Monday, April 4, 2016

National Poetry Month, or: Angelfish & Borrowing and Lending

It's Poetry Month! Hadn't planned to join, but on the final day of March, Found Poetry sent a newsletter with an invite: "For this year’s National Poetry Month (April 2016), The Found Poetry Review invites you to join us for IMPROMPTU, a thirty-day series of experimental writing prompts."

And at the same day, a friend sent a poem - and together, this opened the door somehow.

So to start, some poetry links I enjoyed - and below my first april poem: "Angelfish & Borrowing".

Ne’ilah by Marge Piercy
We cast what we must
change about ourselves
onto the waters flowing
to the sea...

The Journey by Mary Oliver
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and

To the sea by Aracelis Girmay
You who cannot hear or cannot know
the terrible intricacies of our species, our minds,
the extent to which we have done
what we have done, & yet


Impromptu #1: Patrick Williams, who created a stunning "little prompt generator that draws from the HathiTrust Digital Library and the Library of Congress Children’s Subject Headings to deliver an nearly endless supply of generative activities." Try it here: prompt generator

The poetic task the generator came up with for me was this one:
"Find twenty-two words from these two pages to begin the lines of a (twenty-two-line) poem entitled "Angelfish & Borrowing and lending."
and here's the poem that came from it:

Angelfish & Borrowing and Lending

It was about that time a week ago when it happened:
A long distance call in the evening
From a stranger who asked about the
Experience of being human,
The things we learned so far,
not from borrowed catalogues of knowledge
but from real day-by-day life

I went and tackled the questions, tried
To analyze, to think quickly.
Yes, of course, I said. The daily life, it is
A flame in our hands, the hourly glow of everything, the
troubles of the human condition, all our new dreams and worries,
methods and hopes, highways and lost places.
Just consider the care it takes to get
Proper strength, the ends through which all is connecting,
The gamble of living wortwhile.

In that manner I kept talking until the party
On the other end of the line hung up.  
Then I sat down to write three long letters to myself,
Each with a moral, later collected by and large
In a file possibly named
Reminiscences of a Welder

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