“Past few months have been chaos kinetic;
Mind’s been far from rhymed verse academic.
But: still worth a try, so
Bring on NaPoWriMo,
Third attempt toward an April poetic.“
Here at the start of both a new calendar year and a new spring semester, I’ll begin revisiting the April 2021 National Poetry Writing Month poems, previously posted on Twitter. Not all of these were science-themed, but enough were that I should be able to repeat this pattern throughout the spring. This Twitter limerick, from 1 April 2021, merely introduces the month’s goal; it still might be useful in setting the scene for the next several weeks.
“Past few months have been chaos kinetic; /
Mind’s been far from rhymed verse academic.”
I wrote this limerick in the waning weeks of the 2020-21 academic year. I was reflecting on the stress of managing day-to-day work in such an unusual time, where “chaos kinetic” was still predominating. I had paused my Twitter poems (“rhymed verse academic”) since the end of the Fall 2020 semester.
“But: still worth a try, so /
Bring on NaPoWriMo, /
Third attempt toward an April poetic.”
As in April 2020, I contemplated in April 2021 the feasibility of persisting in the daily writing trend that National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo) encourages. Thirty poems in thirty days seemed even more daunting than in the previous year. Following successful endeavors in 2019 and 2020, the “third attempt” ultimately seemed “worth a try.”
Part of my motivation in doing so was the possibility of generating thematic material for these subsequent essays, as that two-step process (poem first, then interpretive essay) has provided a helpful writing routine over the past two years.
I find the poetic form of the interlocking rubaiyat particularly resonant: how the structure and word choice in one stanza informs that of the next (AABA, BBCB, CCDC, etc.). In a similar way, by writing thirty poems in April, I can ensure that I have several themes for the following year’s blog posts, since the topics I chose for the poems inform the substance of the longer essays. [I also note some parallels here with the structure of the Periodic Table of Elements: each essay is in the same “family” (theme) as its prompting verse and is itself a higher “number”… in terms of word count!]