Poem 20150405

Day five’s challenge from #NaPoWriMo:

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, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!

Ok, here’s the original, lifted from the Poetry Foundation’s website. Picked at random, as in, i had my eyes closed.

I would not paint — a picture — (348)
BY EMILY DICKINSON
I would not paint — a picture —
I’d rather be the One
It’s bright impossibility
To dwell — delicious — on —
And wonder how the fingers feel
Whose rare — celestial — stir —
Evokes so sweet a torment —
Such sumptuous — Despair —

I would not talk, like Cornets —
I’d rather be the One
Raised softly to the Ceilings —
And out, and easy on —
Through Villages of Ether —
Myself endued Balloon
By but a lip of Metal —
The pier to my Pontoon —

Nor would I be a Poet —
It’s finer — Own the Ear —
Enamored — impotent — content —
The License to revere,
A privilege so awful
What would the Dower be,
Had I the Art to stun myself
With Bolts — of Melody!

Now, mine:

i would not paint a portrait
i mean, what’s the point
i don’t have the skills
to capture a living spark in oils
and anyway
my hands shake whenever you come near me
and my pictures look like they were done
by a child
not paying attention

i’d rather be the one to be painted
why not want that for myself
it’s a bright impossibility
that will never really
be mine
but to dwell delicious on the idea
is a fine taste in my mouth

i wonder how the fingers will feel
holding the brush
mixing the palette
wielding the knife
cutting through layers of paint
cutting through layers of me
scraping the canvas
to get to the bottom of things
to get to the bottom of me

to tear open the sky and glimpse
that rare celestial clockwork
a sweet torment
a sumptuous despair

6 thoughts on “Poem 20150405

  1. For my latest batch of competition submissions, I culled lines from Dame Edith sithwell’s poems. And, like you tailored them so neatly into my own patchwork of vocabulary that a keen eye would not be able to differentiate.

    I enjoyed the concept of you poem.
    Will you be revising this poem further, or do you consider it publishable?

    Best regards Talia.

    1. Talia, thank you for the kind words.

      In all honesty, I hadn’t thought much beyond trying my hand at the NaPoWriMo challenges. It was fun to dissect and re-arrange her words, but I don’t know about anything beyond that.

      1. I think you should, this poem has promise. And the American literary market is always looking for new material to publish in their magazines.

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