NaPoWriMo Day 16 – Wait! Its in here. Somewhere.

Our video resource for the day is this lovely animation of Lucy English’s poem, “Things I Found in the Hedge.” One wonderful thing I’ve learned in researching our videos for the month is that poetry seems very often to inspire filmmakers, painters, and musicians, just as movies, art, and music inspire poets. Art likes to make more of itself!

And now for our daily prompt (optional, as always). Today’s prompt takes its inspirations from Christopher Smart’s “Jubilate Agno.” Fundamentally, this is a poem about a cat. It’s also a structurally very straightforward poem – every line begins the same way, and is about some aspect of the cat at issue. But from these seemingly simple ingredients, Smart constructs a poem that is luminously, joyously weird. Just as English’s poem listing things found in a hedge renders the familiar strange by making us focus on each, individual item in the hedge, Smart makes a humble housecat seem like the most wondrous thing in the world. Today, I challenge you to write a poem that uses the form of a list to defamiliarize the mundane.

Wait! It’s in here, somewhere 


The things in my handbag

A pair of spectacles, an empty spectacle case

A pack of face tissues, a hand sanitizer

A soft pink lipstick, a rose-red blush

A blue paper folded with vermilion

Dried red flowers from our visit to the temple

And a tissue rolled into a ball with a fossilized gum

that needs to be thrown


A yellow pocket book with a mirror on top

A key chain with  the Eiffle tower and a

bunch of keys dangling; one for the car

sold last November. A pen with the cover missing

A boarding card, four movie tickets

‘After the quake’ by Haruki Murakami,

and a spare napkin for ‘those’ days.


Credit card receipts, their numbers long faded

A visiting card browned with the mud 

of the Dead Sea; ‘For women by women,’

written on it and a number, nothing more.

Tiny black tweezers, a nail file,  a needle

and a spool of dark brown  thread

For the ’emergency.’


A few coins, some scrunched up  100 rupee notes

An empty chocolate wrapper,

A small tin of hard-boiled candies

A pearl earring, the one I grieved for.

Two pink hair clips with bows and two

Neatly folded, ‘five hundred,’ rupee notes

Demonetized, three years ago!



P.S. O.k. maybe it’s in the other bag!

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8 responses to “NaPoWriMo Day 16 – Wait! Its in here. Somewhere.”

  1. Andrea Stephenson Avatar

    This is great fun in terms of the mysterious contents of our bags Smitha, but there’s also a lovely poignancy or mystery to some of the items, like the pearl ear-ring.


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Yes…its like a black-hole. Everything’s in there, somewhere. But it needs time to get it out😀. So unlike men’s wallets…😊simple- a few notes, cards and in the back pocket.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      And why am I not surprised. lol. Am so glad you read this poem and could relate. Thanks Moushmi for passing by. XX

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Feelings and Freedom Avatar

    Isn’t that the way every woman’s handbag is 😂😂 A treasure hunt is what my husband and boys call it. The best was..’ it must be in the other bag’ I do it so often 😀😀 Loved reading this one


    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Ha ha…Its nice to know there’s lots of us in the same boat. At first I thought it was only me😀 and I never could understand why it happened. Now it’s the problem of our species😊. Thanks Vandana for writing back.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Smitha V Avatar

      Ha ha…It’s heartening to know you agree. XXX

      Liked by 1 person

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