“There’s a pithy phrase attributed to T.S. Eliot: “Good poets borrow; great poets steal.” (He actually said something a bit different, and phrased it a bit more pompously – after all, this is T.S. Eliot we’re talking about). Nonetheless, our optional prompt for today (developed by Rachel McKibbens, who is well-known for her imaginative and inspiring prompts) plays on the idea of stealing. Today, I challenge you to write a non-apology for the things you’ve stolen. Maybe it’s something as small as your sister’s hairbrush (or maybe it was your sister’s boyfriend!) Regardless, I hope this sly prompt generates some provocative verse for you.” ~ NaPoWriMo, Day 13
I love today’s prompt, because… well, for several reasons: (a) it reorganized things in my head by attributing the correct quote to TS. Eliot’s; (b) it led me to the discovery of this amazing poetry resource that is The Found Poetry Review–a cornucopia of poems collaged from existing language; and (c) it gave me the opportunity to write a cento, which is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while, but never found the time. Well, here it is–my first cento–a compilation of lines ‘stolen’ from poems about forgiveness, with credit given to the many poets who inspired it.
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–My seashell angels have lost their heads over the weekend. It’s been incredibly stressful around here, as I had to do everything for them–feed, clean, fluff up feathers, discuss matters of heavenly importance. I tethered them to the dining-room table, as they kept bumping into furniture and hitting the ceiling–the heads were gone, but the wings weren’t. Eventually, we found those [insert angel expletive] heads on a passing seashell dragon. Here they all are–the dragon, the ubiquitous moon, the headless angels with their [insert angel expletive] heads, and whatever is left of my cento. This time, you can blame the dragon for the erasure.
Poetry from the trenches, Day 13