NaPoWriMo (Global) 2022 Day Two

Image

Thanks to Katelyn Greer @katelyn_g for making this photo available freely on Unsplash

The daily prompt today was a challenge to write a poem based on a word featured in a tweet from Haggard Hawks, an account devoted to obscure and interesting English words.

I chose the word WINTERCEARIG. It is from an Anglo-Saxon poem written in the late 10th century and essentially means ‘winter-sorrow’, and was likely meant to describe a feeling of downheartedness or despondency caused by, or as desolate as, the depths of winter. In other words, WINTERCEARIG is Seasonal Affective Disorder identified 1,000 years before the term was used (1984) by Norman Rosenthal and colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health in Bethesda, MD.

Obviously, the sky outside my window inspired this poem. Michigan in winter (because Michigan doesn’t recognize March 21 as the first day of spring) is nearly always gloomy.

For my poem form I chose the sevenling because it seemed unnecessarily difficult and fit the mood of “wintercearig” perfectly. 

Simplified, the sevenling poem is a seven line poem. Lines one to three should contain three connected or contrasting statements; lines four to six should similarly have three elements connected directly or indirectly or not at all. The seventh line should act as a narrative summary or punchline or an unusual juxtaposition.

Simple, right?

Well, not as complex as some form poems, but certainly not without its challenge. I connected two sevenling stanzas in this poem. I’m not sure I did it exactly right because I am still unsure whether each line must be a complete sentence. There are conflicting definitions online. Perhaps one of you is more familiar and can educate me.

Also important is the fact that according to the Anglo-Saxon scholars on the Twitter account, the word that I chose (WINTERCEARIG) is pronounced  “winter-chee-arry” or “winter-cherry”, so you will see the cheery/cherry play on words come out in my sevenling poem.

SAD

I dread the moment the first picture perfect snowfall ceases to glimmer,
when the gray slush of snow matches the gray slush of sky overhead,
and when last vestige of green is covered with frost.
The sorry and sorrow of winter sets into my bones,
my mood matching the graying skies,
and cheer quickly dies.

Wintercearig sets in.

Not every color is lovely: gray strips away the energy,
beige removes any hint of excitement,
and black resembles my soul full of rage.
I long for skies of cerulean blue,
aqua waters of the Agean variety,
and the vibrant orange of tiger lilies in bloom.

Summer cherries make me cheery, but "winter-cherry" grows me weary.

--cjpjordan

The Red Maple

Photo Credit: Photo by Gorrin Bel on Unsplash

After talking with my poetry buddy today, I was challenged to write a tanka. The tanka is described as the form of poetry that comprised the majority of Japanese poetry from the ninth to the nineteenth century. In fact, several sources list it as possibly the central genre in Japanese literature. According to one website, the tanka has “prototypes in communal song, in oral literature dating back to the seventh century, or earlier.”

A tanka is structured much like a haiku with each line containing a certain number of syllables. There is no rhyming and no end punctuation used in this form, however, it does make use of a “pivot” or “turning point” line. The third line is the pivot that divides the tanka into two different sections that are joined in the middle in order to tell the whole story.

The syllable breakdown for the five lines looks like this: 5 – 7 – 5 – 7 – 7

Lately I’ve really been pining for my red maple. It’s my favorite tree, and Monday it must come down. In full disclosure, this may not be my last Red-Maple-Inspired Poem. I will be pining the loss of it for years to come.

vast red towering
gnarled trunk with knotty whorls
a testimony
to holy righteous living
today we fell it

Short and bittersweet…