Publish date:

2014 April PAD Challenge: Day 16

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!

*****

Workshop your poetry!

Click here to learn more.

*****

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

*****

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.

*****

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. 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/.

*****

Console yourselves with these poetic posts:

November PAD Chapbook Challenge

2021 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Guidelines

Prepare for the 14th annual November PAD Chapbook Challenge! Visit WritersDigest.com each day of November to get a prompt and write a poem. Then, use December and the beginning of January to revise and collect your poems into a chapbook manuscript.

How I Broke Into the Traditional Publishing World as an Indie Author

How I Broke Into the Traditional Publishing World as an Indie Author

Learn the process indie author Amanda Aksel went through in getting her novel Delia Suits Up traditionally published, including questions she asked herself and weighing one strategy against the other.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: 6 New WDU Courses, An Upcoming Webinar, a Competition Deadline, and More!

This week, we’re excited to announce 6 new WDU Courses, an upcoming webinar, a competition deadline, and more!

Working With a Nonfiction Book Publisher Throughout the Process

Working With a Nonfiction Book Publisher Throughout the Process

A publisher accepting your manuscript is just the beginning, not the end. Author Rick Lauber discusses how to work with a nonfiction book publisher from query letter to release date and beyond.

From Script

Writing Empowered Superheroes in CWs Supergirl and Understanding Animation From the Trenches (From Script)

In this week’s round-up brought to us by Script Magazine, story editor Katiedid “Did” Langrock speaks with Reckless Creatives podcast. Plus, one-on-one interview with CWs Supergirl actress turned scribe Azie Tesfai about her groundbreaking episode and more!

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: The Characterless Character

Writing Mistakes Writers Make: The Characterless Character

The Writer's Digest team has witnessed many writing mistakes over the years, so this series helps identify them for other writers (along with correction strategies). This week's writing mistake is writing a characterless character.

When Is My Novel Ready to Read: 7 Self-Editing Processes for Writers

When Is My Novel Ready to Read: 7 Self-Editing Processes for Writers

Fiction editor and author Kris Spisak ties together her seven processes for self-editing novels, including editorial road-mapping, character differentiation analysis, reverse editing, and more.

Poetic Forms

Englyn Unold Crwca: Poetic Forms

Poetic Form Fridays are made to share various poetic forms. This week, we look at the englyn unold crwca, a Welsh quatrain form.

5 Things for Writers to Keep in Mind When Writing About Spies

5 Things for Writers to Keep in Mind When Writing About Spies

A spy thriller requires more than a compelling story and clever plot twists—the characters need to feel real. Author Stephanie Marie Thornton offers 5 tips for constructing believable spy characters.