Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Chant of Winterfell - 10/30

10 days in! It's so awesome seeing all the work people are turning out. This is only my second NaPoWriMo, but it's overshadowing last year's by leaps and bounds in sheer quality and quantity of the writing I'm not only producing but reading. Keep it up, everyone.

As for today's poem, today's prompt sounded like a fun way to push myself into new creative territory.

The prompt:
Our prompt for today comes from a quote usually attributed to T.S. Eliot: Good poets borrow; great poets steal. You can learn all about what Eliot actually said here. But let’s stick to plain old stealing today by writing poems with their first lines lifted from other poems. You can pick a favorite poem of yours to take a line from. If that doesn’t appeal, famous sonnets are always a good way to go. Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day, perhaps? Maybe try a little “biblomancy” — get a big book of poetry, an anthology for preference, and open it randomly and use the first line from a poem on the page you hit upon. That’s a good tactic if you don’t want to be too influenced by the poem you’re working from — it can be hard to write a completely different poem using a line from a piece you know well. Anyway, happy thieving!
With that gauntlet thrown down at my keyboard, I grabbed my copy of Garrison Keillor's Good Poems and flipped through to the most random page I could. I landed on "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens, the first line being "One must have a mind of winter."

I could only go one direction with this. I had no choice. Enjoy!

Chant of Winterfell
(after "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens)

One must have a mind of winter,
though summer still thrills with insect humming
and casts its blessing ‘pon worshipping fields,
for surely, winter is coming.

One must bear a veinal chill
with snowflakes sluicing cells becoming,
when lions prowl and trouts spawn,
for surely, winter is coming.

One must not forget the howl
between lungs like raven wings drumming,
especially in the sight of sun-gilt pikes,
for surely, winter is coming.


  1. By chance might we be a fan of "Game of Thrones"?

    1. Haha, indeed. Well, I have read the first book and enjoyed it enough. The show I have some beef with but can still enjoy enough to watch faithfully. Glad you were able to catch the references. Might I assume you're a fan of the books or show?