Thursday, April 24, 2014

National Poetry Month, Day 24: Talkin' to the hand

National Poetry Month, Day 24, and I have once again neglected to have a poem in my pocket today. But the poems are in my head and maybe isn't that just as good?

Let's stay all contemporary and also meta with some lines by poet and writer Mark Strand. In A New Poetry Handbook, he does ever so much better than what I was trying to do today. These are the last three stanzas:
If a man fears death,
he shall be saved by his poems. 
If a man does not fear death,
he may or may not be saved by his poems. 
If a man finishes a poem,
he shall bathe in the blank wake of his passion
and be kissed by white paper.
Yes, Mark: I, too, have been kissed by white paper, or in my case, maybe by black pixels on white screens (which I've noted already this month). But today's poetry prompt from Writer's Digest Poem a Day challenge made us think along the same lines:
... take the phrase “Tell It to the (blank),” replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. Possible titles include: “Tell It to the Hand,” “Tell It to the Judge,” “Tell It to the Six-Foot Bunny Rabbit,” and so on.
You’re talkin’ to the hand, and the hand holds a pen. And the hand belongs to us.

Tell it to the poets

Your broken-hearted love story?
Your epic, uncharted journey?
Your dire dirge of death?

Tell it to the poets.

Your need for immortality?
Your narcissistic nihilism?
Your minimalist metaphors?

Tell it to the poets.

Your insightful observations?
Your alliterative rhyme schemes?
Your life in seventeen syllables?

Tell it to the poets.

Your unaccented emphasis?
You un-enjambed enjambment?
Your synergistic stanzas?

Tell it to the poets.

Find these in a poem,*
gift them to a writer,
read a life in metered lines –

Make love with your mysterious muse,
see it all in her rare eyes, then

tell it to a poet.

Bastille gets it, too:
'I have written you down/ Now you will live forever / And all the world will read you / And you will live forever / In eyes not yet created / On tongues that are not born / I have written you down / Now you will live forever 

*In the space of a couple hours I've come to hate this particular stanza and in future editions of my work will delete this.

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