Words are the basic tools for writers and poets, and the more skillfully we use them, the better our writing. In novels and books, writers can get away with occasional lapses of language, but in poems, every word counts. What doesn’t play a role shouldn’t exist, and passive diction should be annihilated. One misconception about poetry is that, since they are usually short, poems don’t take long to create. Sometimes it takes months and years for that draft to simmer. The real writing begins on revision. Think about the word itself re-vision- a means to see your work all over again. Sometimes the best thing you csn do for a poem is stuff it in a drawer for awhile and not look at it for several days or weeks. You will look at it with a fresh set of eyes.
Today’s prompt will show my age. Take an old record album (you can find these at Goodwill, yard sales, library shops), preferably a double album, and randomly select the titles(about 10-12) that jump out at you. Then use these titles inside lines of your poem.
Here is my example.
Henry Mancini’s Greatest Hits:
A happy barefoot boy hums
The love theme from Romeo and Juliet
As Nicholas and Alexandra leap
Across the continental bridge
Over troubled water. “El condor pasa,”
Says Mrs. Robinson, interrupting
The sound of silence at Scarborough Fair,
Thinking her own life would make a great love story.
A shaft of magnificent seven stars
Glow misty as a Hawaiian wedding song. A baby elephant
walks under a sweetheart tree with a midnight cowboy
as Peter guns the engine toward Moon River.
Michelle, the girl from Ipanema, doesn’t buy into the charade.
Dear heart flies like a shot in the dark out of Norwegian Wood
With all my loving, and I love her like a hard day’s night,
Even as raindrops keep falling on my head.
By the time I get to Phoenix the entertainer
Has played the Pink Panther theme on seventy six trombones.
It was good, bad, and ugly. Mr Mancini, how soon you left,
At high noon, during the days of wine and roses,
Leaving behind the windmills of your mind.
Laura Moe ©2006