NaPoWriMo: Day 15 – Ali sleeps

Our prompt for today (optional, as always), takes its inspiration from the idea of a poem as a sort of tiny play, which can be performed dramatically. In the 1800s, there was quite a fad for monologue-style poems that lend themselves extremely well to dramatic interpretations (this kind of work was basically Robert Browning’s jam). And Shakespeare’s plays are chock-a-block with them. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write your own dramatic monologue. It doesn’t have to be quite as serious as Browning or Shakespeare, of course, but try to create a sort of specific voice or character that can act as the “speaker” of your poem, and that could be acted by someone reciting the poem.


Alas! There was no choice, but to flee

For what use is a life, that brings one down on his knee

I see the pain in your eyes, for all that we have lost

In a blink, our whole world tossed


Do not lament my dear for what is gone-

Our home, our land and our blue-eyed son

Know that he rests in peaceful slumber, in the place of his birth

Did you not see him smiling before death-

came by? He said ‘Goodbye Abbu,’ before I left

It will not make him happy to see his Ammi bereft.


So try my darling, try to smile; I know its not easy-

To watch it all crumbled by blood-thirsty, sleazy

men.  But you must try. Ah! Take a look now, in that direction

Can you see the rivers and the mountains; we have reached our destination

They said we could come, and for that we must be eternally grateful

The good God has been kind and merciful


Oh look! See them standing on the platform

They have come to welcome us. But wait! With dogs and men in uniform?

Don’t let it frighten you- it must be the rules

Let us be wise and swallow our pride, let us not be fools

We are guests here, we must never forget that

And to our unborn children and their’s, you must repeat this fact.


Come now my dear, step down from this carriage

Do not move too fast,  they will want to check our baggage

Let it not pain you the way they look at us

Mistrust is understandable; they do not know us remember; let us not make a fuss.

Take a deep breath my dear, breathe the air of freedom

On foreign soils; far, far away from where once stood our home


I know your heart grieves, and believe me, so does mine

Come here, we must form a line

Promise me my dear, never to look behind

Let us start afresh and let all memories that bind-

Be buried with dear Ali in the land of our birth.


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4 responses to “NaPoWriMo: Day 15 – Ali sleeps”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    This is powerful Smitha, the voice is very believable and shows the human side of a bigger problem.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you so much Andrea for your comment. Somehow not many people commented on it though they read it ( you can see on fb😊) and I couldn’t help but wonder why. So your words mean a lot. Thank you again!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. robbiesinspiration Avatar

    This is an intriguing style of poem, Smitha, and it makes a powerful point.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Thank you Robbie. I enjoyed writing it. Once I began,I found it hard to stop. Happy for your comment.


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