Chestita Baba Marta

Happy first of March, or, more literally, Happy Grandmother March! Baba Marta is a Bulgarian tradition welcoming the coming Spring. You’ll find, in Bulgaria, everyone wearing little bracelets of red and white yarn braided together, and those bracelets get draped in bushes and on trees for luck, which I imagine results in very colourful bird nests!

Speaking of Spring, Tupelo Press is running a competition which I recommend to those of you interested in writing poetry. Even if you don’t enter the competition, the guidelines are an excellent writing prompt. I immediately wrote a new poem upon reading the details for their ‘Fragments from Sappho’ competition. Happy writing!

Below is the writing prompt, and you can find the details of the competition here.

Each submitted poem must take as its title or first line one of the following fragments from Sappho (drawn from the book If Not, Winter, Fragments of Sappho, trans. Anne Carson, Knopf, 2002.)

the one with violets in her lap (fragment 21)
if not, winter (fragment 22)
no more than the bird with piercing voice (fragment 30)
but all is to be dared, because even a person of poverty (fragment 31)
you burn me (fragment 38)
but I to you of a white goat (fragment 40)
the doorkeeper’s feet are seven armlengths long (fragment 110)
just now goldsandaled Dawn (fragment 123)
sweetbitter unmanageable creature who steals in (fragment 130)
gold anklebone cups (fragment 192)

2 thoughts on “Chestita Baba Marta

  1. I love that book. The use of the comma in the title is one of the best comma usages of all time, I think. It breaks my heart whenever I see the title, which is often since it sits on the shelf by my bed. The translations are beatiful as well. A great idea for prompts.

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