listening to contemporary Hawaiian music sung by Keali’i Reichel
Hello, all. So. We have all done our homework, yes? You! Yes, you in the second row. Stop trying to hide. If you have done your homework, it just means you can move straight to writing your poem. If not, you’ll need a slight detour.
I asked you to: Find a poem that gives a piece of, or one side of, a story. Your task is to write a poem that gives us another side, or piece of the story. It’s a type of response poem.
e. e. cummings wrote the following as an indictment of the tremendous focus on all things scientific and technological. The speaker’s answer to a world such as that described, is to leave it. There are other worlds.
pity this busy monster, manunkind
pity this busy monster, manunkind,
not. Progress is a comfortable disease:
your victim (death and life safely beyond)
plays with the bigness of his littleness
— electrons deify one razorblade
into a mountainrange; lenses extend
unwish through curving wherewhen till unwish
returns on its unself.
A world of made
is not a world of born — pity poor flesh
and trees, poor stars and stones, but never this
fine specimen of hypermagical
ultraomnipotence. We doctors know
a hopeless case if — listen: there’s a hell
of a good universe next door; let’s go.
Now, look at the other side, or at an added piece of the whole, as presented by James Arlington Wright:
Lying in a Hammock at William Duffy’s Farm in Pine Island, Minnesota
Over my head, I see the bronze butterfly,
asleep on the black trunk,
blowing like a leaf in green shadow.
Down the ravine behind the empty house,
the cowbells follow one another
into the distances of the afternoon.
To my right,in a field of sunlight between two pines,
the droppings of last year’s horses
blaze up into golden stones.
I lean back, as the evening darkens and comes on.
A chicken hawk floats over, looking for home.
I have wasted my life.
In one sense the speaker also wishes to escape life, but he wants to escape to the beauty of the world.
Have fun with this. You might write a tongue in cheek this is what really happened poem; or a yes, this happened, but so did this poem; or a while this was happening, in the background here’s what was going on poem.
This does require that you give us the text of your chosen poem, so that we can enjoy what you responded to, as well as how you responded. I am looking forward to what you come up with, and yes, the response might be as short as a haiku.
I shall see you Thursday for links; Friday, for a roundup of the week’s prompts; and next Tuesday for an image prompt [it’s a little weird, she said happily].
Happy writing, everyone.