A writer’s hunger

In one of their daily prompts, NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month: write one poem a day in April) asked us to write a “book spine” poem based on titles in our bookshelves.

One of the titles in my bookshelf is Knut Hamsun’s Hunger (1890). It describes the painful birth of a writer, an unnamed young man who wanders the streets of Kristiania (former name of Oslo), trying to keep his dignity and sanity. His hunger is both physical and mental, and at one point he almost eats his pencil. Occasionally, he earns a little money by selling an article to a newspaper, but he is unwilling to take other jobs (he deems it unfit for someone of his abilities). In the book, he relates his experiences from his walks and from his encounters with people. He ends up signing on a ship and leaving the city. I think any aspiring writer can relate to the constant drive inside that anonymous writer.

There are seven book titles hidden in the poem. Find them if you like. 🙂

 
HUNGER

I am an undernourished author,
hungry to create

I walk the city streets
in a ceaseless chase for words
and, in all honesty, recognition,
to become a king on writing

I can hear the bells toll ten, eleven, twelve times,
as if to put a number on my
failed, once great, expectations

Just after sunset,
I stumble through the door
at the inn where I lodge

Another long day’s journey into night
comes to an end

Hurt feet, hurt pride,

but not willing to settle for
the God of small things

Not yet.

(c) Zol H, 2016

 
WordPress Daily Prompt: Constant

Photo: Mag Pole/Unsplash

To collect moments

Streets are made to be walked, observed, and strutted along as if a catwalk. Every once in a while we should adopt a modern flâneur’s attitude and stroll the streets. Walk down this street, look around that corner, say hello to a stranger. Sit ourselves down in a coffee shop and watch people passing by. Then go home and write about it.

What strange phenomena we find in a great city, all we need do is stroll about with our eyes open. Life swarms with innocent monsters.
— Charles Baudelaire

WordPress Daily Prompts: Strut