I love challenges, and Donna at Mainly Write set a wonderful one she’s calling Poetpourri . She asked Poetry Friday regulars to offer some lines for a ferious poem, and then collected those lines and challenged any poet who was keen to use only those lines to create a new poem. So, multiple poets using the same lines to each create their own new poem.
Firstly, here are the lines we had to work with, and the people who contributed the, as well as their sources::
- Buffy S: “ferocious women who never bring you coffee” – refrigerator magnetic poetry
- Donna S (me): “always leave a wild song” – refrigerator magnetic poetry
- Linda B: “dreaming women do art in poetry” – from her pile of poetry blocks
- Buffy S: “where wizards and wolves rush by in a blur of green and gold and gray” – patched together from Kate Dicamillo’s Where Are You Going Baby Lincoln
- Kay: “ignore the awful times, and concentrate on the good ones” from Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five
- Linda M: “waking the world to a new day“
- Margaret S: “steam that climbs like smoke from a fire” – this was in the comments the first week, and I’m not sure if it is a comment or a line… but I’m using it!
- Carol V: “fearless women reach out, connect, and find joy in life’s intertwined moments” – Connecting the word “fearless” that April had used last week.
- Tabatha Y: “little chest to put the Alive in” – Emily Dickinson
- Joy: “wear loose clothing and a smile” – from a thought and some connections
- Jan GA: “I feel like there should be more stories out there for girls, and I try to tell them” – a quote from Hope Larson from the book COMICS CONFIDENTIAL.
- Mary Lee H: “ferocious women do not exaggerate” – from Mary Oliver’s UPSTREAM on page 109, “I do not exaggerate.”
- Brenda H: “make a ferocious dinner then eats masks, drips truth and saves softness for dessert“
- Keri L: “radical at their core” from her husband’s magazine, “Guns & Ammo”
- Kiesha S: “ferocious women would rather drink the wind” – a line from Mary Oliver’s (Why I Wake Early) titled “The Arrowhead”
16 Diane M: “Out of endurance, exaltation” – a line from the poem “Monadnock” by Robert Francis.
Now, here are the rules she set:
- You may break the given lines up into phrases, esp. if the line is broken into prepositional phrases.
- A word used in a line may be repeated elsewhere as needed.
- You may add or change articles (a, an, the…).
- You may change tenses, as necessary for meaning.
- If you haven’t added a line to the poem, you may not add one now. Others won’t have it to use.
- However, if you can create a brand new line using individual words from the given lines, feel free! Do not do that for the whole poem though – that may be another challenge on another day!
- Phrases should still be identifiable even though the whole line may not be in one unit still. (for example: “ignore the awful times” may be used in one place and “concentrate on the good ones” may be in another place).
- Remember, these are only guidelines, as it IS poetry and we ARE poets…
- Rules are meant to be broken.
- You may make your own rules if you don’t like these – and that way you aren’t breaking a rule.
- Oh, and if we get an unwieldy number of lines in the next week…I may change the rules, but so far, you need to use ALL the submitted lines in some way.
- Please copy and paste the list of participants and their lines in your blog so that each is credited, along with some of their sources for the lines!
- Link up here on that day also for potential extra traffic to your poem!
- There is no 14. I just didn’t want to stop on 13.
And here’s how I approached it:
- I copied each of the lines, in the order given, into a new document, making a menatl note of phrases that jumped out at me – for me the ‘ferocious women’ was echoed by ‘fearless women’ and ‘dreaming women’, each adding a new dimension to the women rather than creating different women.
- I started rearranging the lines without changing them – putting together any that seemed linked or to flow into each other.
- I started to add in the words I’d chosen to repeat to bring the whole together – ferocious, fearless and dreaming.
- As I worked I felt some of the lines needed to be broken up and, of course, the initial order I’d chosen didn’t always work, so I kept moving and tweaking till I had something I felt satisifed with
- And, after letting it rest and giving it more tweaks, I got ready to post it. Now, here it is for you to enjoy (or otherwise):
Ferocious Dreaming Poets
ferocious women never bring you coffee
ferocious women would rather drink the wind
ferocious women do not exaggerate
waking the world to a new day
fearless women reach out, connect,
find joy in life’s intertwined moments
fearless ferocious dreaming women do art in poetry
where wizards and wolves rush by in a blur of green and gold and gray
ferocious dreaming women ignore the awful times
fearless women concentrate on the good ones
ferocious women steam like smoke that climbs from a fire
fearless ferocious dreaming women make a little chest to put the Alive in
make ferocious dinners then eat masks, drip truth and save softness for dessert
dreaming women wear loose clothing and a smile
fearless women feel like there should be more stories out there for girls
radical at their core
ferocious dreaming women try to tell them
fearless ferocious dreaming women always leave a wild song
(Final poem copyright Sally Murphy)
I can’t wait to see what other poets have come up with for this challenge. Pop over to Donna’s blog today for links to the other responses.
And, of course, it’s Poetry Friday, so make sure you visit the Poetry Friday roundup at Beyond Literacy where Carol is hosting the roundup.