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A collaboration over too much coffee.
coffee and pen

31 March, 2010


So, a good woman in another corner of the world started National Poetry Writing Month and we think that everybody at Caferati could do with a bit of prodding and stretching of the literary muscles. Which is why we are joining this little adventure as a writers' group. But whether or not poetry actually gets celebrated around here depends on you.

All you have to do is to promise to write one poem everyday for the month of April. You can dig up your notebook and mess around with the phrases, couplets and other bit-parts that you once thought were going to be a poem - revisit, make connections, and basically just get going until you have 30 poems to show for having survived the cruellest month.

For those who think they might not meet self-imposed deadlines, here's a pattern for you to follow:

Days 1-7.
Stick with Form. Make yourself write one poem in form for the first eight days. This will ensure a certain discipline not just of daily writing but also of writing within a disciplined format.

Haiku - 17 syllables.
Sonnet: 14 lines.
Ballad 1: In couplets of rhyming verse. Or abab, or abba, if you prefer. Narrative.
Cinquian: 22 syllables. Samples here.
Clerihew: 4 line whimsy, autobiographical. We've done this before.
Limerick: 5 lines. Rhymes - aabba.
Sestina: It is bloody hard. But do it. Details here

Day 8-18
Eleven exercises we are bumming from here.

Day 19
Do an acrostic

Day 20
Do an Ode. To anything.

Day 21
Do a poem within 100 words.

Day 22
Do an SMS poem. 160 characters.

Day 23
Do a poem that pays tribute to another poet, or takes off from a poem by someone else.

Day 24
Do a circular poem. It has to end with the same line it started with, but in less than 12 lines.

Day 25
Write a death poem. Something about death.

Day 26
Write a fairy tale poem. Pick a character from a fairy tale and do a poem about what happens to them, or how they feel.

Day 27
Do a poem based on something you've read in the newspaper that morning.

Day 28
Do a poem about any object that is always within hand's reach for you.

Day 29
Do a list poem. Example, example.

Day 30.
Yes! Last day. Do a poem about poetry. About what draws you to it, why and when you write it etc. And no cheating. The rest of the days, you are not to write poems about poetry.


Do spread the word. You can help publicise this by also posting your works on your own blog. Make sure to link to NaPoWriMo and to this post on the Caferati blog.


And we - Annie, who thought up this series of exercises, Manisha who threatens to do 30 death poems, and Peter who is cringing at the thought of writing 30 more poems in this month than he did in the last few - will pick our favourites from your contributions and highlight them here, on the blog.

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