Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poetry Jam Session

First a little background:

I like reading poetry, but sometimes I forget that my brain isn't finished thinking about one poem before my eyes start taking in another. One day my brain hit overload and the lines I had read all mish-mashed in my head until I didn't know lines came from which poem.

And that started me thinking. I started thinking about the lines that are REALLY stuck in my head, many for years and years. Many are famous, others a bit more obscure.

And I started wondering if the lines would work together.

So I started writing down lines as I thought of them. A few I had to look up to make sure I had them right, or to remember the exact title of the poem (and in one case the poet's name). I was on vacation, so I worked on the list for a few days until I had a nice tidy stack, each one jotted on a little post-it note. Then I started to play.

I moved the little sticky notes around a board, changing the order until they appealed to me the most. And I decided I was pleased.

So what follows was not written by me. Lets just say it was "jumbled and titled" by me. I hope you enjoy it.

Poetry Jam Session

Twinkle, twinkle, little star (1)
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? (2)
How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. (3)
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches (4)
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe (5)
I didn't know I loved the earth (6)
A suddenness of trees (7)
Something there is that doesn't love a wall, (8)
Dust thou art, to dust returnest, was not spoken of the soul. (9)
I taste it again. The meat of memory. (10)
City of the Big Shoulders
They tell me you are wicked. (11)
Hardly a man is now alive (12)
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul. (13)
Oh, somewhere in this favoured land the sun is shining bright, (14)
Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." (15)
Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (16)
I lift my lamp beside the golden door! (17)
Tell me not in mournful numbers,
Life is but an empty dream! (18)
for destruction
is also great
and would suffice. (19)
We real cool. We (20)
two socks as soft as rabbits. (21)
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free (22)
Because I could not stop for death
He kindly stopped for me. (23)
She walks in beauty, like the night (24)
Do not go gentle into that good night. (25)
by the shining deep-sea waters (26)
my feet were
two fish made
of wool, (27)
fishing on the Susquehanna (28)

(1) The Star, Ann and Jane Taylor
(2) Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare

(3) Sonnet 43, Elizabeth Barrett Browning

(4) Birches, Robert Frost

(5) Jabberwocky, Lewis Carroll

(6) Things I Didn’t Know I Loved, Nazim Hikmet

(7) Night Journey, Theodore Roethke

(8) Mending Wall, Robert Frost

(9) A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(10) Pot Roast, Mark Strand

(11) Chicago, Carl Sandburg

(12) The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(13) Invictus, William Ernest Henley

(14) Casey at the Bat, Ernest Lawrence Thayer

(15) The Raven, Edgar Allen Poe

(16) Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas

(17) The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus

(18) A Psalm of Life, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(19) Fire and Ice, Robert Frost

(20) We Real Cool, Gwendolyn Brooks

(21) Ode to My Socks, Pablo Neruda

(22) The New Colossus, Emma Lazarus

(23) Because I Could Not Stop for Death, Emily Dickinson

(24) She Walks in Beauty, George Gordon, Lord Byron

(25) Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night, Dylan Thomas

(26) The Song of Hiawatha, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(27) Ode to My Socks, Pablo Neruda

(28) Fishing on the Susquehanna in July, Billy Collins

I saved the sticky notes in case I care to re-shuffle them later. I am sure that another day would result in a different order. And if I had done this on a different week, I am sure I would have had different lines to play with. What rings in my head varies, after all. I had a lot of fun with this.


Carole said...

Complete with references! I'm impressed. It was enjoyable revisiting some old favourites and meeting some new ones too. Dylan Thomas's 'Do not go gently..' is so evocative.

Brian said...

What an enjoyable post and I was surprised at how many I recognized.

It does have a rhythm of its own when read out loud.


Constance said...

Oh, a gloss! Neat! Very well done.

gautami tripathy said...

What a post!

I once wrote a six line poem from titles of poems. Yours is awesome!

etain_lavena said...

wowi very nifty, I loved it...really well said:)
some of them I remebered myself and could recite the rest....really fun:)

sister AE said...

Thanks, Carole. I had fun looking up the lines I only half remembered.

Thanks, Brian. I found when I first read it my brain fills in the "missing pieces" and I have to read it again to try the lines on their own.

Thanks, Constance. I must admit I'm not familiar with the word "gloss" used as you have. It isn't a translation or explanation. I'm going to have to go do some research now!

Hi, Gautami. Thanks.

Thanks, Etain, and welcome.

Maria said...

Thomas and Dickinson and Frost, oh my!!!

sister AE said...

Hi, Maria. I must admit that Frost is my favorite. The others just managed to write enough that stuck in my brain in passing.

Anonymous said...

yay for found poems. i think these are so interesting.

Michele, I think, would agree.

sister AE said...

Thanks, Leigh.

Fledgling Poet said...

How incredibly creative you are! I never would have thought of this. loved the way it all read together...thank you. :~)

sister AE said...

Hi, F.P. Thank you. Of course my wife thought I was nuts...!

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

This is really wonderful! Very clever and touching, too...I knew more of these than I would have thought...I once wrote music to FIRE & ICE for a "play with music" about Robert Frost...done at Theatre West here in L.A/ amd created by a wonderful Actor/Director/Writer named Phillip Abbott....

Here from Michele's tonight and happy to Meet & Greet you!

sister AE said...

Thank you, Naomi. Frost goes so well set to music! And I do like that whole poem. I'm sure it must have been fantastic.

Cloudscome said...

Fabulous! And thanks for the list of references. I love a lot of those poems too.

sister AE said...

Hello, Cloudsome. I'm glad I had an excuse to share it again. It was a lot of fun to do.