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Poetry Challenge: Tell us how naps restore you

A spectator sleeps during IRONMAN Ireland, Cork on August 14, 2022 in Cork, Ireland.
Nigel Roddis
/
Getty Images for IRONMAN
A spectator sleeps during IRONMAN Ireland, Cork on August 14, 2022 in Cork, Ireland.

Our poet-in-residence Kwame Alexander is a big fan of the power nap.

Research shows how restorative naps can be. Has it been that way for you? Tell us in the form of a poem.

For inspiration, Alexander cites an excerpt from Margaret Atwood's poem "Variation on the Word Sleep."

"I would like to watch you sleeping

Which may not happen

I would like to watch you

Sleeping. I would like to sleep

With you, to enter

Your sleep as it's smooth dark wave

Slides over my head

And walk with you through that

lucent

Wavering forest of bluegreen leaves

With its watery sun and three moons

Towards the cave where you must descend

Towards your worst fear

I would like to give you the silver

Branch, the small white flower, the

One word that will protect you

From the grief at the center

Of your dream..."

(From Selected Poems II: 1976-1986 by Margaret Atwood. Copyright © 1987 by Margaret Atwood).

While that poem is not exactly about napping, it is about sleeping, love and other things.

It ends with this line: "I would like to be the air that inhabits you for a moment only. I would like to be that unnoticed and that necessary."

Now we welcome your own poems about all things napping—rest, relaxation, rejuvenation, dreams. All of it.

Your poem must start with or incorporate the phrase "I would like to..." That's it.

Share your poem through the form below. Alexander will take lines from some of your pieces and create a community crowdsourced poem. Alexander and NPR's Rachel Martin will read it on air, and NPR will publish it online, where contributors will be credited.

The form closes on Friday, March 10.

By providing your Submission to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the following terms in relation to the content and information (your "Submission") you are providing to National Public Radio ("NPR," "us" or "our"):

You are submitting content pursuant to a callout by Morning Edition related to a segment with Kwame Alexander wherein he creates unique poetry based on listener submissions. You understand that you are submitting content for the purpose of having Kwame use that content to create a new poem or poems ("Poem") with the material you submit. You must be over the age of 18 to submit material.

You will retain copyright in your Submission, but agree that NPR and/or Kwame Alexander may edit, modify, use, excerpt, publish, adapt or otherwise make derivative works from your Submission and use your Submission or derivative works in whole or in part in any media or format and/or use the Submission or Poem for journalistic and/or promotional purposes generally, and may allow others to do so. You understand that the Poem created by Kwame Alexander will be a new creative work and may be distributed through NPR's programs (or other media), and the Poem and programs can be separately subject to copyright protection. Your Submission does not plagiarize or otherwise infringe any third-party copyright, moral rights or any other intellectual property rights or similar rights. You have not copied any part of your Submission from another source. If your Submission is selected for inclusion in the Poem, you will be acknowledged in a list of contributors on NPR's website or otherwise receive appropriate credit, but failure to do so shall not be deemed a breach of your rights.

Your Submission will be governed by our general Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. As the Privacy Policy says, we want you to be aware that there may be circumstances in which the exemptions provided under law for journalistic activities or freedom of expression may override privacy rights you might otherwise have.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Reena Advani is an editor for NPR's Morning Edition and NPR's news podcast Up First.