Day 8 Most challenging prompt of all

There are so many details to today’s prompt, I am going to post it below the poem. Or, you may refer to the prompt as presented by Napowrimo here. My poem was inspired by a freewriting I found in a journal using a Chagall painting as a prompt in Katherine Tandy Brown’s writing workshop. Thank you, Katherine!

Blue Song

Her life is a blue song

& it is no bohemian rhapsody.

A blue angel plays a blue horn

while a blue goat dances to the notes.

Her life had become a blue story &

even her angel played a blue song of sorrow.

Yes, there were moments of yellow—

bright sun, sunflowers, & moments when

honey shimmered liquid gold

on her tongue and bird-trilled down

her throat. Less often moments of red—

roses, passion, & heat on her skin.

Still most days the blue angel

hovered over her daily chores,

over washing the dishes,

over feeding her cat, & over her paying bills.

Blue angel even hovered

over her slightly damp brow

when walking the path to nowhere.

Blue goat by her side followed the

blue notes & Poet Voice lingered

in the clouds as the blue angel blasted

blue notes & lightly blew a gentle chanson

from her golden horn.

Blue goat would frolic to notes

of the brightest blue like

Flannery’s peacocks at her Andalusia farm.

Though he trailed her steps on the path,  

as he placed one hooved foot gingerly

in front of the other in a goat dance,

it was so joyful, it almost cheered her—

she whose life is blue song.

But no, she could not be cheered

by the goat’s antics, so she kept on

with her blue story & when

blue notes fell in piles

on the edges of the path,

they were quickly & completely absorbed

by the green blades sprouting from

black earth.  Blue angel declares she

will blast her golden horn into the sky

when she whose life is a blue song

sings a sun-soaked song of joy, &

the blue song breaks like a shattered mosaic.

                        Jacquelyn Markham (4/8/2023)

The prompt is called the “Twenty Little Poetry Projects,” and was originally developed by Jim Simmerman. And here are the twenty little projects themselves — the challenge is to use them all in one poem:

1.  Begin the poem with a metaphor.

2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.

3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.

4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).

5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.

6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.

7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.

8. Use a word (slang?) you’ve never seen in a poem.

9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.

10. Use a piece of talk you’ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don’t understand).

11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: “The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . .”

12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.

13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in “real life.”

14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.

15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.

16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.

17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.

18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.

19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).

20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that “echoes” an image from earlier in the poem.

Indeed, the most challenging prompt so far!