Tag Archives: Ron Padgett

Poetics Serendipity

8:19 a.m. — Atlanta

no desktop = no music — I’ll be glad when the weekend is here and I can ask my husband to figure out the computer [he’s busy prepping for school to open. I haven’t the heart to ask him to tackle a computer problem when he arrives home]

Hullo, duckies! I know. I didn’t expect me to be here either. Amazing what a suddenly scheduled four hour water shut-down will do for one. The dishes are washed, I am washed, my hair is washed, a load of clothes is washing and I am galvanised, though not quite awake. One and a half hours to turn-off.

My bookmarks are, of course, on the other computer so today’s offerings are more various than usual.

1] For those who didn’t catch the video the first time around it’s a must; for those who did, it’s still a must, just to watch Ron Padgett, Rita Dove, and Sharon Olds [talk about a group of power poets], who take on “Breaking the Line, Breaking the Narrative” a discussion of, well, line-breaks. We get only five minutes of it, but it’s a fun five minutes. Padgett is humourous; Sharon Olds, not terribly articulate verbally, is hysterical in her method of getting across to us what she wants to say; I would follow Rita Dove anywhere. Her voice is poetry. The transcript can be found at, but I think you should watch and listen first, so sent you direct.

2] This second is for a narrower niche and has broader possibilities and uses than poetry alone. WordPress and Readmill have created a means by which you can highlight passages in books and PDFs you’re reading in Readmill and share them on your or Jetpack-enabled site. While I understand this has no application for many of us, I wondered if there were people following me, for whom this might be useful.

3] I found an unusual comment awaiting moderation. Its author says: ‘I did a complementary, more like supplementary, posting based on this exercise over on Bonespark.’. The exercise mentioned is last Tuesday’s exercise on colour. I thought you might enjoy seeing what the supplement consists of. Meanwhile, you can wander the site, as long as you are there.

4] Time for my favourite essayist. David Marshall writes On Noodling. Tell me you can resist. Here’s his conclusion: Be relentlessly yourself or run away from yourself—you become stagnant either way. Look for a way to incorporate experimentation, you make what you learn a part of you. The post is for artists of all kinds, those who paint their words and those who write their visions.

I shall see you tomorrow for the roundup. Yay! Also, next Tuesday for a mystery prompt [mostly because I haven’t chosen something, yet]; and next Thursday for some more serendipity. For the many new people who joined us, this summer, you may also send in topics you would like me to take on. Thursday is for anything poetry related.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 08/08/2013 in poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

The Event Poem: Tuesday Tryout

8:03a.m. — Atlanta

How appropriate. My cloud player is playing The Rascals singing It’s a Beautiful Morning. Hopefully it’s a beautiful some part of your day.

As I looked at the warm-up prompt a couple of days ago, I realised that maybe it’s more of a heat-up prompt. If you are expecting something gentle… ah well. Remember, as always, if you come up with a rough draft, or even a list, and you don’t want to publish it on your blog, because it’s too unfinished, then post it in comments, here. This is a working site and we are all constantly working on drafts. However, for you speedy ones, publish away on your blogs!

Today’s exercise has the virtue of being a form, without having been admitted to the increasingly lengthening list of forms. Further virtues: no rhyme scheme, no syllable count, no metre. Sound good? The form is taken from poet Ron Padgett [part of whose poem I use below, as an example] and is referred to as an Event Poem.

Your job is to make up new, creative, even fantastic, uses for something.

A) Look around you, or look around your mind, and choose something, to start. Maybe you chose a sunflower, a wine glass, a pillow… Whatever you choose, list four or five previously unthought of uses for it. Begin each use with an imperative — an active verb– as if you are listing directions for someone, as to its possible use.

by giniger

Pineapple (Ron Padgett)

1. Cut the leaves of a pineapple, use it as a soccer ball to kick into a goal.
2. Hollow out the pineapple, fill it with pebbles, shake it like a maraca and create reggae music.
3. Pluck out ten leaves, polish them, and wear them as fingernails to a Halloween party.
4. Cut out five of the little round lozenges on the pineapple skin and sew them on your jacket as buttons.
5. Peel the skins off 100 pineapples and glue them to the floor as tiles.

B) Add a couple of lines about how your chosen thing looks. Remember to begin each line with an imperative.

6. Look at the pineapple. It looks like the torch of the Statue of Liberty.
7. Stare at the pineapple. Do you see the face of the monster?

C) Bring in other sensory details. Add a line or two about how the thing feels, or smells, or sounds. Continue beginning each line with an imperative verb.

8. Touch the pineapple. It feels like a suede sneaker on the foot of a very large child.

D) Now you can play. You have your material. Add to it. Subtract from it. Yank lines. Rearrange them. Place them in any order you think sounds, or feels right. Leave the numbers, or not.

If any of you are panicking, as I panicked, because this is all about metaphor, I am here to tell you that you can do this [the wild and wacky version], but you don’t have to. Below is a draft of the first event poem I tried to write [over the summer]. You will notice that there is nothing wild and wacky. This led me to the conclusion that what we pick for this type of poem is important. My second event poem was more successful in the wild and wacky arena: I chose chinchillas. [I have submitted it, or that would be here as an example.]

Draft of an event poem ala Ron Padgett:

by MartinLaBar

Things To do With a Stone

Pick up a stone to use as a paperweight.
Dip the stone in water and watch the colours relume.
Look close at the stone and notice the veining that carries its story.
Hold the stone flat and tickle it across the water’s surface.
Stare at the stone until it speaks its beauty to you.
Polish the stone until it becomes a jewel.
Place the stone close to your nostrils; smell the sun’s warmth.
Rub the stone with your fingers; feel its blood pulse.

So go to it. I look forward to reading fresh and original uses for things, whether straightforward, or wild and crazy. Enjoy.

I shall see you Thursday for Your Serendipity; Friday, for the roundup; and next Tuesday for an image.

Happy writing, everyone.



Posted by on 21/08/2012 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , ,

  • creative commons license