The Lift And Aspirations Of The Line

I have a confession to make. I’ve done something a bit creepy. (It wasn’t meant to be creepy).  Ages ago, I followed someone on Twitter. I don’t know them in real life, and I’ve never interacted with their account, but someone recommended them as being ‘wholesome’, and I needed some benign influences on my feed. So, they are benign, just Tweeting their everyday, BUT ALSO they have a natural iambic pentameter going on in their Tweets. It’s like little bits of poetry. Their throwaway posts have the lift and lilt that my poetic lines aspire to….so I nicked 14 of them and made a ‘found sonnet’. Creepy Twitter stalker sonnet. Sorry not sorry.


Mercifully, I am not the only one who has gone all ‘found poetry’ on this prompt! (Interesting….?) Here’s a lush one from Ann Cuthbert.

Dull battleship grey or goldish ochre.
If cold, it can be tough to cut.
Placing it in sun softens it, makes cutting easier.
Blades give different styles of cut,
narrow and deep, broad and shallow.
An accidental slip, a nasty gouge.
How deep to cut? A Goldilocks moment.
Too shallow and it fills up, too deep, you risk a hole.
Sacrifice a piece to try the blades.
You’ll soon get a feel for what’s just right.
Deeper and shallower lines, straight and curved.
Short, long, little stabs, jerking sideways.
What’s been cut away and what remains?
You didn’t mean to cut that part away.

(phrases lifted from ‘Getting started with lino printing’ Marion Body Evans)

5 thoughts on “The Lift And Aspirations Of The Line

  1. I’d quarrel with that ‘found poem’ being in pentameter*, but it’s nice anyway.

    Funnily enough, I was talking iambs only yesterday, with a colleague. Wordsworth had come up in the conversation, and I was explaining how ‘Daffodils’ had killed poetry for thousands andthousands of kids, because people recite his four-foot lines in a jingly way. You know – “dee dardy dardy dardy dah” and so on. Wheras I demonstrated how, by giving the speaker a slight Lakeland accent, and speaking the poem in a more conversational manner – splitting lines, doing the enjambement thing – it comes alive, and stops being The Death Of Poetry.

    *I can’t remember whether it was in a comment to this blog that I demonstrated how pentameter is a natural speeche rhythm, by repreating what a mother said to a son who was mending his bike on the kitchen table:
    “I’ve told you time and time and time again,
    I will not have that blody thing in here!”
    It probably was. But then I’m very old. Forgive me.

  2. Hi Kirsten. I love the prompts and the beautiful poetry, thank you so much. I wrote the attached for today’s. Thank you. Clare (Robson)

    1. Clare I’m so glad you’re enjoying this! Seems like I can’t see anything attached, but if you would like to send me your poem to imeldasays at gmail dot com I’d be delighted to update the blog to feature it.

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