2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

Author:
Publish date:

I often come up with prompts for my weekly Wednesday Poetry Prompts on the fly. However, I try to get all my prompts for the monthly challenges set before the month starts--to avoid "prompt block." For that reason, I had to turn down two good prompt ideas from the guest judges: Vince Gotera wanted to do something related to hay(na)ku and today's judge Daniel Nester wanted to do a sestina prompt. I've done the sestina prompt before, and it drove many poets crazy (still littering asylums across the globe). I was tempted to change my prompt, but decided to hold firm--so nobody is obligated to write a sestina for today's prompt (but if you want extra credit, both Nester and myself would love to see a few sestinas today). Click here to learn about the sestina.

For today's prompt, write an animal poem. Pick a specific animal or write about your animal spirit. Maybe you'll get tricky and write about mustangs (meaning the car) or jaguars (meaning the American football team). Maybe you'll do an acrostic, or even go crazy and write a sestina (crickets).

*****

Publish Your Poetry!

2014_poets_market

Learn how to get your poetry published with the assistance of the 2014 Poet’s Market, edited by Robert Lee Brewer. This book is filled with listings for poetry book publishers, chapbook publishers, magazines, journals, online publications, contests, grants, and more!

Plus, it contains articles on the craft, business, and promotion of poetry. There are interviews with poets, original poems, and so much more!

Click to continue.

******

Here's my attempt at an Animal Poem:

"Animal Sestina"

First thing's first, I must pick an animal.
My logical first choice is the cheetah,
because I'm first and foremost about speed,
though in high school I was often called horse--
as much for my long stride as my long hair--
still today, I resemble platypus

as I'm hard to classify. Platypus,
frankly speaking, is a weird animal:
It has a bill, otter feet, and hair;
did I mention it's venomous? Cheetahs,
on the one hand, are faster than a horse;
every molecule seems built for speed,

but there's more to picking end words than speed.
After all, some end words, like platypus,
are harder to use. Meanwhile, the word horse
is easier, not for the animal
but syllables--three to one. The cheetah
offers two syllables and spotted hair;

they eat gazelles and zebras, even hares.
Their sprinting prey dictates a need for speed;
there's no such thing as a chubby cheetah.
Though they store fat in their tails, platypus
are not the heaviest of animals--
maybe five pounds. Definitely the horse

weighs a lot more. For instance, race horses
can hit 1,000 pounds. Beneath their hair
are the thick muscles of an animal
bred over generations for top speeds,
kind of opposite from the platypus.
Speaking of breeding, the shallow cheetah

pool of genetics means there aren't cheetah
variations the same as with horses,
though I'm not really sure on platypus.
One thing is certain: I must prefer hair
over genetics and relative speed,
at least when we're discussing animals.

I'm an animal, but I'm no cheetah--
lost my speed, though I may still be a horse
with short hair, storing fat like platypus.

******

Today's guest judge is...

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester

Daniel Nester

Daniel is the author of How to Be Inappropriate, God Save My Queen I and II, and is editor of The Incredible Sestina Anthology.

His writing has appeared in N+1 The New York TimesThe Morning NewsThe Daily Beast, The Best American Poetry, The Best Creative Nonfiction, Third Rail: The Poetry of Rock and Roll, and Now Write! Nonfiction.

He teaches writing at The College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY

Learn more here: DanielNester.com.

*****

Poem Your Heart Out

PYHO_Small_200x200

Poems, Prompts & Room to Add Your Own for the 2014 April PAD Challenge!

Words Dance Publishing is offering 20% off pre-orders for the Poem Your Heart Out anthology until May 1st! If you’d like to learn a bit more about our vision for the book, when it will be published, among other details.

Click to continue.

*****

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. He studied under sestina master James Cummins at the University of Cincinnati--once writing more than 20 horrible sestinas in one quarter. Learn more about him here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

*****

Feed your poetic animal spirit with these posts:

Tension in Poetry: The Hidden Art of Line-Writing

Tension in Poetry: The Hidden Art of Line-Writing

Writer and editor Matthew Daddona explains how to easily create tension in your poems and how that adds weight to your message.

Natalie Lund: On Grief and Unanswered Questions in YA Fiction

Natalie Lund: On Grief and Unanswered Questions in YA Fiction

YA author Natalie Lund shares how she handles the subject of death for a YA audience in her latest novel The Sky Above Us.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 13

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a Lucky and/or Unlucky poem.

What Is a Plotter in Writing?

What Is a Plotter in Writing?

The world of storytelling can be broken into many categories and sub-categories, but one division is between plotter and pantser. Learn what a plotter means in writing and how they differ from pantsers here.

Waist vs. Waste (Grammar Rules)

Waist vs. Waste (Grammar Rules)

Learn the differences of waist vs. waste on with Grammar Rules from the Writer's Digest editors, including a few examples of correct usages.

Bridget Foley: On Writing Psychologically Potent Metaphors

Bridget Foley: On Writing Psychologically Potent Metaphors

Novelist Bridget Foley explains the seed that grew into her latest book Just Get Home and how she stayed hopeful in the face of rejection.

April PAD Challenge

2021 April PAD Challenge: Day 12

Write a poem every day of April with the 2021 April Poem-A-Day Challenge. For today's prompt, write a six words poem.

What Is a Pantser in Writing?

What Is a Pantser in Writing?

The world of storytelling can be broken into many categories and sub-categories, but one division is between pantser and plotter. Learn what a pantser means in writing and how they differ from plotters here.