NaPoWriMo ~ catching up (8)


This was another NaPoWriMo prompt that was challenging for me. I like repetition, but I do NOT like singsong, nor do I like repetition done simply as a strategy — it has to be intrinsic to the poem’s meaning, somehow. I struggled with that, & ultimately just kind of gave up. Instead, I used the repetition as a kind of awed refrain. I have no clue if it works!

Here’s the prompt:

Today I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that relies on repetition. It can be repetition of a phrase, or just a word. Need a couple of examples? Try “The Bells” by Edgar Allan Poe, or Joy Harjo’s “She Had Some Horses”. Poe’s poem creates a relentless, clanging effect through the repetition of the word “bells,” while Harjo’s repeated use of the phrase “she had some horses” and variations thereof gives her poem poem its incantatory effect, while also deepening its central philosophical conceit of what things are the same and what things are different.

Here it is:

The thunder rolls ~

My husband says it’s construction noise
They are building the sky
Heavy white & slate clouds thicken
The blue spring
Form horizontal support beneath
The darkening dome
They are building the sky
Thin shafts of sunlight
Pierce the gathering grey
The cats come in, climb
Into laps & chair corners
They are building the sky
No one recognises the architect
And who will live here no one knows
The horizon opens her arms wide
So that the clouds can fill them
They are building the sky

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