November 20th celebrates the absurd with National Absurdity Day. And why not, right? When we can have days for things like polka dots (January 22nd), to ask stupid questions (on September 28th), or for walking around things (April 4th), why not a day for everything absurd? (Well, if you ask me, the rest of the days sound kind of absurd too, but also fun, and something to make each day just a little bit more fun-ner, right? Which is one of the reasons I put them here on my Sunday Scribblings each week!) So anyway, a little absurd can do wonders, when done the right, or write, way! Read on to find out how.
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Poetic Sundays: A Little Absurd In Our Poems
A little absurd in our writing can do wonders sometimes, and today’s poetic Sunday’s focus is not on a form per-se (kind of sounding like my last Sunday Scribbling, but unintentional!), but rather on bringing the absurd into writing in one way or the other.
A Little About the Facets of the Absurd
In literature (and by extension, or well, inclusion), absurd or absurdity or absurdism, helps writers explore the nonsensical or the bizarre or the meaningless aspects of life and the world. And if we are honest, there are always some (more than some too) things like that.
The word absurd itself comes from the Latin absurdus, meaning ”out of tune” or ”discordant.” Note that while I used “absurdity” and “absurdism” with an “or” in between earlier, there is a difference between them.
Absurdity is the quality or state of being absurd (or abdurdness), or in general, anything that is absurd (as in, the absurdities of life). On the other hand, absurdism, refers to an intentional or deliberate absurd behavior or character, as well as to the intentional belief that human beings exist in an irrational and chaotic universe.
However, I do believe that both absurdity and absurdism can help, each in their own way, when we use them in writing and in art, to provide impact – be it humor or meaning (yes, despite what they mean!)
The Absurd in Poetry: A Quick How To
Just like with last week’s Poetic Salute to Stevenson, the rules are simple! You can choose either absurdity or absurdism as your theme or motivation to get started. Here are a few things that might help:
Both absurdity and absurdism can blur lines often. So I am simply listing a few that can work for either or both of these. In any case, they fit the “absurd” theme. Read “The Owl and the Pussycat,” “Jabberwocky,” or other similar poems. Check out Camus’s The Stranger or Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, both of which can provide inspiration galore. You can also find inspiration in these wonderful short absurdist poems that can be found at Ubupoems or here on HelloPoetry or at AllPoetry.
Look for the Absurd Around
Look for the absurd around you; in life, and in the world around!
- Surrealism, nonsensical stuff, and other similar things can also be inspiration for the absurd.
- The strange world of memes and trends! There is so much weirdness to explore there, right?!
- Even the pandemic can provide us some ideas, given how much it took us away from the normal we were used to, and caused us to find a whole “new normal” (or is it really?)
- that time when you wake up while you are still in the middle of a dream, and not sure where the dream world ended and your real one began.
- the mixing of two very different things; like oil and water, age-old traditions with something modern;
- the possibilities are endless
- Pick any poetic form with rhythm and rhyme. You can refer to any of the forms from previous forms featured on my blog. Free verse it if you so choose.
- Employ hyperbole, satire, irony, juxtaposition, malapropism, and other similar techniques and tools
- You can also choose to write about the absurd in a truly absurd way!!
- Maybe write about those weird events you have encountered in a reverse timeline mode, or like it is a dream, or told by an alien!
- Use emojis, graphics, or other drawings interspersed with words
- Write in code. Or like Brian Bilston (a poet I recently discovered) did with a recent poem, in a spreadsheet.
And the rest
While I don’t really have any other tips, please feel free to ping me if you have any – tips or questions!
(On an aside, I hope to work on indexing my reviews and poetic forms soon)
My Attempt at the Absurd
Attempt, the First
This one is not absurd by itself, in the writing of it, but about something that can sound weird or absurd. More about it in the further reading section.
Feel Like Alice
Have you ever felt like Alice?
Not in those half-awake dreams,
But aware, without tinted glasses
to distort the real; not the ‘it-seems’
Have you ever felt like her?
A little smaller
than normal at times, and at other,
many times larger!?
If you do, know you’re not alone.
Many suffer from this weird syndrome..
Where they feel like being in Wonderland
A little off, away from things they understand..
~ Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
Attempt, the second
Not absurd in content at all, but trying to write a little absurdly. Hint: break down and reuse parts of that first word to form three different words
LOL for 💪
Laughterrifically to health!
~Vidya Tiru @ LadyInReadWrites
h/t, Reference, and Further Reading
- Absurdist fiction (Wikipedia page)
- Absurdity in Literature
- General Absurdism, and How It Applies in Everyday Life (an excellent read on absurdism; and there is more about absurdism and the absurd on this blog)
- Poetic Sundays: The Double Dactyl
- Jabberwocky: Its Simple Joy and Jovial Jargon
- Poetic Sundays: Time to Laugh and Rhyme With Mother Goose
- Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (Wikipedia page)
My attempt the second: laughter terrific ally to health; or laughter terrifically ally to health; or laugh – terrific ally to health!
On My Blog And the Homefront
This past week flew by and I didn’t get a single word in, so the only post that made it is was last week’s scribblings. As for the home-front, I managed to clean up my wardrobe (long overdue overhaul) and I am glad for it.
On My Blog and On the Homefront
I never got around to posting what I planned to (or was thinking about) on my blog last week. With this week being a holiday week here in the United States, I am not sure how much of my planning will make it into reality. My older son is back home from college for the Thanksgiving week (though he will be mostly busy studying for his exams which start the week after he gets back to college). And the rest of us in the fam have the four-day weekend coming up.
We are meeting family for an early pre-Thanksgiving dinner and then hope to explore some local sights over the weekend.
Literary Celebrations (close-to-it also!)
- Literary birthdays this week include: Voltaire on Nov 21st; George Eliot on the 22nd of Nov; Nirad Chaudhuri and Robert Towne on Nov 23rd; Arundhati Roy and Frances Hodgson Burnett on Nov 24th; Jandy Nelson on Nov 25th; Marilynne Robinson on the 26th of Nov; Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Kevin Henkes on Nov 27th
- November 23rd is Fibonacci Day, so if you wish to, write a Fib poem.
- Better Conversation Week – Week of Thanksgiving – kind of literary, right?
- The 21st of November kicks off the Thanksgiving week in the United States with National Stuffing Day. For those of you who are vegetarians like me, we can make it a total vegetarian Thanksgiving too. As for me, depending on what the family plans, it might be a fusion of dishes from around the world – some Thai, some Indian, some Mexican, and more! So how about some bell peppers stuffed with spicy potatoes? Or something else?
- It is also National Gingerbread Cookie Day letting us know another big holiday of the year is not far away!
- November 22nd observes National Cranberry Relish Day
- While the 23rd of November happens to be National Cashew Day, National Eat a Cranberry Day, and National Espresso Day
- The 24th is Thanksgiving in the US, so there is bound to be lots of food on dinner tables everywhere here.
- National Parfait Day is Nov 25th followed by National Cake Day on Nov 26th
- November 27th is National Bavarian Cream Pie Day
Other Celebrations and Observations
- This week happens to be National Game & Puzzle Week
- We observe World Hello Day on the 21st of November. Say hello to someone you haven’t for a while; break down barriers that have been put up elsewhere; or simply greet the stranger you pass on the street with a smile and a warm hello!
- The 21st of November is also World Television Day. So check out what is happening on local television channels, or pick a favorite TV show to watch with loved ones. Here is a list of 10 Shows to Binge Watch With Your Family
- The 22nd is apparently Go For A Ride Day. And it is also Love Your Freckles Day!
- And this year, the 23rd, or rather, the day before Thanksgiving, is National Jukebox Day
- The 24th of November is Celebrate Your Unique Talent Day. So do share your unique talent with others on this day and other days as well!
- Every year, as a counter-celebration to Thanksgiving, the International Indian Treaty Council and American Indian Contemporary Arts observe Unthanksgiving Day (also known as The Indingenous Peoples Sunrise Ceremony) at Alcatraz Island in San Francisco to honor the indigenous peoples of the Americas
- International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day on Nov 25th
- The 25th also observes National Play Day with Dad
- National Day of Listening – Day After Thanksgiving
- National Native American Heritage Day – Day After Thanksgiving
- And ending the week with a rather uncomfortable sounding Pins and Needles Day, which however, has nothing to do with that tingly feeling when we go numb, but rather with a popular Broadway play from the 1930s which was a call for social justice.
Related Books and Reads
Suggestions related to various aspects of today’s blog
- 10 Terrific Board Games for Book Lovers that are Perfect
- 13 Board Games For Those Days of Bored(om)
- Board Games from Op: Venn & Hues and Cues: How They Challenge
- Wordless Wednesday: Puzzles for National Puzzle Day
- Bookish Summer Smarts: Puzzles, Riddles and Brainteasers
- Puzzles That Your Dinofan Will Love
- 3 Amazing Native American Anthologies
Wrapped Up: My Sunday Scribblings
So dear reader, you have reached the end of this Sunday Scribblings! As always, I welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions about this post. Will you be attempting to write an absurd poem of your own? And, of course, do let me know if you plan to celebrate any of these mentioned celebrations this coming week/month?