In the spirit of “showing how I do revisions, or come up with stuff, or SOMEthing,” here’s one way to grow a poem.
this book. Gratuitous sex scene
spotted, page 12. That’s too early
for me to care. How can they?
Furthermore, her eyes changed color
from green to blue and then to brown
To match her hair–which started out red.
The last straw: bad thing happens
to little pets. Don’t they know
that is a deal-breaker?
Wham! Book hits the wall.
Next book has flaws, but
I put up with them
because I like the voice.
Until I hit the fourth misused word
And sixth outright mis-stated fact.
The author thought I’d never notice.
Well, I did. Remember above all, bard:
It’s never too late to
This is a poem I thought of as I was falling asleep last night (and I was so tired that it may have been a transmission from the planet Eris, as I neglected to put on my tinfoil hat). So, class, what do we notice?
“It’s blank verse!”
NO. It’s free verse. (Blank verse is unrhymed iambic pentameter. It makes up Shakespeare’s plays.) But you were close.
“The lines are all different lengths.”
Good catch! And why is that?
“I don’t know, sir. It’s kind of affected.”
That may be, Marcie, but I imprinted on e. e. cummings at an early age. I did grow out of “shaped” poems, but I still like the way you can emphasize certain words or images (or even create a different cadence) by breaking lines at various spots. Notice it’s not particularly sticking with any particular meter, but I do like to think it has a certain rhythm, a cadence.
“If I may, sir: at the end, you threw the book away. But ‘turn the page’ doesn’t really imply that you are finished reading.”
Yes, that may be a bit unclear. I wanted to imply that there’s always another book available to the reader without much work, though, or another story ready to begin on the very next page. I dunno. I said it was a draft.
“Very drafty in here, sir.”
Yes. Um. Well, the poem, then. However, I don’t think I would tinker too much more with it. It was just a fun toss-off. We could play around with revisions and so forth, but we don’t want to take it too seriously.
“Perhaps this still qualifies as a hoax, sir?”
Take it as you will.