Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

"April, Come She Will..."

With Permission: Billie's Craftroom
This calendar may be saved and printed

Warm greetings to all members, friends and followers of Real Toads. The month of April is almost upon us, and with it comes the annual poetry marathon known as NaPoWriMo.  I am excited to announce that for the first time, RT will offer 30 prompts in 30 days. Our intention is not to conflict with the official NaPoWriMo website linked above, nor to compete with any other poetry website but only to provide support to our own small writing community during the month of April. I have never attempted to complete 30 poems in 30 days, so I'm filled with admiration for those who have. I imagine that one of the hardest aspects of the task is to find the daily support for the poems one writes and I hope that RT will provide both the motivation to continue and the opportunity to share the outcomes within our group.

Aside from our usual monthly schedule and Open Link Monday, all the members of Real Toads have come together to provide additional prompts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I must clearly state that no poet is under any obligation to answer every prompt we provide - I doubt such a thing would be possible. We are all very conscious of the fact that there are numerous prompts available on the internet, and encourage poets to make use of those that inspire them the most. It is also true that there are individual members of RT who do not frequent other poetry sites, and therefore, this may be the only forum they have to present their poem a day. I hope that we will respect and uphold each person's right to make his/her own choices with regard to what we will offer.

It is possible that those who do complete the challenge of a poem a day in April will consider gathering their work into a chapbook and I had considered the idea of including this as part of the April challenge. However, in conference with Marian, my go-to person on all things concerning publication, it has been decided that this would pose too much of a logistical challenge behind the scenes, as well as being potentially time-consuming. If anyone would like to publish their collections, Marian is more than willing to offer advice on a one to one basis, but will not enter into discussions in open forum. Please email her with any queries you may have.

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And now for the Sunday Challenge (and I thank you for your patience, if you are not in the least interested in NaPoWriMo).

Excerpt from Prologue of The Canterbury Tales
British Library
It is not the first month of the year, but this time does mark the beginning of the astrological calendar as the sun moves into Aries in late March - life begins again in Spring.
Geoffrey Chaucer described the month of April as idyllic, the best time of year to start out on a long journey through Springtime England on a quest of spiritual fulfillment:

Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote
The droghte of March hath perced to the roote... 



1ZOOM.net
Wallpapers

While T.S. Eliot, in his major work The Waste Land, presents a very different view of a season which forces the earth out of the comfort of hibernation, and insists on regrowth:

April is the cruelest month, breeding
Lilacs out of dead land...

Our mini-challenge today, is to choose one of these perspectives as the starting point of a poem and write about what this time of year means to each of us. If you have recently written a poem on this theme, please feel free to share it with us today. It is not essential that your poem be brand new.


21 comments:

manicddaily said...

Kerry-- I'm not sure that my post fits - it is from the end of my last Aprils of doing this poem a day business and I only thought some might enjoy because it discusses the process and has a kind of cute, very short, April poem at the end.

I've included Real Toads link. I have this upcoming trip to India so I do not know whether I will do the poem a day thing this year. I will be gone most of the month, and am just not sure how I'll feel about it. But in general, I think it's a great exercise and endeavor and I think your provision of all the prompts is just a terrific idea. It does become hard to think up subject matter! thanks. k.

Anunoy Samanta said...

Great idea Kerry!
I'm getting inclined to take up the challenge... 30 poems in 30 days... amazing!!! but surely a lot of motivation will be needed in the middle... let us see how thing fares...
Cheers :)

Kerry O'Connor said...

@ Karin, I very much appreciate your post and the support you willingly share.
@Anunoy, I share your trepidation!

aprille said...

Aprille shouts 'Hurrah'
I did it last year, with our son who is a song writer. He's not going to do it again, not as poetry anyway. So I will be so happy to have company along the way.
I did the Chaucer bit a few days back. I linked that to you already. In a quandary now.

Kay L. Davies said...

Hmm, a challenge with a choice! I have so much trouble making decisions already. Whatever will I do here, having to choose between Chaucer and T.S. Eliot, between April replenishing, or April being cruel.
Well, I'd better start giving this some thought, because it seems in April I'll have no time to dilly-dally, will I?
K

Kerry O'Connor said...

Aprille, I know you have so much Spring in you, and given your name, it must be your month.

Kay, I feel sure you will manage to include both somehow :-)

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Hi kids, a couple of old spring poems about spring, recycled for yet another April!

Other Mary said...

What a great thing to do! I don't think I can manage a poem a day, between traveling this coming month and just having a hard time writing that consistently, but I'll give it a try. Thanks!

Marian said...

yay! 30 poems! i did 30 poems in November, and it was not for the faint of heart, but is really doable. i've been off my game a bit lately, and very busy (maybe these two things are related? hmmm) so i'm looking forward to being pushed a bit with the 30 days thing. let's go! rah rah!

Grace said...

I can't write 30 poems in 30 days,unless its haiku, ha ~

My post is up and I will be around later to read ~ Now I am walking to take advantage of our spring like weather at 10 C ~

Happy Easter and weekend everyone ~

hedgewitch said...

A great challenge, both for the month and for today. To encourage everyone,despite my famous periods of utter creative blankness, I have managed to do 30 poems in April for the last two years, and would never have thought at the outset that I could have ever been able to do it, but as Marian says, it becomes very doable, especially with this kind of help, and is a great exercise, both of the craft and of the brain.

Will have to see if I have anything April-ish in the vaults for this one, as I'm going to enjoy a day of non-composing.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I did NaPoWrMo one year. I may be able to!!!!
Cheers from Cottage Country!

Marian said...

truth be told, i posted mine before i saw your prompt, Kerry. but i think it's a long shot that i'll actually be able to write something new tomorrow, & maybe i should recharge anyway for 30 in April! if i manage to write something directly to your prompt, i'll post it, too. thanks for indulging. have a great weekend everyone! xo

Loredana Donovan said...

Thank you, Kerry, for a lovely prompt. It inspired a brand new poem, which I just wrote. Also, I will try to participate in the April challenge as much as I can. Thanks for the announcement! Happy Spring, everyone :)

Susie Clevenger said...

Love the prompt Kerry. This is the first time I will attempt the challenge of 30 poems in 30 days. I am not sure I will always be able to write to a particular theme, but I am excited to attempt to meet the challenge.

Kay L. Davies said...

Enjoyed this challenge, toads. Will be back tomorrow to lavish praise upon you.
Luv, K

Aurora Hylton said...

I know that my colleagues and I will attempt it. We are certifiable.

Tania A said...

So very excited about NaPoWriMo! I will certainly at least try to use every WRT prompt. Looking forward to everyone else's progress through the month!

Margaret said...

I am "officially on vacation" but I will be reading and commenting from my iPhone and writing in my notebook and when I get back I will post them all. I hope I can do a poem a day. The one posted to day is about a Tulip's season - which is April in NC. It was written last year and I think it qualifies for this prompt.

Emma Major said...

I amhoping and praying for a English sporting Chaucer would love, the poem I've linked is actually haiku inspired by the most wonderful site of new grass which I hope will come soon.

Ella said...

Lovely prompt :D