NaPoWriMo 2023 Day 3

Photo credit
Ash Hayes

Happy third day (and first Monday) of Na/GloPoWriMo.

The prompt for the day was to find a shortish poem that I liked and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite. I found what the writing prompt stated to be quite accurate: “Your first draft of this kind of “opposite” poem will likely need a little polishing, but this is a fun way to respond to a poem you like, while also learning how that poem’s rhetorical strategies really work. (It’s sort of like taking a radio apart and putting it back together, but for poetry).”

I chose a poem written by the brilliant Marie Buck called “Feathery Shapes in the Rock Pile”. Here is my take:


On my body, marks remain:
Holding on easier
than the work of release.

I exerted very little
and very seldom.
The satisfaction of ignoring, dripping down my forehead
and furrowing into brows of rage.

—Carla Jeanne

The original poem:

Feathery Shapes in the Rock Pile

On my face sits a stain:
All move me along
to the liberty of horrors.

I had to work very much
and very hard.
The sweat was running down my skin,
my hand was shaken
by the extremely decaying body. (54)

—Marie Buck

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