Today’s prompt comes from another poem by Kyle Dargan, called “Diaspora: A Narcolepsy Hymn.” This poem, like “Call and Response,” is inspired by the work of others – in this case, the poet Morgan Parker, and lyrics from songs by Beyoncé and The Notorious B.I.G. The poem also partakes of one of the most difficult poetic forms, the villanelle. The classic villanelle has five three-line stanzas followed by a final, four-line stanza. The first and third lines of the first stanza alternately repeat as the last lines of the following three-line stanzas, before being used as the last two lines of the final quatrain. And to make it an even more virtuoso performance, Dargan’s alternating lines, besides being taken from songs, express “opposing” ideas, with one being about sleeping, and the other waking.

Following Dargan’s lead, today we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that incorporates at least one of the following: (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. If you can use two elements, great – and if you can do all three, wow!

The first thing that came to my mind when I saw this prompt was the girls’ singing ‘ Freak the Freak Out’ by Victoria Justice. I’ve incorporated the lines from the song below in blue*.  Ever since I started writing, I’ve got busier in my head.  I know its not funny so I’m going to make amends, beginning today.

But first the poem. I followed the villanelle form.


I am so busy talking in my head

We’ve walked three rounds around the park; I just realized

I didn’t say a word


I watch her as she speaks, her hands flying; she  catches my eye-

‘I’m so sick of it. You’re attention deficit. Never listen. You never listen.’

I am so busy talking in my head


I see her rant and fume; she is being as mean as she possibly can

‘Don’t hear a word I say. I can’t communicate, when you wait, don’t relate’

I didn’t say a word


I  wish she’d not talk to me like the enemy. Doesn’t she know she means the world to me? 

‘I try to talk to you but you never even knew.’ ‘Tell me can you hear me?’

I am so busy talking in my head.


She walks away. And then comes back. She’s angry at being angry. I feel sorry.

‘Open up your ear. Why d’you think that I’m here?’

I didn’t say a word.


‘I scream your name. It always stays the same. I scream and shout.

So what I’m gonna do now is freak the freak out’

I am so busy talking in my head

I didn’t say a word











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Posted by:Smitha V

A banker by profession, a blogger by choice, a poet by accident, and an artist at heart. Imperfectly perfect - that's me. Welcome to my world!

16 replies on “NaPoWriMo: Day 5- Mom’s Not Listening!

  1. This is cool, and an honor.

    In fact, I’ll say that the “opposing” lines didn’t make it harder. The natural contrast of those two lines was a big part of the poem’s inception.

    Really dug your own take too. Viva poesía!


  2. Congratulations on this successful and creative melding of the song and your words Smitha. They go together very well – capturing your distraction and the frustration of your daughters.


      1. It does and there’s no easy answer to the question of using our time well! I don’t have children so I don’t have to worry about that, there’s just me and my wife. But I was just thinking yesterday that with working during the week, there isn’t really time to do much in the evenings so I have all sorts of ideas about what I will do at the weekend creatively and by the time it comes I don’t always have the energy or motivation to do them 🙂 I did drop a day a few years ago now, so that on Mondays I have a day to myself – I take the dog for a long walk and then hopefully do something creative.


        1. Thanks Andrea for writing back. Well, since you’re working and writing, I have to say that you manage time exceptionally well. I guess, its because I’ve just started writing and the timing is perfectly imperfect – with both the girls’ giving their boards the coming May; I’ve had to do a lot of juggling. And its not working…But I love how you’ve managed work, home and time for yourself (keeping a day off) so smoothly. I can only hope to get there some day 🙂 Btw you haven’t read my poem ‘Legs’. I think you might like it 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Really strange, I tried to read Legs yesterday and there was nothing there, but it’s all there today – my computer must have been doing strange things! And I do like it, it’s powerful and compelling.


          2. Ha ha…its not your computer. Its mine. Its been behaving weirdly. Just disappeared. I got it back by loading history. For a moment I did freak out :). And thank you for reading it 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank God you can or I thought I was the only ‘bad’ mommy in town 🙂 I do it with hubby too 🙂 but he’s never put it in a song (lol) Thanks Vands for your lovely comment. XXX

      Liked by 1 person

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