Day 22 The Moon is Sister to the Sea              PAD 2023

Ocean Moon, photo by the poet

The Moon is Sister to the Sea

after Emily Dickinson’s “The Moon is Distant from the Sea”

The moon is sister to the sea,

with amber hands she leads the

seeming docile sea along appointed

sands. The sea never

misses a degree, obedient

to her sister moon’s eye, she

comes just so far toward the town &

just so far goes away.

Oh, yours, the amber moon &

mine, the distant sea, obedient

to the least command

the seas impose on you & me.

Hello readers! Have I stolen Emily Dickinson’s poem? No, today’s prompt requires it. You will see the prompt below as well as the original poem. In the original by Dickinson, she made the sea male and the moon female. Although both entities in nature are without a specific gender, I couldn’t imagine the sea as male, so I revised it to make the moon and sea sisters! (poetic license!) Jacquelyn

“Today’s prompt. . .is a variation on a teaching exercise that the poet Anne Boyer uses with students studying the work of Emily Dickinson. As you may know, although Dickinson is now considered one of the most original and finest poets the United States has produced, she was not recognized in her own time. One reason her poems took a while to gain a favorable reception is their slippery, dash-filled lines. Those dashes baffled her readers so much that the 1924 edition of her complete poems replaced some with commas, and did away with others completely. Today’s exercise asks you to do something similar, but in the interests of creativity, rather than ill-conceived “correction.” Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!”

The Moon is distant from the Sea – (387)

By Emily Dickinson

The Moon is distant from the Sea –

And yet, with Amber Hands –

She leads Him – docile as a Boy –

Along appointed Sands –

He never misses a Degree –

Obedient to Her eye –

He comes just so far – toward the Town –

Just so far – goes away –

Oh, Signor, Thine, the Amber Hand –

And mine – the distant Sea –

Obedient to the least command

Thine eye impose on me –

Day 3 Opposite Poem PAD 2023

Hello poets and those who love poetry!

Thank you for reading. This Day 3 prompt from Maureen Thorson at NaPoWriMo is linked here, but the short version is to take a “shortish” poem and rewrite it by using the opposite word for every word in the poem. It is not as easy as it sounds, but I sort of like this poem I wrote with that crazy prompt: “You aren’t Somebody! Who am I?” Of course, the famous poem by Emily Dickinson, “I’m Nobody! Who Are You?” was the inspiration and I included it below.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Image courtesy of

You aren’t Somebody! Who am I?

You aren’t Somebody! Who am I?

Aren’t you Somebody either?

Then there is not an only you!

Tell everyone! We won’t advertise—I don’t know!

How lovely—not to be—Nobody!

How private—like a bird—

Not to tell one’s name—the fleeting December—

To a damning sky!

Jacquelyn Markham (4/3/2023)

I’m Nobody! Who are you? (260)

Emily Dickinson – 1830-1886

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson