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Friday, April 26, 2013

NaPoWriMo Day 26: "Fast Food," Two Erasure Poems, A silly assignment

Today's NapoWriMo challenge starts: "Back in 1977, the poet Ronald Johnson first published RADIOS, an “erasure” of Milton’s Paradise Lost. Basically, Johnson took a copy of Milton’s long poem, and systematically erased whole words and even lines, while maintaining the relative position of the remaining words. . Today, (the challenge is) to perform an erasure of your own. You don’t need to start with a poem as long as Paradise Lost, of course, but a tolerably long poem is usually needed to furnish enough material so that the final product isn’t just a few words long (though erasure haiku might be a fun new subgenre). ...You can form a whole new poem just by taking words away! Once you’re done, you can leave the spaces as they are ..., or take the left-over words and keep playing with them, reforming new poems from them."   I choose to erase  and replace random words--nouns, adjectives, verbs-- in Rosetti's 'To a Caterpillar'.

Rosetti’s Poem                                  “Fast Food” by SSF

Brown and furry                                 Yellow and mellow
Caterpillar in a hurry                         fast food in a hurry,
Take your walk                                  take your pick
To the shady leaf, or stalk                of a hamburger, or hot dog
Or what not,                                        on a stick,
Which may be the chosen spot.       If your fav’rite choice isn’t something hot.
No toad spy you,                               No server will ply you,
Hovering bird of prey pass by you  Nor ready waitress pass by you,
spin and die,                                      Eat, repeat,
To live again, a butterfly.                  You'll have another chance to eat.

Or, to be short, the haiku, erase-only version: 

                              And, take your chosen
                              you by you again.
Erasure poems based on Rosetti’s “To a Caterpillar”, by Shirley Smith Franklin

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