Progressive Poem 2020



I am happy to add the next line of this year’s progressive poem. Irene Latham started this NPM tradition in 2012. This year Margaret Simon graciously agreed to keep it going. Donna started us off by offering two possible first lines. Irene and Jone have continued this pattern, so I have done it as well. I can’t help but think we poets have all had the experience of revising until we find ourselves going back and forth between two options, so we are now  joyfully taking advantage of the opportunity to let someone else make the final choice. Buffy, that’s you.


Sweet violets shimmy, daffodils sway
along the wiregrass path to the lake
I carry a rucksack of tasty cakes

and a banjo passed down from my gram.   (Option A)

a notebook and my best felt-tip pen.   (Option B) 


I hope you all have a good day today,







24 replies
  1. Margaret Simon
    Margaret Simon says:

    I love how this poem is being created by choices. I’ve decided to collect the lines that are not chosen. Not sure they will actually work together, though. We’ll see. Each time I would have chosen a different line. I know the one that is drawing me in, but anticipate which one will get chosen. A fun way to play this game.

    • Janet Clare F.
      Janet Clare F. says:

      A great idea Margaret. I love choice a and sharing and now we can play along in a slightly different way!

    • lsteinglass
      lsteinglass says:

      What an interesting idea to collect all the lines that aren’t chosen. I think we may need a mathematician to tell us how many possible poems these lines could have written.

  2. Tabatha
    Tabatha says:

    So many banjo players! Love it 🙂 I like how things are already happening and we’re off! (Maybe we wanted to go somewhere since we’re staying at home?)

  3. Carol Varsalona
    Carol Varsalona says:

    Liz, you certainly added good choices in the mix. This nature walk sounds like it will be an interesting one. I know which choice I would pick but we will have to see where Buffy takes us.

  4. Buffy Silverman
    Buffy Silverman says:

    Yikes, I just saw this on my Facebook feed. I had totally forgotten I was up next. Pandemic brain has turned to mush. Thanks for the two fine lines–I instantly made my choice, and will now spend the next hour deliberating whether it was the right one.

  5. Donna Smith
    Donna Smith says:

    This is so much fun to watch. Didn’t want to force anyone into writing two lines, but really, who doesn’t write at least two and have to decide which one to use? And what fun to put the burden on someone else!! Love the rucksack line for this. And now what to go with it? I know what I’d pick – maybe.

  6. Heidi Mordhorst
    Heidi Mordhorst says:

    I like these choices! And the choice thing in general, which serves to make us all noodle simultaneously on the two options and what they might mean for the poem. Thanks for serving up some intriguing accoutrements.

  7. Ramona
    Ramona says:

    Playing progressive poem catch-up this morning. I was torn between the bees and the cake, but happy to move forward with the cake. Crossing my fingers that the banjo joins us!


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] poem. Liz Steinglass takes over today, again offering a line choice for the next host. You can find Liz’s lines on her blog. I’m excited to provide the 24th line on Friday, April 24th. I hope you’ll join us to see what […]

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