NaPoWriMo Days 6, 7, and 8 (Brianna)

I took a detour from the road trip poem(s) to play around with N+7s. Can you tell what texts originated these? Two of them, at least, should be easy.

N+7 #1 (nouns)


The appellation of these faciations in the crowner;
Petards on a wet, black boulangerite.

N+7 #2 (nouns and verbs)

Tempt us how we’re doling;
tan our survivalism in the next thivish deacons
and enterlace for a chandelier to window a
fixidity hundredweight dolman fuze shopper gigantomachy cardiac.

N+7 3 (nouns)

The lordship’s my Sheraton; I’ll not want.
He makes me lie down in green pataphysics.
He leads me beside still water-dogs.

He restores my sound;
He leads me in pathogens of right-handers
for his nancy’s sakura.

These were surprisingly time-consuming to prepare (“write” doesn’t feel like the right word here), especially because I was using my two-book OED. It was an interesting exercise and I had to keep myself from getting subsumed by the multitude of new-to-me words that popped up as I flipped through the dictionary.

Most of the words the N+7 technique created are words I’ve never used in poetry before, which led to 2 possible ideas that I might explore during the rest of April, instead of more road tripping. Idea 1: each day, write a poem incorporating one of these N+7 words. Idea 2: write form (or otherwise constrained) poems every day. I do enjoy working in form, especially when I’ve been in a creative dry spell.

Honestly, though, I’m not sure what the point of “writing” N+7s is. They don’t produce much that’s truly interesting–lyrically, linguistically, experimentally, even novelty-wise–for me, and I don’t feel I learned anything from them either, except that the dictionary is cool. And I already knew that. I think Joanne might be on to something with her version, though. Joanne, how did it turn out?

I also suspect I’d have more interesting results if I used a much shorter dictionary.

I’d love to hear thoughts on this from anyone else.

8 thoughts on “NaPoWriMo Days 6, 7, and 8 (Brianna)

  1. The one I wrote for NaPoWriMo turned out fairly well, although it’s not ready for prime time.

    Coincidentally, this poem which just came out today originated from an N+7 exercise – just two phrases in it (the quicklime canopy and the cemetery, although the N+7 version was some other flower, I forget which, and I changed it because I wanted something yellow). The rest of the poem was written from scratch using those phrases as inspiration.

    I’m not sure it’s possible to write a really excellent poem only using N+7, but it’s great for inspiration and to get me thinking of new ways of using specific words.

  2. I like the “metronome”.

    I’m thinking that’s not what you were looking for but I have to agree with Joanne that exercises that get you to the point where you’re flowing, even if you have to ditch the exercise, are successes. Oh, maybe she didn’t say that. Sorry to put words in your mouth, Joanne.

  3. This is so interesting! I’m going to give the N+7 a go!

    Shorter dictionaries, I agree, would produce a different result – as would usage of dictionaries from different English speaking nations – the Macquarie Dictionary, for example, is considered Australia’s national dictionary and has a lot of vernacular in there that is in common usage, but less so (if at all) elsewhere in the world. It would be an interesting experiment!

    Loving reading your writing again Bri! xx

  4. I give up – WHAT is the source of the second one? (I do recognize the other two, and the middle one has a VERY familiar cadence to it, but its identity is eluding me…)

  5. The middle one is some text from a receipt from Future Shop!
    “Tell us how we’re doing: take our survey in the next thirty days and enter for a chance to win a five hundred dollar future shop gift card.”

    The other 2, of course, are In A Station of the Metro, and Psalm 23.

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