Does the intensity of NaPoWriMo have you talking to yourself yet? Almost? Perfect! Rhiannon’s prompt gives you something else on which to focus these conversations: pictures.
Many people collect favourite images, whether as memories or posters, sketches or computer files. Pick one such collection of yours – a stamp collection, a postcard book, a file of photos – and rifle through it until something catches your eye. (If you don’t have such a collection, try putting a word – any word – into Google image search or flick through the website of an art gallery.)
Once you have an image, begin to interrogate it for poems. Ask: Who or what in this picture could speak? What would they say? Why is this image meaningful to me? When I look at it, what am I remembering? How does this image make me feel? Which of my moods is easiest to find in it? Where would I want to display picture? Who do I want to see it?
Collect the answers to your questions as a hoard of words or phrases. Scatter them across a blank sheet of paper, then check for patterns. What rhymes? Where is there alliteration? Is any rhythm apparent? Patterns might suggest a form for the poem.
If there aren’t enough patterns, you have two choices: either write your poem as free verse or go back to the images and generate more words. Have fun!
He says (to himself)…
Thank you… thank you…
Our next number is our new release…
It’s a redemption song we wrote for the tune Nero fiddled…
As he watched Rome burn…
And it’s called…
What’s it called…?
(Picture from flickr)
FORGET ME… NOT...!
One, two, three, four…
Bring me not the head of John the Baptist
Crucify Barabbas; Jesus walks
Roman values; worthless without ego
Ergo, listen not when Caesar talks
Worship not the Holy Roman Empire
Acknowledge Caesar’s fallibility
He knows not that pride precedes a fall
Re-assessment succeeds loyalty
Undermine the principals of warfare
Conquer not; let not its cause divide
All roads lead me not to Rome, but guide me
From the Capital I flee, to hide
Apathy remains my one safe haven
Ignorance is bliss, I kid you not
I live my life as though there’s no today
If tomorrow never comes… so what?
Trainees in the Art of War, remember
Life is cheap; your death comes at a price
Throw your weapons down, make peace; surrender!
Budget not for human sacrifice
Join me in my Splendid Isolation
Freedom from the tyrant, your reward
Take a time-out, to reflect on life…
Born to serve…? Wage war…? Die by the sword…?
Encourage not the concept of ambition
Accept not challenges, nor targets; goals
Fraught with possibility of failure
Not an implication to extol
Burden not your poor, beleaguered charges
With preparations to accept defeat
Weep not tears of bitterness when Rome burns
For liberated men, revenge is sweet