November Poetry Challenge: Week 1

November is here, which means the year is speeding up and pushing us full steam ahead into the holidays! Last year during November I participated for the first time in Robert Lee Brewer’s poem-a-day challenge over at Writer’s Digest. If you enjoy poetry or a little creative challenge, it’s not too late to join in the fun.

Last year I was only able to make it through day 17 of the month, so this year I’m hoping to make it a little bit farther. I’ve been sharing these poems as I write them on the Book 50 Instagram page, and this week I’ve got the first seven to share in a slightly more polished format. What I’m learning is that it’s very difficult for me to finish a draft within the 24-hour window. My goal this month is to try and write these poems quickly, without worrying so much about getting everything perfect. It’s been a real challenge so far, as I’m already three days behind schedule. The poem for Day 5 really gave me problems!

All that to say, these poems are still very much in the “drafting” stage. In fact, many of them don’t even have titles yet. If there is a title, you’ll see it listed below the prompt. I hope you enjoy them!


Day 1: Glorious

Even though
the flowers fell with the vase
and landed in pieces,
the glory of their blooming
was not wasted


Day 2: Darkest Hour

I wonder how the Churchills celebrated
when the darkest hour was over.
I imagine Winston
and his darling Clementine
on a beach somewhere,
he still in his tails and top hat,
she resting a cool hand
on his forearm.


Day 3: Tired of ____

Is there anything
better than an open window
and a heated blanket
when you are tired of standing
on your own two feet?


Day 4: Apology Poem

As far as apology poems go,
we all know
William Carlos Williams
wrote the best one.

So I suppose I’ll just sit still,
daydreaming about the plums
which were in the icebox,
while outside the rain falls
and glazes over all the things
on which so much depends.


Day 5: Private Poem

Emily Dickinson would not approve
of all this sharing and over sharing.
Even now–before I hit “post”–
I hear the ghostly brush
of her white skirts across the floor–
the silence that follows scolds
me for seeing the world
by the light of a screen.

I wonder if she haunted
her posthumous publishers
the way she haunts me–
rattling the windows at Amherst,
or perhaps refusing to leave her bedroom
until they undid their undue edits
and made all the letters
uppercase again.

But once they did, I’m sure
she vanished–
dashing off again–
much preferring the spectral silence
of her own society
to the buzz of many voices.
Beautiful in her oddities,
she reminds me
to be proud of mine.


Day 6: Lost and/or Found

Come with me, and we’ll take
the Piccadilly line
to Russell Square.

We’ll hold hands and walk
slowly, smelling the sandwiches
toasting in the Great Court,

ignoring the jostling elbows
of tourists fighting to see
the Rosetta Stone.

There’s no need to rush,
it is enough
to waste an hour or two

with you
in the great lost and found
of Imperialism.


Day 7: Poem with an Occupation as the Title

“Watchmakers”

We should ask the watchmakers
if they resent their role
as mere tinkerers
in all these analogies
about the universe.

After all, I doubt any of us
really know
why the replacement
of temperature compensated balance wheels
with quartz crystal resonators
was so important.

And only they can explain
how an escapement
transforms energy
into the ability
to tell time.


Thanks for stopping by! I’ll be back next week (I hope!) with the next seven poems.

Keep Reading,

Sarah

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