2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

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I can't help it. Days 15 and 16 of these challenges always gets a certain song stuck in my head. You know, this song by an American rock band from New Jersey that used to be kinda cool in the '80s. You know, that song, "bada, bada, whoooaaaahhh, we're half-way theeeerreee; ooooooo, livin' on a prayer; take my hand and we'll make it I sweeaaarrrr; oooooo, livin' on a prayer (livin' on a prayer)." If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry; it just means you're either older or younger than me and haven't fully enjoyed Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer" yet. Click here to watch the video on YouTube.

For today's prompt, write an elegy. An elegy doesn't have specific formal rules. Rather, it's a poem for someone who has died. In fact, elegies are defined as "love poems for the dead" in John Drury's The Poetry Dictionary. Of course, we're all poets here, which means everything can be bent. So yes, it's perfectly fine if you take this another direction--for instance, I once wrote an elegy for card catalogs. Have at it!

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Workshop your poetry!

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Here's my attempt at an Elegy:

"betty"

i began collecting things
foil and pizza boxes and
country western vhs tapes
and lighthouses and native
american figurines and i
piled them up beside your
grave that grew less fresh
every day and still i ran
out into the street asking
for donations at red lights
and bringing treasures to pile
up in the elements and then
i climbed to the top of this
massive mound to proclaim
myself king and to pray and
to sacrifice and to feel winds
weather me but i've come
to realize the days begin and
end the same the trees still
blossom and birds arrive and
depart and nothing i can do
will bring you back to me

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Today's guest judge is...

Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok

Bob Hicok

Bob is the author of several poetry collections, including This Clumsy Living, Words for Empty and Words for Full, and most recently Elegy Owed. He teaches creative writing at Virginia Tech and before teaching owned and ran a successful automotive die design business.

His poems have appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, and Best American Poetry. His collections Elegy Owed and Animal Soul have been finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Learn more here: http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/1126.

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Poem Your Heart Out

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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.

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Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community and author of Solving the World’s Problems. That book includes a poem titled "betty," which is about the same person, but it's a different poem (or Robert's discovered the secret of time travel and has just kick-started a complete unraveling of the time space continuum). Learn more about Robert here: http://www.robertleebrewer.com/.

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