NaPoWriMo Day 11:

This is a twist on a prompt offered by Kay Gabriel during a meeting she facilitated at the Poetry Project last year. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a two-part poem, in the form of an exchange of letters. The first stanza (or part) should be in the form of a letter that you write either to yourself or to a famous fictional or historical person. The second part should be the letter you receive in response. These can be as short or long as you like, in the form of prose poems, or with line breaks – and of course, the subject matter of the letters is totally up to you.

Here’s my take on the prompt, an exchange of letter with Leonardo Da Vinci 🙂

Poem: A Letter to Leonardo Da Vinci

Dear Mr. Da Vinci

Hope you are acknowledged in the world above

The way you mesmerized everyone on Earth

I know my letter might come as a surprise

But I hope it’s not distracting you while you paint or scribe

So you see, Mr. Da Vinci, I’ve been curious to know

How you managed your interests in science and invention

When you are renowned world over for your art creations

The model of self propelled car,

Or the architecture of ‘The ideal city’

The glider, the cannon or the design of helicopter

You assimilated fragments from every science division

While painting Mona Lisa with that perfect human smile

The Last Supper is still an artistic mile,

The Vitruvian Man representing a cultural icon

And Salvator Mundi is still most expensive

Your unfinished journals still a matter of study

To decipher the code, to unravel the maze,

Of how a man of intellect could have unparalleled creativity

Mr. Da Vinci, I am a writer and an artist too,

But I’m afraid to admit in front of you

So here I request the master today,

To share some knowledge with a keen learner

Some pearls of wisdom, some tricks of the trade

Some guidance to prod my creative flow

Awaiting your reply

-A keen learner


Dear Keen Learner

Though I know that can’t be your name

Just remember to be versatile in the game of fame,

Though an artist by endowment,

With no schooling to pursue

I might assist you, Keen Learner, with a cue or two

Sight and observance are your greatest assets

Learn how to see, if you wish to perceive

I learnt from nature, I learnt from books

Persistence and consistence are the only truth

Just follow your instincts, and soak your canvas in ink

Just listen to your heart, and give words to your thoughts

I’m elated to know, the world still appreciates

Mona Lisa, The Last Supper they still felicitate

Thank you for writing to me, my dear Keen Learner

I hope you reach the skies, as Leonardo Da Vinci


©Vandana Bhasin