NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 3)

Since it’s Sunday, (I’ve no idea why that matters to Maureen Thorson [Napo creator and prompt director], but I acknowledge that most folks who work do so on approximately five of the other six days) so today’s NaPo prompt is (she said “a bit”) complex. I’m to write a poem in a Spanish form called glosa (or glose). Glosa explains or responds to another poem or part of one. Until today, I was unfamiliar with this form, but now I am intrigued by it.

THE GLOSA OR GLOSE requires:

  1. a) A cabeza (or motto) – the quatrain borrowed from another poet, whose authorship must be acknowledged.
  2. b) Four 10-line stanzas, each ending with one of the lines in sequence from the cabeza.
  3. c) A rhyme-scheme requirement that lines 6 and 9 rhyme with the final word of line 10.

It seems challenging, but “The point of any formal (poem) constraint is primarily to put you under pressure to write a little differently from your default style, and in the case of the glosa, you’re forced to participate quite explicitly in the work of another poet, many new possibilities for writing differently can be magically released.

“There’s great scope for playing with this form, by varying the constraints. You could choose a different stanza length, write in free verse, in a metre of your choice, or in syllabics; dispense with rhyme or increase the amount of rhyme; use a different length of cabeza, or introduce the lines of the cabeza in different positions in your stanza.” ~ John Wheway, “How to write a Glosa.” (https://www.johnwheway.com/?p=4)

I did the prompt and followed the form as closely as I could, except for one rhyme. Who cares, right?

The most difficult part of this was browsing through my favorite poets to find the perfect quatrain, then to cull that dozen down to one.


I could feel the day offering itself to me
and I wanted nothing more
than to be in the moment—but which moment?
Not that one, or that one, or that one
,

From the book, The Trouble with Poetry (and other poems): “In the Moment,” by Billy Collins.

Life’s Moments

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
they’d ask, “Do you have a girl friend?
I needed answers. Also, “How was school today?”
I grew up without ever knowing
what it was I wanted to be.
I married young and that stopped
all questions about any girlfriend,
and then one day I woke on up.
The value of school I started to see
I could feel the day offering itself to me.

One day at a time, moment by moment
I lived my life, and I slowly learned
what I wanted to do, he who I wanted to be
even though, before, I didn’t know or want
to be the he who was evolving into me.
Each day of my life I opened another door.
The important people in my life called me
Bill or Dad or Opa, not sir or major.
I finally had my feet on the floor
and I wanted nothing more.

Forty million moments later I knew
the answers to so many of their questions
but I can’t tell them now, not that they
ever really cared, like everyone does
after they’ve grown up (if they do),
they’re all gone now to find others to torment.
So little I remember, the work I did,
the people I loved (and those I did not)
I think about my future, I want nothing more
than to be in the moment—but which moment?

I wish I could tell them now
what I didn’t know then, what I’ve become,
and how I made my way, and what
I have to say. I never liked school,
a necessary evil at best,
but that’s all long over and done.
I’ve paid my dues. Didn’t always give my best
even when life was some questioning test.
I try moments and memories I could’ve become,
Not that one, or that one, or that one, …


Look both ways to the future and the past
but live every moment like it might be your last.
Mind the gaps and the questions, but live long into the answers.

6 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo April 2022 (Day 3)

  1. It’s so funny. There are families that love to push those questions. Have a girlfriend/boyfriend? When are you going to get married? Have a child? Gonna give that child a sibling? What do you want to be when you grow up (I’m still searching for that one)? And so it goes.

    Thankfully, not in mine. Well, not that I can remember (I probably wasn’t listening, anyway).

    I think ya’all done good so far!

    Liked by 2 people

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