NaPoWriMo Day 22: Terry Jude Miller – Resilience

Today we welcome Terry Jude Miller to the Poetry Non-Stop NaPoWriMo podcast with a prompt to write a poem on resilience. This is a powerful topic for poetry but one that is hard to get right. Hopefully your resilience will keep you going through this prompt and onto the next one.

Terry says: Resilience poems are difficult to write without sounding preachy or condescending. Use metaphor and imagery to a describe a challenge (as the “roller coaster” is used in this poem) and write something uplifting but not sentimental. The poem should “turn” or “switch direction” at about 3/4 of the way, and should end with a “big band” or “surprise.”

You Have to be this Tall

once you close the curtain
on your role as victim,
as suffering martyr

they give you access
to the roller coaster switch

you still can’t control
where the dips and climbs are
but you can manage, to some degree,
the speed with which you enter
and exit

Terry Jude Miller

Terry Jude Miller is a Pushcart Prize-nominated writer from Houston. He received the 2018 Catherine Case Lubbe Manuscript Prize for his book, The Drawn Cat’s Dream, and was awarded the Georgia Poetry Society’s 2018 Langston Hughes Award. His work has been published in the Southern Poetry Anthology and in scores of other publications including anthologies of the Austin International Poetry Festival, Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival, Texas Poetry Calendar, Chaffey Review, Houston Literary Review, Boston Literary Magazine, and the Birmingham Arts Journal. He is the creator of the Texas Poets Podcast.

Please share your responses to today’s prompt either in the comments or via email. The best submissions will be featured in future podcasts.

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