Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 17 ... NaPoWriMo / Poem-a-Day 2014


Day 17. Less than two weeks to go before the end of National Poetry Month. What do you think, friends? Should we keep writing a poem a day after the end of April?

Robert Lee Brewer's prompt for today is "write a pop culture poem" (Poetic Asides). Maureen Thorson prompts us to "write a poem in which you very specifically describe something in terms of at least three of the five senses" (NaPoWriMo).

Here's my best shot at combining these two prompts. I'd be interested to know what you think, because it's part art history, part art performance. I think. (An "acrostic," by the way, is a poem where the first letters of each line spell out something, reading downward.)

Sixties Art Acrostic Haiku

Pop Art exploded
Out of the bourgeois banal.
Painter Andy Warhol’s

Campbell’s soup cans
Upstaged commercial “fine” art.
Lichtenstein’s dot-scapes

Transformed comic strips
Uniquely into huge lives.
Roy, Andy . . . to them

Everything was pop.
Blue storm clouds scudding across
Evening, sharp lightning

Arcing in bright forks.
Thunder rumbling loud like rock
Slides on distant cliffs.

As rain falls hard, your
Lips open, your outstretched tongue
Licks air, sweet. Silver

Dulcet chimes sound. Did
Oldenburg’s pop happenings
Ever duplicate

Such simple beauty?
I know I’m being unfair
To Pop Art. So what?

—Draft by Vince Gotera    [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

The movement of this poem pretty clearly reveals what happened as I wrote. I originally wanted to spell out "pop culture" á là Brewer but after I wrote "Everything was pop" (a line I like quite a lot), I realized I hadn't fulfilled the Thorson prompt. So I had to extend what I was spelling out and the poem took on a little confrontational edge while simultaneously becoming more lyrical, strangely enough. Does it work, do you think? Comment below, maybe?

Andy Warhol, "Campbell's
Tomato Juice Box" (1964)
       
Roy Lichtenstein,
"Drowning Girl" (1963)
Alan's intro for his poem today is short but eloquent: "A baby embodies hope."

Naming
  for Virgil Wren

“Love conquers all things, so we,
  too, shall yield to love.”   —Virgil
You won the first minute,
the first peep you made,
and you’re lucky to have
such a poetic name,
so I hope that you take
full advantage of it
and laugh off the joke
when you learn that “VW”
is a popular brand.

I’d appropriate that coincidence
as soon as possible.
I’d learn to draw the logo
and make it my standby signature.
I’d tuck a towel into the back
of my t-shirt collar, like a cape,
strip down to my Underoos,
strike my hero’s stance, hands on hips,
and proclaim myself “Captain Fahrvergnügen.”
When other people caught on
and started calling me “Beetle” and “Bug,”
I’d laugh along with them.

Later, when you’re older and edgy,
think about “Verge,” how your friends
will clip your name and make you sound
as if you are always on the cusp of change,
keeping folks in constant anticipation.

What a gift!

And when you’re a man
and people say “Virgil”
while looking you straight in the eye,
there will be some,
maybe just one,
who will know when it’s welcome
to say “Wren” instead.

Of all your gifts to come, listen
to how people offer again
this name in all its permutations,
and receive it, again,
with love from its first givers.
Yield to that love, little conqueror.
It’s no surrender.

—Draft by Thomas Alan Holmes     [Do not copy or quote . . . thanks.]

Lovely poem, Alan. I'm sure little Baby Fahrvergnügen will treasure it in future years when it will make more and more sense to him.


Won't you comment, please, friends? To make a comment, look for a blue link below that says Post a comment; if you don't see that, look in the red line that starts Posted by Vince and click on the word comments.

Ingat, everyone. Go check out some pop art. Or test drive a VW.  


POEM-A-DAY 2014 • Pick a day in April: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30


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