We Are the Ghosts/ NaPoWriMo Day 1


I realise I haven’t posted anything on this blog in too long, but it seems rather fitting that my first update of the year should be a poem. In a moment of suicidal optimism I decided to jump on the NaPoWriMo bandwagon for the third year in a row, so there we go, I’m afraid there’s no turning back now. To my (few and far between) followers: I believe your inboxes will be spammed with notifications that I’ve updated this space every single day starting today for a full month. Feel free (as I’m sure you will, in fact) to either chuckle at my derisive attempts to write a passable poem every day for thirty days, or to ignore the notifications. In any case, you have been warned!

Peake’s original poem, “We Are the Haunted People”

The first official prompt, which I decided to follow, is “to write a poem that has the same first line as another poem”. I have used the first line of We Are the Haunted People by Mervyn Peake. The result was as follows:

We Are the Ghosts

We are the haunted people.
Beggared by memories not our own,
Hunchbacks of imaginary sorrow,
We have chained our eyes to our tongues
So we may see no more than what
We tell; we have stuffed our ears
With perpetual hunger, so we may hear
Only the pitch of our want.
We are the ghosts, seeping through
The high-streets and dead ends
And flats and huts and domed
Villas of our ant-hills, invisible
In our clumsy dynamics. We are
The seamless ones, clutching at dreams,
Afraid we will fall out of ourselves.

2 Replies to “We Are the Ghosts/ NaPoWriMo Day 1”

  1. I loved this!

    I wish I had known the month was going according to themes, or prompts. I wrote a piece today, but it was not according to the prompt. If I had known of this, I would most definitely have used the first line of either “Invictus” or “The Wasteland,” which are two of my favorite poems!

    At any rate, I’ll be sure to stop by throughout the month and check out your pieces. Feel free to visit me as well!

    Nice to meet you,


    1. Thank you for the kind comment! 🙂

      The “official” prompts aren’t compulsory. The team over at napowrimo.net post an optional challenge every day, just in case the writers might need a little “pick me up” along the way. 🙂 I myself only respond to the prompts that I find particularly intriguing or inspiring. 🙂

      Thank you for stopping by and reading! I’ll be sure to check out your poems as well. 🙂

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