Friday, February 25, 2022

Friday Writings #15: "After" Another

This month I'm doing NaHaiWriMo (writing the shortest genre of poetry every day during the shortest month). The admin of the facebook group, Michael Dylan Welch, recently posted this, which feeds nicely into my theme for this week's prompt:



I’m sure we’ve all seen, and perhaps wondered about, poems with the subtitle ‘After [name of another poet]’.  Google explains:

When you write a poem heavily influenced by another poem you always acknowledge it with the word ‘after’ and the original poet’s name.

One also sometimes sees, ‘After Reading [name of a specific poem or book] by [poet’s name].' This seems to be when the new poem is a response to the original but not so ‘heavily influenced’ – or when the material read is not just one particular poem.

A recent email in's poem-a-day series showed me this delightful piece by Dobby Gibson: After Reading Kobayashi Issa’s The Spring of My Life on My 49th Birthday. It’s quite short; do have a quick look

In this case The Spring of My Life is a whole book. 

In the series, poets are also asked to record an ‘About This Poem’. Gibson says of his:

After a snowstorm, there’s a stillness that hints at a grace we can’t quite access. It becomes possible to imagine the unburdening of the self. Hence my debt here to Issa, and also to Milosz’s poem written after Issa, who wrote his haibun after Basho’s. Which is to say that poems, like birthdays, are intensely serial. I’ll never know all the voices speaking through me. 

(The mention of Basho’s haibun also refers to a whole book, his famous The Narrow Road to the Deep North.)

I love both Basho and Issa, and also greatly admire Czeslaw Milosz, so it was no hardship to me to read the Milosz poem and grab the Issa book. (I already had Basho’s.) Dobby Gibson, whom I hadn’t encountered before, seems worth exploring further too.

I also love the idea of poems being ‘intensely serial’ and that we’ll never know all the voices speaking through us – especially true if you were brought up on poetry from an early age, as I was lucky enough to be.

If you would like to try a prompt this week, I invite you to re-read a favourite piece of writing, which may be poetry or prose, allow yourself to be inspired by it and share the results with us. We would also like to know, please, ‘after’ whom, or ‘after reading’ what – even if you are working in prose. (You may tell us in a subtitle or a note.)


Free choice: You don’t have to write to a prompt; only to share with us whatever you would like to – old or new, prose or verse.

Our only rules are one post per person, and that prose pieces must be within 369 words, excluding title.

The prompt will stay open all week. Link to your post, below, and don’t forget to come back to find those treasures linked later in the week.



For our next Friday Writings, Magaly will invite us to spend  a few moments considering the word "Peace"... then write poetry or prose inspired by the thoughts that come to mind.


  1. Oops! I came to realise when trying to follow my own prompt that it's quite a challenge to attempt something 'after' a truly wonderful poet!

  2. Good Day poets
    Wishing all a nice Friday


  3. Thank you, Rosemary, for the writing etiquette tip. I like it, I previously had an excerpt from the writer's poem, one that I liked, and so decided to write of my similar life experience of dog ownership as he did. I posted late Tuesday in response to Hedgewitch's prompting for the "Shay Word Garden" entry.
    Some might not appreciate my final verse but it was also an answer of my sort to his approach to a touchy subject in poetry reading, about Heaven after death, the question of whether can pets be there after they die or not. I feel that the writer, Pablo Neruda, was telling his real life (a pun here?) feelings as I tried to do.
    I reposted my Tuesday write here on Friday as being late reduced my reader experiencing it, as of this morning there were eight readers who left two comments.
    Nuff said, too much maybe. Again, thank you, Rosemary.

    1. Also, I am about to take a much needed Sabbatical. I plan to slow way down in posting and during a part of March may not post at all on either of my active blogs.

    2. I like the insights you give us into your life in these comments, Jim. Be as wordy as you wish!

      And thanks for the heads-up about the Sabbatical, so we won't go worrying if you don't appear for a while.

  4. RoseMary, Jim said that my link leads to a blank page. He clicked on the title of the page on got to it. Do you know if anyone else is having a problem and any idea what I can do to fix it?

    1. Following Jim's procedure has enabled me to find it and replace the bad links with one that works.

    2. PS Would have found the poem sooner if the blog it appears on had been listed under your Blogger profile; at first I was looking in places where it simply didn't exist. Please add this blog to your profile.

    3. (Yes, both Rommy and I had trouble finding your post. Eventually Jim's trick worked.)

  5. poem just fell into place with the wordle words...hope I'm not
    the recipient of any withering looks ! :)

  6. Just to let everyone know that Murwillumbah where Rosemary lives has been devastated by the worst flood ever in the Northern Rivers NSW. Hope she is OK. Thoughts and prayers for her from all of us.

  7. Oops, Rosemary .. I entered my 'peace' poem on this accidentally, feel free to remove. Hoping you are still ok, that the flooding recedes quickly.


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