Thursday, February 16, 2012

Game #1 - 1994

I found the following while going through some old notebooks.  While it is so old (and my memory so poor) that I can't provide many details of its origin, it was definitely inspired by writing exercises assigned by William Harrold in several writing workshops I took with him during the 1990s.  Those exercises involved sometimes complex scavenger hunts for words and imagery that forced elements from outside the poet's safety zone into his poems, and to some extent removed the poet from the center of his own poetry.  To some, this was un-nerving, and these exercises always met with mixed responses.  To me, the exercises opened up the windows of my poems and let breezes blow through them (along with the balloon horses and california condors that drifted in along with the fresh air).   Ideas I was first exposed to in those classes continue to reverberate in my writing years later.   So when I came across this poem recipe in an old spiral notebook dated 1994, it seemed like a good place to begin. 

Compose a 14 line poem using the following rules:

a.  Choose a movie title at random from a standard video guide.  This title will either appear in the poem, or somehow represent a theme or motif in the poem.

b.  The poem's first line should include the poet's name as an anagram (for example the first line of Jim's poem might be "Just imagining magenta, I think of the jacket").
c.  Include three of the following in the poem: one bird, one piece of fruit, one musical reference, and a reference to an event that occured in the year of the poet's birth.

d.  The title of the poem should include both a number and a color.

e.  The last line of the poem should end-rhyme with the first line.

f.   Find a quotation from a scientific text.  Use this quotation (and reference it) as an epigraph for the poem.

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