NaPoWriMo? Anyone? Anyone?

3 04 2008

NaPoWriMo is the Physical Challenge of the poetry world, from what I gather. It is approached with the same angst and anticipation as the Physical Challenge was assigned following four harrowing double dares. You only half expect to pull it off and you know that it will probably result in the ridiculous, like that time when the blue team had to fill up a cup of slime affixed to the mom’s head while the rest of the team scrambled around on the shiny blue floor wearing roller blades and goggles. So last week, when I eagerly pledged to write a poem a day for National Poetry Writing Month, Emma Bolden soon became my Marc Summers…

Well, it is April 3 and I’m already behind. I have written three poems, but I cheated and wrote two of them today. Emma has been especially kind in giving me ideas to write about and teaching me about the history of haiku (which involves urination and a guy named Basho… more on that later). I’m only just beginning to discover poetry, and thus my attempts are timid. I’m not really looking for praise, just trying to put my writing “out there” in the same way that I challenge my students to do every time they share their work to the class or even turn it in to me.

So the Art of Writing project assignment for this week was for the students to write a poem about their hometown in four couplets, with six syllables a line. I chose to write about Valley, since that’s what the kids will be writing about. This was written on a clipboard next to a list of “No Breakers” as I patrolled the classroom during the SAT today for three hours. I wrote another one too, but this is the best of the two I think.

beyond the carpool line
wrapped in manila siding,

a house. the children run,
book bags flung side to side.

they charge the concrete stoop
painted gray, in full view:

the yard marked by scarlet
tulips, glowing in relief