NaPoWriMo Day 26 Prompt 27

from Chris Jarmick:

“Prompt 27—I contend poetry is the most intimate of Arts. Often in its themes, voices, subjects and when it is performed for an audience it seeks honesty, it goes deep. Accept this premise and write a poem about the intimacy of poetry.”

The NaPoWriMo prompt is to write an erasure. In an erasure you take long poem (or piece of prose), “and systematically erased whole words and even lines, while maintaining the relative position of the remaining words.”

First intimacy in poetry… I’ll show you my poem if you show me yours.

I remember the first time
you edited one of my poems
I was a little frightened or your pen
so full of ink, glistening
but you were gentle
at first
and I relaxed
I remember pain
not unexpected
as you rubbed your pen across my page
pruning a word here
a line there
it was exhilarating
to watch you so intent on your work
and feeling my poem tremble
with each stroke of your editor’s touch
and then
you were satisfied
I still wanted more
my poem was a mess
or lines and scribbles
still wet
with ink
and it bloomed all the more radiant

Now for an erasure… how about a passage from Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis, just the first two stanzas though:

EVEN as the sun with purple-colour’d face
Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheek’d Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he loved, but love he laugh’d to scorn;
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-faced suitor ‘gins to woo him.

‘Thrice-fairer than myself,’ thus she began,
‘The field’s chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee, with herself at strife,
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.

So the bold I leave and the rest I take out. Written out alone it is:

the sun with purple-colour’d weeping
rose to the chase
but laugh’d unto a bold-faced she
more lovely than nature herself


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