Here, There be a Writer

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Nightingale's Song

Today prompts is a little different. I have quite had anything like this since high school. Find an Emily Dickenson poem, remove the breaks, dashes, and punctuation. Then re-break the poem, add and/or remove words to create a new poem. I have read some of Emily's work, but not well enough to know if this will work. Going to try though. It feels weird to take a poem and basically re-write it. Anyway enjoy, Dear Readers.

I tried to put me into the poem, as I thought that maybe Emily might have put herself into the poem, or at least someone into the poem's world. I looked up Currer Bell and that is the pseudonym of Charlotte Bronte. Hmmm!!

NaPoWriMo prompt: As you may know, although Dickinson is now considered one of the most original and finest poets the United States has produced, she was not recognized in her own time. One reason her poems took a while to gain a favorable reception is their slippery, dash-filled lines. Those dashes baffled her readers so much that the 1924 edition of her complete poems replaced some with commas, and did away with others completely. Today’s exercise asks you to do something similar, but in the interests of creativity, rather than ill-conceived “correction.” Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you've never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, re-break the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it! (Not sure where to find some Dickinson poems? Here’s 59 Dickinson poems to select from).

All Over By Cunning Moss (original)

All overgrown by cunning moss,
All interspersed with weed,
The little cage of “Currer Bell”
In quiet “Haworth” laid.

This Bird – observing others
When frosts too sharp became
Retire to other latitudes –
Quietly did the same –

But differed in returning –
Since Yorkshire hills are green –
Yet not in all the nests I meet –
Can Nightingale be seen –

Nightingale's Song (re-write)

All this,
   overgrown by cunning moss
   interspersed with weeds.
She feels alone.

The little cage that holds
   the other me,
   within the quiet glades
   where Clark's laid, is home.

And this bird, me,
   observing others of her kind
   and the frosts too sharp
   retired then to other latitudes.


   are the same, but different.
   This she knows.
Oh, how I know!

In returning,
   to the Chautauqua hills
   where birthed to life,
   anew and becoming verdant
   yet not at all
She seems alone.

Nightingale can be seen,
can be heard singing now.

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