Day 6: NaPoWriMo

I’m chuffed it’s a Marianne Moore inspired prompt on napowrimo. net today, I did a presentation on her as part of Masters in poetry, knew it’d come in handy…

Here is my list of all her animals that I could gather:

Animals: (in poem titles): buffalo, fish, bird, octopus, weasel, elephants, dragon, goat, giraffe, bug, crow, tiger, whale.

Today’s poem takes some inspiration from Sian S Rathore’s elegant  elephant poeming

I also tried to use the Marianne Moore style to tie a giraffe in, and used some elephant and giraffe facts to create my narrative.

Here goes:

Solitary Giraffe and Elephant Behaviour


Escaping up the neck of a giraffe, measuring

The sea’s width by hand, picking cacti

As you would flowers; the vanishing act of our sanity

Makes us tremble on buses, this world!


Let us learn from elephant behaviour

the way they attract gravity to them

negotiating the earth’s tilt a step at a time


you eat an extremely varied vegetarian diet

rather like an elephant, you are

serious minded but prone to laughing

at the tickle of the wind, the flapping ears

dusting your sides.


With a gurgle and slick rush the water

Speeds up the long flexible nose,

50 galloons a day, you must learn how to hold it

there in the trunk, then let it go

into your tucked away mouth


you can spend ten years learning

how to be an elephant

if you desire a giraffe’s tail for a necklace

you’ll have to fell it, neck and all.


If the first stanza sounds unlike me, that’s because I wrote it over one of Marianne Moore’s poems, Sojourn in the Whale, so it echoes the syllabic structure of that poem. The rest is my own free verse spinning.



The Stirred quad is formed of Rebecca Audra Smith, Anna Percy, Jasmine Chatfield and Lenni Sanders.

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Posted in BeccaAudra, NAPOWRIMO Becca, Poetry Scrawls

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The Stirred team at Reclaim the Night Manchester 2015
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