NapoWriMo 2016 Day Twenty

And finally, our prompt (optional, as always)! Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who suggests a prompt very much in keeping with our poet in translation, a “kenning” poem. Kennings were riddle-like metaphors used in the Norse sagas. Basically, they are ways of calling something not by its actual name, but by a sort of clever, off-kilter description — for example, the sea would be called the “whale road.” Today, I challenge you to think of a single thing or person (a house, your grandmother, etc), and then write a poem that consists of kenning-like descriptions of that thing or person. For example, you might call a cat a mouse-stalker, quiet-walker, bird-warner, purr-former, etc. If you’re looking for examples, you can find one that Vince wrote here and a different example here. Happy writing!

The truffle sniffers ran rampant through the towers of paper

Some were huge at the bottom but towards the top they did taper

High up above egg stealers cried

while the gaseous sphere blazed, baked, and fried

Huge diamond bumps groaned as a liquid highway

Catawampus across the hunting grounds of the bay

Flocculent front trumpets wallowed in pools of mud

And elongated leaf nibblers stopped from chewing the cud

Buck toothed hoppers dispersed from nearby

And spindle legged scarlet waders launched into the sky

The flow of crimson scorched the land

Leaving all life forms dead and the earth bland

Billowing smog choked the air

And killed all creatures that took to there

For thousands of years no life was born

Until an armoured bug in an alien life form

Crept out and evolved as eons did span

That’s when life once more began


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