Sunday, April 5, 2015

PAD Day 5: Emily Dickinson and Yams

So today's two prompts from Poetic Asides and NaPoWriMo seem a bit irreconcilable, but I gave it my best shot.
(1) Write a "vegetable" poem, and
(2) Write a "reconstructed" Emily Dickinson poem: Take an Emily poem, remove all the punctuation (especially all those dashes), turn it into a block of prose, then restructure it - play with the line breaks and even the language, changing or replacing words wherever you want. So what I did was substitute "yam" or "yams" for a number of the nouns in her poem #355, "It was not Death, for I stood up..." and I made some other appropriate word changes as well. I did keep the basic structure of the poem, but the content came out amusing if a little weird.  It won't make the finalists for today's Poem-a-Day Challenge, I'm sure, but it was kind of fun to write. Maybe later I'll try a more "serious" vegetable poem, if that's possible and time permits.

From the Emily Dickinson Cookbook

It was not Yams, for I stood up,
And all the Yams lie down.  
It was not Night, for all the Cooks
Put out their Yams for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Marshmallows crawl,
Nor Fire, for my Potholders
Could keep an Oven cool.

And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Yams I have seen Set,
so orderly for Casseroles,
Reminded me: Forget,

As if the Skin was shaven
And peeled off from a Yam,
And could not cook sans Cinnamon,
And ’twas like Midnight, ma'am,

When everything that ticked has stopped
And Yams grow all around,
Or Grisly frosts first Autumn morns
the Sweet-potato ground,

But most like Chaos, yamless, cool
Without a Chance to share
Or even a Report of Yams
To justify Despair.


Patricia A. Hawkenson said...


Vince Gotera said...

You had yams on your mind for a couple of days, hey? Fun. Thanks.