NaPoWriMo 11/Poem for Poetry Thursday

Happy Poetry Thursday, everyone.

For those of you participating in NaPoWriMo, are you tired of writing or what? Writing a poem a day has sapped my energy in a way I didn't expect. But this week's prompt is my favorite Poetry Thursday prompt of all time: writing a poem based on a line submitted by a community member. I can always find the energy to do this prompt.

I chose lines from Delia (“I am a window, a girl, you can see right through me”) and Pumpkin Doodle (“It smells nothing like rain.”). Both of these bloggers posted their lines back to back, which seemed to fit together naturally for me.

Shameless plug: If you haven't done so, visit my column at Poetry Thursday, as well as the other great posts this week from Delia, Liz, and Dana.

Lastly, thank you for your support regarding the passing of Phebus Etienne. I appreciate it.

Poem for Phebus

the apartment slightly bigger than a shoebox,
the creaky floorboards, the cupboard with its
chipped plates and scratched glasses—
dropped out of the cloudy sky of memory
when I heard the news. Brought me back
to our college days when we spoke
the secret language of youth.
Tonight, I am a window, a girl,
you can see right through me,
this unremarkable evening, the street glistening
but it smells nothing like rain.
I am all of these things—
the late nights, the hours we filled with poems,
not poems but words, not words but meaning,
which now hang over me like a star.
The dry air is full of your spark.
Your poems leave me quite dumb
with love for you all over again.
It’s not your absence but your presence
that unnerves me.


Dave said…
I've been reading here for a couple of weeks now, and this is my favorite poem of yours yet. Really nice.

I also dropped by to thank you for the lovely prompt (which I put to rather indifferent use, I'm afraid, but it was fun).
Lovely tribute, I like the image of everything dropping out of the skies of memory and the glistening streets that don't smell of rain.
Brian said…
Morning January,

In answer to your question, I am very much enjoying writing a poem or two a day. It's a lot of fun.

I feel so strongly your love for her and thus her presence. ((((hugs)))
wish studio said…
hi january, i know we met a while back, but i wanted to get in touch with you to let you know about a creative space that is opening in beverly this spring. there will be some great bloggirls at the opening weekend, and i'd love for you to stop by! would be great to connect, as i know your words inspire so many! (and we are practically neighbors :) xo, mindy
I loved the last two lines. For that matter, this is one thinking poem.
This was very moving, January. And these were my favorite lines...
"the late nights, the hours we filled with poems,
not poems but words, not words but meaning,
which now hang over me like a star."
Just beautiful...
split ends said…
Beautiful. You've captured perfectly how those we've just lost can be very much with us. I hope that it is comforting you somewhat, even as it is unnerving.
wish studio said…
thanks for popping by...the studio doesnt open til the 1st of June. I'd love for you to come to the open house or the indie show the next day. hope to see you there!
jim said…

I really admire the unadorned directness here, even while you pile up the imagery (it never gets in the way), and you make the best use of the borrowed line, just at that turn of the poem.

Okay, and the subject matter, I'm just a big-time push-over for these kinds of big-hearted and kindred-seeking memory pieces.
Bug said…
i loved loved loved your janspot column! It's so amazing what a good teacher can do.
J - beautiful piece. I am in love with the last four lines, quite mightly.
January, this is really lovely!
Beaman said…
A beautiful poem. Nice to read.
Rethabile said…
I used Delia's line on one of mine, too. The borrowed lines aren't in your poem, you've made them disappear by making them part of the whole. I was sorry to hear about Phebus.
this is truly beautiful and moved me to tears. your love for your friend really shines through in your words and i'm so sorry you lost her so early.
Remiman said…
I love this poem!
wendy said…
really a beautiful tribute.
giggles said…
Beautiful tribute! Wonderful summation! I used your line for my contribution this week!

Peace Giggles
January said…
Thanks Giggles. I will be by to look at your poem!
January said…
Thanks everyone for your comments.

And thanks, Bug, about your comments about the Poetry Thursday article. I really enjoyed writing it.
...deb said…
Goodness, what a beautiful poem. Beginning to end, I was captured, and moved.
Catherine said…
It's a beautiful poem, and the borrowed lines blended in effortlessly. I'm really enjoying writing a poem a day, but I am thinking of them only as drafts, and trying to keep entirely away from any judgment of the quality. Normally, I spend way too much time and energy thinking about writing, but not actually writing. By getting ideas down really quickly, I avoid wasting that energy.
Deb R said…
I like this poem very much, Jan. It captures such a sense of love, memory, and loss.

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