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Thread: The Poetry Experiment

  1. #1
    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Big Sky Country

    The Poetry Experiment

    In the past I’ve attempted poetry with varying results, some of it cringe-worthy. Still, I find the activity enjoyable. And while time, school, and everything else don’t always permit me to write as much as I’d like-- “Life is serious; art is gay,” someone said that---I’ve been on break and found, I think, an effective poetry method that is easily conveyable.

    The idea began in a lit theory class. My professor had us take 3 paragraphs from 3 books, and mash the words together, using whatever verbs, nouns, etc, seemed fitting. It is the same thing someone like Burroughs did well. Although curious incoherence is at best the result. I like something reconcilable, something that can be synthesized. So, using myself as the narrative voice (a confessional voice) I separately wrote 3 vivid experiences: two good, one bad. Then, I combined them, reaching for a conclusion. Here is the result.

    The woods, a girl, a parade.

    The pine trees wore the sunset like a crimson gown.

    Moss swam over their brittle limbs. She tunneled

    Into the fort I built to keep away the shadows

    And sapped my breath on the bridge where my dreams

    Began. Children chased crawdads there. They skipped

    Through their mothers’ memories with dirty knees.

    I shivered through the revelry. Fire trucks drove

    Into the past, and she stepped into the present,

    Her eyes alight. Even the night could not subdue them.

    Bark beetles withered when she gripped me, close,

    Smelling like lemon and wild roses. The walls around

    Us collapsed, and the world became a great mystery.

    I think it works because the bad experience works as a sort of tension. The nouns and verbs play off each other like musical notes staying with the parameters of the established scale. Of course, it’s never perfect. This is my first go. But I challenge others to try the same if you’d like. Validate me.

    *Again, you write 3 paragraphs of 3 experiences. Two good, one bad. This will be your raw material.

    *Try to keep the number of people to yourself and one other. Or, perhaps write from a 3rd person perspective. That might work too.

    *Avoid “to be” verbs, and use evocative nouns.

    *Limit the setting so there aren’t sudden shifts.

    *Incorporate all the senses.

    When finished, throw you verbs and nouns across the page, pick out the best ones, join them with prepositions, and arrange them in an appropriate line length, or just make a prose poem, and fill in the logical gaps. In no time you’ll be better than every other schmuk.

    (Disclaimer: There is no money back guarantee)
    Last edited by Makers; 12-24-2014 at 08:53 AM.
    "Long live the weeds and the wilderness!"

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2014
    This is better than expected. Admittedly, what puts me off most modern-day poetry usually is
    – its lack of form; which used to be the first thing which told you whether a poet was skilled in the craft or not; as well as
    – its lack of meaning insofar as most "poems" never exceed the realm of (often trivial) personal sensitivities.

    That said, what you wrote is way better than a lot of so-called poetry floating around. Suggestions - if I may - would include picking a more punchy title, choosing more descriptive verbs, avoiding clichés and cleaning up the metre.

    Spoiler: Don't read this if the poem you posted was a description of your most cherished feelings, or you don't want anyone tinkering with it


    The swaying pine trees wore nightfall like a crimson gown

    As moss swam over their brittle limbs. She recklessly tunneled

    Under the fort I had molded to lock out the specters

    And sapped my grave breath on the bridge where my dreams

    Once took roots. Cavorting children chased crawdads, skipping

    Through their fond mothers’ memories with mud-tainted knees.

    I shivered with revelry. Fire trucks ambled

    Into the past - there she entered the present,

    Her cool eyes alight; the night was no match.

    Bark beetles withered when she reached to embrace me,

    Scented of lemon and half-blossomed roses. The ramparts around

    Us all crumbled to ruins, just as if gifting a riddle to solve.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Big Sky Country
    You're spose'd to create youre own. The posted rendition of my not so cherished memories is purple. There was a continuity that no longer works. I don't want to create a competition, this poem's not going anywhere, but frankly, it's worse.
    "Long live the weeds and the wilderness!"

    Buy my book

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2014
    I see.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Makers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Big Sky Country
    You know what...Richard Hugo. A big bowl of beautiful word salad.

    Approaching The Castle

    The riches we find inside will be in rich light
    pulsing off walls of gold. For every man,
    At least two girls, banquets featuring
    Yugoslavian tuna in spiced tomato oil
    And roasted Kashmir pig. A Sicilian liqueur
    Will leave us clear the morning after.
    In the moat, five pound cutthroat trout,
    no limit, no license required, a bait
    that always works. In our excitement
    we feel wind spurring our horses. The towers
    ride high above us like orchestrated stars.

    The drawbridge is down, the gate unguarded,
    the coat of arms on the wall faded from rain.
    Why is entry so easy? Why no sound?
    We were told the court band plays heart thumping jazz
    and clowns imported from France make laughter
    A legend. Best we circle the castle
    and think. Word was, the king would greet us
    at the gate and roses shower from minarets.
    We would ride in to trumpets and applause.

    The winter, many have fallen. Supplies
    are low. Those who came down with fever
    headed back home. The governor sent word.
    He advised us to go in, take notes and send back
    a full report. We held several meetings
    In the swamp and talked about entering.
    Once, we decided to try it but stopped short,
    intimidated somehow by the banner
    Saying ‘welcome’, one side
    loose in wind and slapping stone.

    I'm sure that's where this thread will end.
    "Long live the weeds and the wilderness!"

    Buy my book

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