Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just for fun

Looking through poetry, trying to find something to enter in a contest, I came across this one, from a class on form poetry I took a while back.  It's a sestina, which means that all the lines have to end with one of the same six words, in a specific order.  (if that's as clear as mud, google "sestina")

This won't win any prizes, but it made me grin.   (As I recall, I was determined to hand something in every week, stellar or not.) (also I had to smallify the font in order to make the rambly long lines fit)

Last Minute Sestina

All week long I’ve been planning it:
a poem about riding the bus and watching people
back and forth on the bus every day
headed to work up in the north end
of Edmonton, befriending bus drivers, some
of whom let me ride free if (when) I lost

my bus pass.  Oh the things I’ve lost!
The universe is supposed to need balance -  it
seems reasonable that I should find some
things as well, but I’m not one of those people,
nothing ever drops into my lap at the end
of a journey, it’s never my day

to find a ten dollar bill, never my day
to even have the chance to return a lost
handknit mitten to the woman at the end
of my street, perhaps, although I’ve thought it
might be interesting to be one of those people,
you know the ones, there’s always some

new thing happening to them, some
thing that doesn’t happen in anyone else’s day.
But this poem wasn’t meant to be about those people -
(add “narrative thread” to the lengthy list of lost
items in my life), and just right now it
seems unlikely that I’ll get back to the bus before the end

the problem is these ridiculous and frankly awkward end
words – count for yourself how many stanzas I’ve been trying to find some
way to pretend I saw a man on the bus eating handfuls of tiny bunnies - it
goes back to there’s always something intriguing in every day
and really, all week I’ve been wondering when teddy grahams lost 
even a tiny corner of the market to bunny grahams and who the people

were that decided that variety of animal shaped graham snacks was all people
needed to make their lives complete, and was that the  end
of it? or will there be an entire line of tiny masticatable animals? I’ve lost
whole hours at a stretch, trying to think of some
new fresh way to talk about the bloodless violence of the day
I bit the head off a small defenceless (admittedly non-sentient) bunny ...and liked it.

some people would find some
elegant way to tie this all up before the end of the day
but I am as lost at the end of this as I was when I began it


rachel said...

I love it. It's so unabashedly honest. Seriously. I'm not just being polite. I thought it was awesome.

(And now: to prove I'm not a robot!)

Colleen Taylor said...

I'm trying to teach students to
find and express their own
“narrative thread” in speeches.
But if YOU have lost yours,
what hope is there for them?