Today is day 7 of the poem-a-day challenge and I’m following Napowrimo (National Poetry Writing Month), the site developed by Maureen Thorson, here’s her prompt for today, Day 7.
A summary of Maureen’s prompt: “Start by reading James Tate’s poem “The List of Famous Hats.” Now, write a poem that plays with the idea of a list. Tate’s poem is a list that isn’t – he never gets beyond the first entry. You could try to write a such a non-list, but a couple of other ideas would be to create a list of ingredients, or a list of entries in an index. A self-portrait (or a portrait of someone close to you) in the form of a such a list could be very funny. Another way into this prompt might be a list of instructions.”
Well, James Tate’s list of hats didn’t go far, but mine did as I wrote about my Grandma’s hats and as you see, she had many! This is a revision of an earlier version of the poem, and I have accompanied it with one of my “Legacy Collages” that features that navy blue hat with flowers and under the hat (not visible because it’s under the hat) is the story from the newspaper when her husband disappeared. What a story/legend it was is!
under grandma’s navy blue hat
under grandma’s pink straw hat with a net
under grandma’s magenta felt hat with a cluster of fruit
under grandma’s yellow hat with a bunch of crumpled violets
under grandma’s brown hat with a feather
under grandma’s hat, what we don’t know about Grandpa
why did he go?
did he come back
before the baby was born?
is that his picture
upstairs in the secret room
behind the heavy door
forbidden to children?
Jacquelyn Markham (April 7, 2023)