Chronological Veto? – #NaPoWriMo22 – Day 3

#NaPoWriMo22, Other Poetry, Parenting, Random poetry Add comments

Hey there!


Today’s prompt from the NaPoWriMo site is a bit complicated:

It’s a Spanish form called a “glosa” – literally a poem that glosses, or explains, or in some way responds to another poem. The idea is to take a quatrain from a poem that you like, and then write a four-stanza poem that explains or responds to each line of the quatrain, with each of the quatrain’s four lines in turn forming the last line of each stanza. Traditionally, each stanza has ten lines, but don’t feel obligated to hold yourself to that!

I have bits of others’ poetry in my head a lot from school and university, so it took me a bit of tapping around to alight on a poem I wanted to use.  I was looking for ‘straightforward’ lines with no enjambment and simple enough imagery that I could rework, etc.

I finally chose the middle four-line stanza of  Philip Larkin’s “I Have Started To Say”.  The theme was easy to expand upon and the lines were pretty short!  When reading about the Glosa, I had also seen that the line lengths are supposed to be roughly the same as the line in the original poem.  I have not accomplished this, but what I have done is made sure each line matches the number of syllables the last (borrowed) line has.  Plus, I did stick to the convention of making each of my stanzas ten lines long. Which was a challenge!

I have bolded the last lines so you can see what the original Larkin stanza said. I’ll let you decide whether the poem I ended up with works ok 😉


Reading my C V

Confronts me with dates

Of past endeavours,

Forces the chill of

Recognition when

The maths is done, and

I really feel the

Weight of all those years

Compound on my chest.

It makes me breathless.


A part of me likes to Peter Pan

(I would assume we’re all the same) but

This feels more existential than that;

Flicking through the official story

Of how I have spent my time on earth –

The employable me, the useful

So many memories assault my

Inner silver screen. It’s a mixed bag,

But my stomach swoops and suddenly

It’s like falling and recovering.


I am not sure about

Where the fear came from, as

In my mind I’ve embraced

My future Jessica:

A tad nosy, good friends,

Classy clothes, opinions

Expressed politely while

Using my teacher hands

To illustrate my points

In huge gesturing loops…



Mrs Fletcher, though,

Was not blessed with kids,

And seemed to fill days

With more worth than I

Surface things deceive.

Ask my boys, they’ll say

Mum’s ‘homely’ record

Shows she’s really not

Chartering lamely
Through an empty sky.


Incidentally, I found this tweet and really like it!!


Phew! Well, let’s hope Day 4’s prompt is a little less mind bending!


Monty X


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