piece of pure doggerel detailing the day's misadventures, shocking rhymes and metre, but I think excusable given the mild concussion and overall blood loss.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 14: the pool of Aphrodite. I hesitated: what could I say that hadn't been said in millennia? "Your own way, in your words" said my partner, so I did. And thrilled with how it turned out. Worth remembering: familiar subject matter isn't closed off.
And here's the pool: pool of Aphrodite in a cave with a fig tree growing in it and greenery above
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 15: another take on the same prompt as yesterday. Lately I'm really enjoying writing multiple approaches to the same material, inspired by @TimClarePoet's writing podcast.
#NaPoWriMo2018 #writingprompts day 16: "The ghost holiday town"
I did free-draft free verse, after the last few days' focus on rhyme and metre; I think it would shape well into form, though, at a later point. This month's all about draft material, for me.
#NaPoWriMo2018 #writingprompts day 17: today's was a particularly personal poem, in free verse, so instead I offer you these related images to do with as you will. A holiday pool in a neat white resort courtyard, with blue deck chairs, slate sun umbrellas, and white globe lights around it, and behind it rises a three-storey sand yellow building with terracotta roof.a close up of the same pool's reflection by night, all charcoal and ochre colours, with soft globe lights reflecting in the still water
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 18: "Coming home".
Another free-verse raw draft for me, which I'll shape another time. I did get excited earlier thinking I'd found a new form, triolet, but it's the same as the rondeau simple I did before. Damn!
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 19: A spin off from one of @TimClarePoet's exercises - a list of adjectives, one of nouns, and then pairing them as metaphors for various abstract nouns. Played with my favourites as a rhymed metred nonce & used them as refrain for a rondeau simple.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 20: I used @napowrimo2018's prompt, rebelliousness. So I did rebel, and wrote a villanelle around the word "c*nt". (Asterisked to spare Twitter's blushes) It has an excellent range of rhymes.
If anyone wants to try a villanelle, here's the structure. A and B are the repeated lines, small a and b are the rhyme scheme. Note the rhyme brainstorms to dip into! visual depiction of villanelle structure
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 21: A prompt from @poetryschool using word association to get 10 words - then use them 1 per line, in that order:…
So then I looked for a form that used 10 lines and discovered the Copla Real:… rules for a copla real poem, screengrabbed from the second link
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 22: A prompt from @napowrimo2018, "The stars can't rearrange themselves in the sky" as the first line. I borrowed an aabab aabab rhyme scheme and 10-line limit from yesterday's copla real, and invented a metre: (1/2)
For all the a-rhyme lines, I matched the first line's metre:
- / / / - / - / - - /
And for the b-rhyme lines, three iambs:
- / - / - /

- is light syllable
/ is heavy syllable

I LOVE metres that match the actual rhythmic play of natural English!

#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 23: A line from Shakespeare via Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads (…): "But come— Here, as before, never, so help you mercy"
I used each word as the start of a line, so 10 words... another copla real! With added complication:
I went for ababa rhymes this time, for a looser flow. Easy bit. It's a syllabic form so I'd usually invent a fixed metre BUT my first words were given and my b rhymes were two syllables, so I kept having to crucify metre for syllabics. HMMMMMMMM.
I love using existing forms but ffs, we're so obsessed with Latinate forms (esp iambic stress) and English is a stress language NOT syllabic and rarely iambic. So... fun exercise, but I want to invent forms that are DESIGNED for the particular magic of English.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 24: today I discovered the roundelay, thanks to @robertleebrewer:…. And again using @TimClarePoet's approach of rewriting the same thing new ways, I cannibalised yesterday's attempt. NOW I've got the lilt & thrust I wanted! visual depiction of the form as it's explained in the link
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 25: A lai (v short form as was teaching the 1st day of a new course), from @robertleebrewer's handy posts on forms:…. For content, the last article I bookmarked. Which was by @girlonthenet. So... that turned out pure filth 😃 visual depiction of a lai form as explained in the link
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 26: another lai, as I had another first class, this time with my own content. Not half as gleeful, regrettably.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 27: a prompt from @napowrimo2018 to use a tarot card:…. I know the deck too well to pick randomly so I found a tarot card picker:…. Got The Sun on that AND another site, so gave in & wrote about the sun.
JUST KIDDING! I wrote about sex again. But it's OSTENSIBLY about the sun. And invented a new nonce: refrain of "the sun" and a 2-syllable line rhyming "um", then the stanzas all iambic pentametre, starting 1 line long & growing by a line in each stanza, all those lines rhyming.
Oh, and I finished it with two two- syllable "-um" lines before "the sun" and I'm calling the form a bolero. And the stanza lines don't have to be iambic pentametre, just all the same metre and significantly longer than the refrain.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 27: A fold poem, courtesy of a prompt from Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads (…) but instead of destructive weapons, I wrote about the cologne I discovered recently and bought today! (And sex, obvs. That goes without saying.) Visual outline of a fold poem as described in the link
Forgot to thread the actual poem, which, for once, I'm posting!
That was day 28, not 27.
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 29: A chain poem, from a @poetryschool prompt. 1st line uses a word from another poem, then each line uses a word from the previous line. I wrote mine as a sonnet. In retrospect, I think all the repeated words should be content words, not "in" etc!
#NaPoWriMo #writingprompts day 30: A rondine, courtesy of @robertleebrewer, using the theme of writing poetry and not wanting NaPoWriMo to stop. A mixed and slightly glum result, thanks to a raging cold, but hey ho, still, NEW FORM! Visual depiction of a rondine as described in the link
#NaPoWriMo NOT THE END. Stonking cold notwithstanding, I took May Day off to celebrate and shall start another 30 days today. I'll keep sharing what prompts / forms I'm using for anyone else who wants to keep going, and let me know if you are/ have prompts etc to share.
Started a new thread for a new 30 days of poetry. Being very kind and gentle to my poorly self with this first one.
unroll please xxx

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More from @m_d_kerr

Jun 1, 2018
Releasing more #poetry into the wild: "In concert", the second poem in
#AnachronismΨ. I'll tell you more about the music in it after the poem, but first, you can just read it unfiltered, in the thread below...
You should be here.
The crumbling leaves and chilling brilliant sky
are all the ochre golds and blues you loved, and I
can feel the wheel of fate: you will appear –
you should be here.
You should be here.
You’ve always loved the ancient stone of vaults.
The piper’s dirge and steady cello-surge would jolt
your soul with love of old if you could hear –
you should be here.
Read 10 tweets
Apr 4, 2018
Releasing more #poetry into the wild: "Song for the Wounded". I'll give my spin on it after the #poem, because I believe quite strongly that people should be free to read a poem however they like, just as we all feel free to take song lyrics and make them OURS.
With songs, we can take lyrics and apply them like poultices to our own wounds or joys, "yes, like THAT, it's exactly that!" - and ignore the lyrics that don't fit. And I believe we should always feel free to USE #poetry the same way. That's not the only way possible, of course.
There's a different pleasure in unpeeling and interpreting a #poem only on its own terms - but even then, I'm a death-of-the-author believer: if the words in the poem offer you that meaning, that's yours. What I *intended* is neither here nor there. You own its meaning now.
Read 11 tweets
Mar 26, 2018
I had another EPIPHANY at Hear the Word (Oxford's loveliest poetry evening) - it always reminds me what poetry is FOR, in different ways, always around the crux that this is just a normal thing that humans do, the same way we cook and sing, and that it's something to share.
I read early on, and in the first break, someone came up and asked me if there was anywhere she could find my poetry. Very apologetically, I explained that I'd taken it all off my website, as journals and competitions see that as "published", and so they won't accept it.
I gave her my card and offered to just email her the poems I'd read, instead. Then after the music, I had almost the identical conversation in reverse, with someone whose poetry I really wanted to see more of - and this time it was her apologising, and giving me *her* card.
Read 13 tweets
Jan 14, 2018
Ah, the regular Sunday question. Will Mr Food* Writer be all po-faced today or have me fanning myself frantically again? Let's see!

We're halfway into the first paragraph and... we've already reached the thigh-spanking.

Sweet Christ.

*falls off the bed*

*continues reading on a cold hard floor, which might help*
But you know, it's not just about the sex. (That might be the cold hard floor speaking.) The man has a lovely way with words and eye for an apt metaphor, and... Oh look, it's all slid gracefully and discreetly back into DEFCON 1 sensuality.
Read 4 tweets

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