NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 27

Photo by Christian Søgaard via Unsplash


Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem in the form of a review. But not a review of a book or a movie of a restaurant. Instead, I challenge you to write a poetic review of something that isn’t normally reviewed. For example, your mother-in-law, the moon, or the year 2020 (I think many of us have some thoughts on that one!)” ~ NaPoWriMo, Day 27

My intention was to write a review of language, this miraculous tool we share to connect and pin down abstract thought and fleeting emotion (also: to fall in love! to read books and write poems! to sing lullabies! to pray to and worship something or someone! to make friends and enemies! to start wars and make peace! to count all the money we have and spend all the money we don’t! to complain! to be grateful! to tell the truth or its alternate versions! to tell outright lies from high podiums! to spread disinformation! to flood the streets and demand justice! to raise awareness even if it kills us! to speak the fuck up! etc. etc.). How lucky we are to have it–language, that is–how lucky we are to have many languages. With every new language we take into our bodies, we become larger, we contain multitudes. I believe we become kinder, too–though I have no way to prove this. I could go on and on with this letter of mine to the world, shamelessly stealing from Whitman and Dickinson and whomever else I could get my mind and hands and heart on. But in the end, my review of language would have been too sycophantic, as I’m unable to judge language objectively. I’m simply grateful, grateful, grateful language exists. This is why the draft below morphed into a diary of sorts–for the kind of transformation the learning of a new language triggered in me–and continues to do so.

PS–Most of the poems written this April will remain online for up to five days, after which they will be replaced by an excerpt, an erasure, or a thoroughly amateurish art piece that will only allow for bits of the original poem to peek through. At least, this is the plan. The reason being that, at some point, in the hopefully not too distant future, these drafts will undergo revision and begin their multiple-year pilgrimage through the slush piles of many a literary journal. So help me, O Muse.

PPS–The original draft is now in my work-in-progress folder, having been replaced by an erasure that doesn’t have much to do with language, unless you mean seashell language. You do? Well, in that case… The seashell angels have brought their old friends to say good-bye in their own quiet, unassuming way. I’ll translate, since it’s kind of difficult to hear them. This has been a good month, they say. We’ll be back, though hopefully not too soon. We have pearls to grow from the sweat of our mother-of-pearl. Each pearl a poem… and so on, and so forth. Once they start poetizing about pearls, you can’t shut them up.


Poetry from the trenches, Day 27





14 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo 2020: Poetry from the trenches, Day 27

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  1. “[quote deleted by RI]” – one of many favourite lines. So complex learning another way of thinking and being and learning sometimes things that do not translate back into the original. What you said! LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t know if I could love this poem more. I’m such a fan of languages and disappointed that I’m barely able to use two new ones beyond requests for coffee and comments on the weather. I love this so much: “[quote deleted by RI]”

    Liked by 2 people

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