Friday, February 25, 2022

Exquisite Corpse Poem

 Our challenge this month is to write an Exquisite Corpse Poem. This form is a game played in a group, like the way we used to pass around slips of paper with lines in a made-up story in junior high; each person in the group adding one line and laughing at the way these outrageous novella developed. Only this is a bunch of poets passing a line around the circle, everyone adding one line without knowing what came before or after. The Poetry Sisters played this game in Slack, passing our lines along and then meeting up in zoom on Sunday afternoon to look at the whole thing and talk about what we had. We each then went off to edit and adapt those lines into our own poems. We gave each other license to keep or change as much as we wanted. We are sharing them here in our blogs for Friday Poetry, and we hope you enjoy the game!

Here are the lines as they came to us in the round robin:

This month, odd one out, running short on days and sleep,

This month, past meets pride, roots ripped from native soil still somehow grow.

The once-bright future dims. Shadows grow

But there, near canyon  rim, in  broken light

the yearling hawk shrieked in futile fury

and the steel-edged clouds looked away

trees bow and bend on a blustery day

that rattles old oak leaves down the street.

I wanted to have a narrative with a character, of course. The hardest part for me was not knowing if the poets before me had included a character and started a story. To get past that I made my line about a hawk, which could be a main character, a minor character, or just atmosphere and background noise.

I spent some time wondering what lives on the edge of a canyon. I did a quick internet search and found out that Bristlecone Pines live there, and they are the oldest living organism on the planet. I found a sharable image of a Bristlecone Pine and my poem went from there:

Bristlecone Pine by Annita Keck CC BY SA

 

Maintaining


She finds herself running short on days and sleep,

Wondering if roots ripped from native soil still somehow grow.

The once-bright future dims. Remembering what was left

in pieces near that canyon rim,

she sees today in broken light.

A yearling hawk soars and shrieks in futile fury

as steel-edged clouds drift away. And

older than dirt, the oldest of old, the 4000 year old

Bristlecone pines bow and bend in the bluster

that rattles old oak leaves down the street.

                    -Andromeda Jazmon 

 

Take a look at what the other Poetry Sisters wrote:

 

Trisha - hosting Friday Poetry this week!

Kelly

Tanita

Sara

Laura

Mary Lee

Liz

 

In March we are challenging ourselves to write Ekphrastic Dodoitsu poems.

Writer's Digest says, "This 4-line poem has seven syllables in the first three lines 

and five syllables in the fourth--and final--line.The Dodoitsu often focuses on love 

or work with a comical twist." We are writing in response to photos that in some

 way indicate either love or work themes. We will post on March 25 for

 Friday Poetry. Please join us if you want to play!

9 comments:

  1. I love that you created a character to inhabit this landscape, and that you researched the oldest of the old plant life. The combo makes your poem both personal and universal. Well done!

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  2. Those first two lines echo in the last two for me. Is "she" the one whose roots were ripped from the canyon's rim? Even as the oak leaves rattle down her street, will she have the strength to MAINTAIN, the same way the bristlecone does? I think the answer must be YES!!

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  3. It's been wonderful to see what each member of your group created out of your shared raw material. Thanks for sharing this with us today.

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  4. Mary Lee - exactly what I was thinking. I read in wikipedia that the Bristlecone pine dies gradually in sections, with the roots of other sections continuing to grow and thrive. That is how it lives so long, or in other words, takes such a long time to die.

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  5. That bristlecone is amazing - and I will be watching now for the characters you put in your poetry. The longevity and endurance of the image will just stick with me...

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  6. Andi, The way you made this your own with that bristlecone pine is just ingenius. I found I had to read this one aloud to really let it sink in. And boy, has it. Thank you.

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  7. This is a compelling poem, Andromeda. I read it early this morning. I can feel the tension, the anguish in being worried about hardship and life and growth. A poem that paints a picture, tells a story and makes me think. Thank you for this gift.
    Janet Clare F.

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  8. These lines:
    The once bright future dims
    she sees today in broken light
    bring to mind the dim future of the Ukraine.
    The lines in your poem are strong bringing in a great deal of emotion packed into your words.

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  9. This is a compelling poem, Andromeda. I read it early this morning. I can feel the tension, the anguish in being worried about hardship and life and growth. A poem that paints a picture, tells a story and makes me think. Thank you for this gift.
    Janet Clare F.

    ReplyDelete