Thursday, July 22, 2010

Let's All Write An Alphabet Poem!

Once again, this is more of a poetry exercise than a poetic form. 

There are many forms and ways of producing an alphabet poem.  Ron Padgett writes "The Alphabet Poem is one that uses the letters of the alphabet as points of departure for lines or whole poems."  He gives examples.  One is to start each line with the successive letters of the alphabet.  Another is to employ letters of the alphabet prominently in each line like so:

Or sometimes you'll find versions with the letter repeated often within the line.  As you may well imagine, I'm not going to do one of those as it falls very close to alliteration, which we've already done.  I think my favorite version of the Alphabet Poem suggested by Mr. Padgett is:
" a single letter of the alphabet, look at it, let its appearance suggest images and ideas, and write them down..." 
I like the freedom of this form and, to be frank, I'm looking for ways to exit these remedial forms at the beginning of the book.  You'll notice it's been over a week since my last poetic exercise.  I'm starting to feel a little like when I was in elementary school and had a year where my behavior and performance went through the floor until someone had the sense to test me for the gifted student program.  It turned out I was bored.

Actually this section has been quite challenging and it's pushing me to do things I wouldn't have done on my own (which was the main point of this project in the first place.)  But I keep reminding myself that we're going alphabetically and at the very least I know that Ballad is coming soon.

So, here's my alphabet poem:

A is for Human
by Paul Mathers

And it taxes not reason that all began with a word.
Naked we came with letter grades.
Our school invention reflection: a joke,
An offense to the angels.
At death we find our letters of direction
stapled to our forehead.
Those whose deeds take them as low as V or W
directed downward, zilch of oblivion.
If only someone could lend us a capital A
to ascend like a step ladder.

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