Today’s prompt challenges us to “find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. If I used Roethke’s poem as my model, for example, the first line would start with “I,” the second line with “W,” and the third line with “A.” And I would try to make all my lines neither super-short nor overlong, but have about ten syllables. I would also have my poem take the form of four, seven-line stanzas. I have found this prompt particularly inspiring when I use a base poem that mixes long and short lines, or stanzas of different lengths.” (Full prompt available here.)
I opened my Kindle to the last poem I read and it was this beauty by Jane Hirshfield from her amazing book appropriately entitled The Beauty (Bloodaxe Books). So I ran with it. Or crawled. Or, you know, nibbled my way through it. Also, I want to use this occasion to plug in a local land art marvel: The Fork of Vevey, seen above. Here’s more information about it. Bon appétit!
by Jane Hirshfield
The practical castle is cold.
All around it the world is a stream bed.
A few well-placed openings
under the windows
let rain weep back outward.
The rain is string
for wrapping a package no one knows
the inside of, they just keep trying to mail it.
Perhaps it is licorice. Perhaps it is kindness.
The package so large even wetness becomes an umbrella.
PS–As in past years, most of the poems written this April will remain online for a couple of 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. (OK, I totally plagiarized my own post scriptum from last year. Why amend something if it’s not broken?)
PPS–The posted poem has expired, but here’s a pensive cow and a baby elephant to keep you company (and a line from my poem as caption). Don’t see the cow or the elephant? Can’t blame you–they’re almost invisible. Come back tomorrow. There are plenty more invisible creatures where these two came from.