Saturday, April 28, 2012

At Your Service: An Original Mask Poem


Every now and then, I like to take a poem that I've written and rewrite it in another form or voice. A few years ago, I wrote a poem titled Things to Do If You Are a Pencil. The poem was included in Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems, which was edited by Georgia Heard.


Things to Do If You Are a Pencil

Be sharp.
Wear a slick yellow suit
and a pink top hat.
Tap your toes on the tabletop,
listen for the right rhythm,
then dance a poem
across the page.
Some time after that poem was published, I rewrote it two different ways--as a poem of address and as a mask poem:
**********

Poem of Address

You’re looking sharp
in your slick yellow suit
and your pink top hat!
Get ready to rock and roll and write.
Get into the groove.
Listen for the right rhythm.
Then tap your toes on the tabletop
and dance a poem
across the page.
**********

Mask Poem

I’m sharp!
I wear a slick yellow suit
and a pink top hat.
I tap my toes on the tabletop,
listen for the right rhythm,
and then dance a poem
across the page.

**********

Today, as I was looking through my writing files, I found another mask poem written in the voice of a pencil. It was unfinished--so I thought I'd work on it. Here's what I have so far:

At Your Service: A Mask Poem

I’m at your service
Poised on pointed toes
Eager to write a new poem.
Can’t wait to create…
To dance to the rhythm of your imagination.

4 comments:

Bridget R. Wilson said...

Elaine, I'm a big fan of the original pencil poem, but I like the ways you'be changed it. I may try that with my poem I wrote about my dog. Thanks for sharing!

Robyn Hood Black said...

I loved your list poem the first time I read it in FALLING DOWN THE PAGE - and I love these takes on it, too! This would be a fun exercise for student poets to try. Thanks for sharing all of these variations.

Linda at teacherdance said...

I love all the ways you look at things in new ways, Elaine, like the pink top hat. Beautiful imagination.

Betsy said...

Neat! Using one idea in many forms.