Brother Number Two – NaPoWriMo 2016 – Day 20 – keening poem


Brother Number Two

face – puller
sister – teaser
chalk – thief  ( a deskfull)
clayball – biffer (goodies & baddies)
kitten – drowner
parson – impersonator (mute layer of kittens to rest)

whare – builder (to give the boys a room of their own)
wood – turner
donothingmachine – designer
finger – slicer
trick two – finger stapler (industrial)
canoe – canoer
super yacht – builder                                                                                                                                         ski bunny – chaser
shawl – knitter
But for me brother number one.

Benita H. Kape © 20.4.2016

*whare – said f o (as in orange) ree. A Maori word for house dwelling  as apposed to Marae which is a meeting house. This was a small sleep-out as a room for the boys (large family). I changed it to that from the word bach (much used in NZ for similar dwelling, usually though a bach is seen as a holiday dwelling. Unusual to have used such a word before the Maori renaissance of recent years.

And finally, our prompt (optional, as always)! Today’s prompt comes to us from Vince Gotera, who suggests a prompt very much in keeping with our poet in translation, a “kenning” poem. Kennings were riddle-like metaphors used in the Norse sagas. Basically, they are ways of calling something not by its actual name, but by a sort of clever, off-kilter description — for example, the sea would be called the “whale road.” Today, I challenge you to think of a single thing or person (a house, your grandmother, etc), and then write a poem that consists of kenning-like descriptions of that thing or person. For example, you might call a cat a mouse-stalker, quiet-walker, bird-warner, purr-former, etc. If you’re looking for examples, you can find one that Vince wrote here and a different example here. Happy writing!