April is National Poetry Month ~ and National Poetry Writing Month.  


NaPoWriMo for short.

And it’s a crowd-pleaser.

images NaPoWriMo began in 2003. Poet Maureen Thorson decided to take up the challenge (modeled after National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo) and invited other poets to join her. Since then, the number of participants has grown larger every year, and many writers’ organizations ~ local, national and even international ~ host NaPoWriMo activities. robert_lee_brewer_hs I’m celebrating here ~  at Poetic Asides, a website hosted by Robert Lee Brewer, senior editor at Writer’s Digest. It’s the 2014 April PAD Challenge, a poetic bacchanal. BYOP, of course. The “PAD” stands for “poem-a-day.” So each and every morning, there’s a new poetry prompt. Brewer throws out a life preserver along with it ~ his own attempt at the prompt (wished for and welcome), then it’s my turn. And yours. There are plenty of poemming days left. Post as few or as many times as you like. logo-napowrimo You can read the poetry, wallow in it, share it with your writing group, spread it across your social network. There are so many doors to open ~ start anywhere, walk ‘write’ in. images But if you want to be considered by a ream of genuine poet-judges for publication in the Poem Your Heart Out anthology, you need to post your poem in the comments. It’s free and easy ~ the prompts (open to space-warpingly vast interpretations) magically appear each morning.

Click here~   http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/poetic-asides.

…. imagesSo, it’s now Day 16 of the April PAD Challenge and it’s been downright envibing so far.  I am inspired by the poets, a neighborly, infectiously upbeat bunch. They gave me the idea to put some rocking’ glad rags on my iambs and start a brand new blog.  mental crumbs gives my poems some stylin’ and profilin’ in honor of National Poetry Month.


So, add some poetry to your site (or create a new one right here at WordPress), tag your post with NaPoWriMo, and have some sure-fire fun.



Toni 4/16/14


It’s National Poetry Month.

Thanks, WP blogger Ben, for this monumental opportunity to introduce…


“If Goethe had had to prepare supper, salt the dumplings;

If Schiller had had to wash the dishes;

If Heine had had to mend what he had torn, to clean the rooms, kill the bugs –

Oh, the menfolk, none of them would have become great poets.”  

  ~Eremenz Meier

I saw this bronze on the bank of the Danube in the city of

Passau ~

 Eremenz Mierer , innkeeper’s daughter and poet.



Emerenz Meier was born in Schiefweg, a town in the Bavarian Forest. She became well-known through her stories and poems of village life. Meier rebelled against tradition and convention to become a successful writer in spite of difficult economic conditions. The family emigrated to America to make a fresh start in Chicago. There, Meier wrote mainly for her enjoyment, but she also waged verbal war against political, economic and social conditions in Europe and America. 


In today’s Sunday Review, op-ed columnist Frank Bruni reminds us in his singular style (almost as poetically as Eremenz Meier) that the conversation isn’t over yet.



Toni  4/13/14



National Poetry Writing Month is nearly at at end. To celebrate it, try your hand at some verse.


Ronnie, the top banana in our bunch, is a fan of The Form. She posted this a while back. …………………………………………. /////////////////// ///////////////////

“The sonnet’s origins are on the small, sunlit courts of Sicily. It lingered there for two hundred years before it made the trip to into English poetry.” Don’t you love that line? If you love poetry in all its new and ancient forms, get the book “The Making of a Poem” by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland. It is a Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms. The grand Francine Prose calls this book “A generous selective anthology of poetry in forms that may make you decide to give up e-mails and start writing sestinas and villanelles.” I’ve taken her comment to heart. Though I’ve not given up e-mails, I am on a mission to write in some of the classic forms. So far, I’ve done a villanelle and a sonnet. The sestina is next on the radar screen. Wish me luck.

By the way, here are some basics about the sonnet from Strand and Boland. 1.) It is a poem of fourteen lines, usually iambic. 2.) There are two types with very different histories behind their forms: the Petrarchan and the Shakespearean. 3.) The Petrarchan sonnet is Italian in origin, has an octave of eight lines and a sestet of six. The rhyme scheme of the octave is ababcdcd and of the sestet cdecde. 4.) The Shakespearean sonnet was developed in England and has far more than just surface differences from the Petrachan. 5.) The rhyme scheme of the Shakespearean sonnet is ababcdcdefefgg. There is no octave/sestet structure to it. The final couplet is a defining feature. Give it try…. What have you got to lose?

OK, Ronnie, I’m in.

Hiss Off! : A Sonnet

Rows of tomatoes planted on hillsides

remind me now of the boy who threw snakes.

He made the cats howl, he riled up the drakes

and spooked the old nag that took me for rides.

He made it a sport; he tormented me

by tossing a snake headfirst at my face

and shoving one in my collar of lace,

making me scream when it tried to get free.


This cruel vicious boy who inflicted pain

his treatment of creatures was inhumane.

It was always my wish for that pervert

that he could feel how much it hurt and

that just one snake he pulled from its lair

would be a constrictor and him ensnare.

Toni 4/29/13