NaPoWriMo: a Judgment

Thanks to everyone who read, followed, liked or commented on the blog during the April NaPoWriMo project. I enjoyed reading other poets’ contributions day by day. I also enjoyed the impetus to write – even sketching a poem can have that sense of lifting the top of your head off, to borrow Emily Dickinson’s phrase. And the project provoked some useful writing: some of it within the project, some going on alongside it.

I was overwhelmingly relieved to reach the end of the month. Marshalling the time and energy to write a poem a day (even a very draft one) was exacting. I usually abide by the adage “never say never”, but this was my NaPoWriMo finale. That said, it was a reminder of the possibilities of the poem-a-day concept: AR Ammons’ Tape for the Turn of the Year and David Lehman’s The Evening Sun are fair examples .

For those who read the poems (some or all of them), I worked hard to make sure that each contained at least some phrase, image or idea that I thought would reward a reader. We’re all time-poor, with so many worthwhile things to read, and there’s a responsibility in that for any writer.

One welcome extravagance was my daily search for an “entremet” – a suggested poem to complement the one I’d posted. It threw me back into the headlights of some of my early favourite poets, Tom Shapcott and Tomas Tranströmer, as well as Michael Leunig’s breezy “Rustle Crow”.

Perhaps the most productive aspect of the project has been an emerging sense of the poetry I want to write from here – probably poems in quite a different mode, forgiving though it has been for the purposes of a project like this. So, we’ll see what comes next. I hope you enjoyed the poems, such as they are …


  • Ammons, AR, 1994, Tape for the Turn of the Year, WW Norton & Co., New York.
  • Lehman, D, 2002, The Evening Sun: a Journal in Poetry, Scribner Poetry, New York.

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