Woo whooo!!! The last day of National Poetry Month! And my 30th poem of the month–written from a most intriguing prompt. Here’s what NaPoWriMo presented as the final challenge:
And now our final (and still optional) prompt! I know I’ve used this one in prior years, but it’s one of my favorites, so bear with me. Find a shortish poem that you like, and rewrite each line, replacing each word (or as many words as you can) with words that mean the opposite. For example, you might turn “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” to “I won’t contrast you with a winter’s night.” 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). Happy writing!
And here’s Will….Shakepeare, that is. I have printed Sonnet #71 and then my
reversal below. Great fun this. NOW, back to my novel!!!
No longer mourn for me when I am dead
Then you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile, world, with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay, if you read this line, remember not
The hand hat writ it; for I love you so
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O, if, I say, you look upon this verse
When I perhaps compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse.
But let your love even with my life decay,
Lest the wise world should look into your moan
And mock you with me after I am gone.
Now rejoice for yourself when you are alive
Then I shall hear the benevolent joyful bell
Withhold invitation to the village that you have arrived
From this sensitive world, with sweetest dragons to expell:
Yay, if I read this missive, you forget not
The foot that typed it; for you hate me so
That you in your foul diatribe would be remembered.
If speaking on you, then should not destroy my joy.
O, if you remain silent, I ignore this nonsense
When you perhaps are destroyed by liquid,
Do so little as my rich declassification forgets.
But let my hate even with your death prosper,
Lest the fool’s village should not look into your silence
And revere me with you after you have arrived.