Detail from The Garden of Earthly Delights
by Hieronymus Bosch
Today’s prompt challenges us to “write a poem from the point of view of one person/animal/thing from Hieronymous Bosch’s famous (and famously bizarre) triptych The Garden of Earthly Delights. Whether you take the position of a twelve-legged clam, a narwhal with a cocktail olive speared on its horn, a man using an owl as a pool toy, or a backgammon board being carried through a crowd by a fish wearing a tambourine on its head, I hope that you find the experience deliriously amusing. And if the thought of speaking in the voice of a porcupine-as-painted-by-a-man-who-never-saw-one leaves you cold, perhaps you might write from the viewpoint of Bosch himself? Very little is known about him, so there’s plenty of room for invention, embroidery, and imagination.” ~ NaPoWriMo, Day 6
After a gazillion false starts, beginning with Eve’s angry voice and ending with a lusty strawberry’s point of view, I went to the dark side and wrote about a relationship gone wrong. This is what master Bosch’s imagination has done to mine (all right, I do tend toward the macabre, but still). Also of help was this short article and the piece of music it talks about. I played it on a loop while writing the poem. Despite the torture scene, the melody is quite soothing. Attached are the two details I focused on in the right panel of the triptych.
PS–Most of the poems written this April will remain online for up to five days, after which they will be replaced by an excerpt, an erasure, or a thoroughly amateurish art piece that will only allow for bits of the original poem to peek through. At least, this is the plan. The reason being that, at some point, in the hopefully not too distant future, these drafts will undergo revision and begin their multiple-year pilgrimage through the slush piles of many a literary journal. So help me, O Muse.
PPS–After five days, the seashell angels returned once again to stage another erasure. They brought along an unidentifiable guest with an alarmingly overdeveloped tongue. Why? Because the Bosch told them to.
Poetry from the trenches, Day 6