Hello, everyone. Today is Day FOUR SQUARED. Which makes me think of a game played with a bouncing ball. But that’s a different poem for a different time.
Maureen Thorson gives us three ocean-related pictures to write about: a light blue sea shell in its habitat; a blurry silhouette against a darkening sunset sky and beach; and four untenanted boats floating in small waves with a beach town and marina in the distance. Ekphrasis . . . fun.
Andrea Boltwood yesterday said the magic word limerick; today she says the math-y word oulipo. The Academy of American Poets provides a useful write-up of oulipo procedures and algorithms, created by Raymond Queneau’s Ouvroir de littérature potentielle (workshop of potential literature).
And Robert Lee Brewer tells us to "write a mixed up poem," however we each define that.
Today, Catherine has used that third prompt very loosely. "My muse has left the building," wrote Catherine when she sent me her Day 16 piece, "so I have a found poem if you can even call it that. This is a paragraph of prose verbatim from one of my favorite novels, Jeanette Winterson's Written on the Body. I just added line breaks to her brilliant words. We could stretch Brewer's prompt beyond recognition almost to say I mixed up the line breaks — or leave it off if you think better." What do you think, Gentle Readers? For me it seems a genuine kind of mixing up and brings interesting emphases to the text thus borrowed. I bet Robert would say, yeah, it's cool.
Neglect (A Found Poem)
Once again, as I've been doing for several days running, I’m going to try to mash up all three prompts. Below is Maureen Thorson’s sea shell photo (click on it to see it full size). Now, you gotta have known I was gonna pick that image out of her three since the shell is a lovely shade of blue. Right?
Following the lead of Andrea Boltwood, I will be applying oulipo procedure N+7 to "Sea Shell" by Amy Lowell. (This means all the nouns in the Lowell poem will be replaced by the seventh noun after it in the dictionary — Webster's Pocket Dictionary,
Sea Shell, Redecorated
Although you'll often see "N+7" bruited about as if it were the only oulipo algorithm, you can fiddle with it. For example, V+11 would mean replace all verbs with the next eleventh verb. You could use Adj+4 or Adv+23 (don't know if that's the correct oulipo designation for adjective and adverb play). N+7 does often have good results, though. Especially with noun-heavy poems like Amy Lowell's "Sea Shell" — only two verbs in it: "sing" and "find."
Okay, our featured poem-a-day blog for Day 16 is Whimsy Gizmo by De Jackson. Look at the cover image at the top of her blog page. It's a beach view with huge crags arising from the ocean; in the foreground are toes with nail polish &mdash her toes, I imagine — echoing the rocks in the background. This image encapsulates the atmosphere in her blog: a playfulness and serendipity that approaches the world and life with joy and fancy. Check out her poems. You'll be enchanted, I guarantee.
And, as you can see in the screencap below, she has used Maureen Thorson's sea shell picture for her prompt today. A lovely poem.
Okay, that's all from here. I've got nine minutes to get this blog post out while it's still Day 16. Just squeaking through. Leave a comment below, okay? Peace out. Ingat.
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