I will give you the prompt for today from NaPoWriMo so you will know why I dare write after Sylvia Plath. Her poem included.
And now for our prompt (as always, it’s optional!). In keeping with the mysterious quality of the number 13, today I challenge you to write a riddle poem. This poem should describe something without ever naming it. Perhaps each line could be a different metaphor for the same object? Maybe the title of the poem can be the “answer” to the riddle. The result could be a bit like our Day One poems of negation, but the lines don’t need to be expressed in negatives. To get you thinking, here’s one of my favorite examples of a “riddle” poem – Sylvia Plath’s “Metaphors”:
I’m a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf’s big with its yeasty rising.
Money’s new-minted in this fat purse.
I’m a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I’ve eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there’s no getting off.
After Sylvia Plath
I’m a riddle in four syllables,
sharp as a Gemini. I bite
like a dragon, teeth
serate or slice. I repeat myself.
Two of five elements,
I strike at your whim.
Dualistic but even tempered.
I am rigged for hard work.
Without me, tulips fail.
I’ve eaten grit in your honor,
am more practical than an averrcunator.
You think me foreign;
however, I assist earnest earth-workers
on bended knee.