Diehards

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

National Poetry Writing Month, Day Thirteen

RWP today says:

Today is Day 13, also known as your lucky day. Sarah J. Sloat has a wonderful prompt for you; it’s bound to get you going! She says,
I’m partial to the tried-and-true prompt that calls for starting a poem with a line written by another poet. For this go-round, it would be interesting to see what poets can launch using a line from Norman Dubie.
In his poems, Norman Dubie tells stories, sets scenes and paints landscape, sometimes lush and sometimes wretched. His writing is sure and vivid, and his language is beautiful. As you’ll see below, his similes are incomparable. If forced to compare him with anyone, I’d be more likely to pick a painter than another writer.
For this prompt, take a Dubie line to jumpstart a poem of your own. Your poem should be titled “Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie.”
I offer a menu of possible first lines below:

The lights of the galaxies are strung out over a dipper of gin.

His chapel fell into flowers long ago.

A kiss is like a dress falling off a tall building.

Two houseflies are like two fiddles drying.


My favorite pastime has become the imaginary destruction of flowers.


In triplicate, he’s sent an application, listing grievances, to the stars.


You wondered about skin wrinkled by looking at jewels.


Her breasts filled the windows like a mouth.


In the near field an idle, stylish horse raised one leg.


Worlds are being told like beads.


The pearl slapdash of the moon is on the water.


Be sure to use the title suggested and credit Norman Dubie in your post!


Interested to find out more about a poet whose name was new to me I rushed off to the Poetry Foundation’s website and found tons of his stuff. After a little light reading I alighted on the line ‘his head is in / a brace like a white egg in a silver teaspoon.’ from the poem ‘Grand Illusion’ and decided that was the line for me. It was only after spending several hours doing nothing with it that I decided to chop the beginning off and leave myself with the egg and spoon. I may not be a goddess but I am undoubtedly domestic.


Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

A white egg in a silver teaspoon
is presented for your delectation.
You are at liberty, of course, to
merely eat it, but you might like to know
its shell may be peeled away
from its hard-boiled flesh and ground
to powder with a pestle and mortar. Mixed
with a little water you can, then, use it
to skim over the cracks that abuse
the luminous of your otherwise
fine skin, madame.

This is prose, really, I know. So I will call it a prose poem, even though I’m not quite sure what that is.

16 comments:

flaubert said...

Eryl,
This is a good one!
Pamela

briarcat said...

no. it's poetry. prose would have been mortar and pestle and, of course,less luminous

Alesa Warcan said...

While some people are sure of what prose poems are, do enough of them think the same thing for it to have a set meaning... I say take the meaning you need or want and run with.

Second verse minor typo "you" instead of "your".
Is luminous a noun I'm ignorant of? If not then why didn't you say light or luminous quality? Or am I missing something fundamental here? Or is it poetic license?

It makes for a nice scene, I can imagine it in a Marcel Aymé story, maybe in Passe-Muraille (the man who walked through walls).
I wonder if you could have made the whole thing a bit more overtly poetic?

one more believer said...

loved yr comments, i too spent time ruminating over this newly introduced poet.. it is so very interesting to see how we reacted and where we went individually.. this one sparkles and shines poem..

Titus said...

Poem.
Like it, and like it more the more I read it.
P.S. I've had the "sliver" "silver" debate with you before, or possibly "sacred" "scared". The first line?

Only Footprints said...

One of my favorites of the day! Good one!

Shari Smothers said...

I like this. The rolling flow and the hard soft things is a sensory thrill. Particularly, crushing a hard-boiled egg in a mortar and pestle. Nice!

Eryl Shields said...

Hello everyone, and thank you for all this. I will answer you all individually in the morning but I must go to bed now, my ankles are swelling up from sitting here so much.

Erin Davis said...

I really like it. Moving from egg shell to mortar and pestle--great!

Scarlet Blue said...

I'm going to look up this poet he has a very playful way with words that I find appealing.
Thank you for posting about him.
Sx

A Cuban In London said...

What's a prose poem? Or a poem in prose? It's the product at the end that matters more. And it's a great piece.

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur.

Pat said...

Stevie sounds as great a help as MTL can be. I think you are incapable of writng anything that doesn't have quality. Incidentally uncooked egg white has a tautening effect on the skin.
The poet sounds like a genius who is a little mad. I also would like to know more about him.

Eryl Shields said...

Pamela ~ you are endlessly encouraging, thank you.

Briarcat ~ thanks for your illumination!

Alesa ~ as far as I can make out prose poetry has some of the characteristics of poetry and some of prose. Which ones, I guess, is up to the poet. Though I must say it seems to me that all poems have some of the characteristics of prose, and all prose has some of poetry.

I think this needs much work if it to really be a poem. Luminous is probably here on poetic license! I wanted the sound almost more than the meaning.

Thanks for pointing out the typo.

Believer ~ it is very interesting how each one of us interprets these prompts so differently. I always think what I write is obvious!

Titus ~ thank you for alerting me to yet another typo. I suppose 'sliver' teaspoon could be made to fit!

Only Footprints ~ thank you!

Back soon to respond to the rest of you. I have the dentist this afternoon so need to ready myself.

Katharine Whitcomb said...

Any poem that uses "delectation" is high on my list. Cool one! kw

Kass said...

Delectation was a favorite of mine too. This is mighty and wonderful. I think I'll use this prompt too. Do you follow Sarah's blog?
The Rain In My Purse

Eryl Shields said...

Shari ~ you make it sound really good!

Erin ~ thank you.

Scarlet ~ you're welcome, go have fun!

Cuban ~ thanks. Hope you're having a ball in Kuala Lumpur.

Pat ~ I remember making face masks with egg white when I was a teenager.
Dot over to poetryfoundation.org and your appetite should be sated, regarding the poet that is.

Katharine ~ delectation is a great word isn't it?

Kass ~ great, it will be interesting to see what you produce from it, should you decide to share it.

No, never seen Sarah's blog, but I will go over right now and check it out, thanks.