Day Five. Easter and also Passover. And 1/6 of the way through National Poetry Month. The fractions are moving quickly: two days ago, 1/10; yesterday, a little under 1/7; and now 1/6. If you prefer percentages, 10% of the month gone on day three, 13% on day four, and today 17% (with a little rounding).
Maureen Thorson's NaPoWriMo challenge today is for us to alter a Dickinson poem: "Find an Emily Dickinson poem — preferably one you’ve never previously read — and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!"
At PAD headquarters, Robert Lee Brewer suggests "a vegetable poem.
I started off by making a list of vegetables with my girlfriend's help — Kathy's eminently better with flora than I. I noticed that the mushroom names were pretty interesting. A little googling revealed that the edible mushrooms include not just the familiar button mushroom and truffle, but also wild varities that have, forgive me, wild names! Shaggy Inkcap, Ox Tongue, Velvet Shank, Sulphur Shelf.
Then I chose a Dickinson poem to play with. ("Fr" below refers to the so-called "Franklin numbers"
Banish Air from Air (Fr 963)
I wasn't very good at following directions today, I'm afraid. I merged the Dickinson revision idea with the vegetable prompt, but I didn't alter the dashes and line breaks as Thorson suggested. I did an Oulipo-style exercise with the nouns . . . well, you'll see.
’Shrooms and Corn Smut
And then I thought of another way to alter, play with, the Dickinson poem. Again no relineations but I did "take out" the dashes and some words as Thorson suggested.
Well, I hope those two were fun even though they're not really fully developed as poems of my own. I didn't quite, as Thorson put it, "Make your own poem out of it!"
Alan also merged prompts today. Here's how he tells it: “Well, this one was a puzzle for a while, because we received the challenge to rewrite a Dickinson poem and to write a vegetable poem as well. I started thinking that if Emily Dickinson were to rewrite Andrew Marvell’s ‘To His Coy Mistress’ (‘my vegetable love would grow’) that the argument would be both more direct and more abstract. So the following is my taking the passion of her ‘Wild Nights!’ and filtering it through Marvell.”
My Coy One
I really appreciate how Alan merges the two poets' sensibilities so well. The line "Nature's made — by more than hands" is SO Dickinson-sounding. And I learned a new word: "grot"; I'll let you have the google bliss of finding out what that is. Great work, Alan.
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Ingat, everyone. ヅ Tomorrow it will be 1/5. Or 20%.
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