Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Out of Standard - The Irony of Hamilton Cork



Hamilton Cork: publisher and yachting enthusiast.  Image courtesy of Anonymous @ Photobucket



Greetings Garden Dwellers

Welcome to the January's Out of Standard.   If you are reading this, you have successfully navigated the January weather (regardless of what hemisphere you live in) and survived the beginning of 2013. 

Today’s Out of Standard will focus on another sort of beginning.

Award winning and critically acclaimed publisher Hamilton Cork has the ability to determine a book’s quality and potential simply by reading the first sentence of a manuscript.   Hamilton’s track record speaks for itself.   His press has published 37 of the last 42 titles to reach number one on the New York Times bestseller list.  In an ironic twist of fate, all of the first sentences which Hamilton fancied so much were removed from the final versions and have never seen the light of day.

Toads, fear not.  I have procured a list of these first sentences….and, I now present you with the January Out of Standard Challenge:

Revive Hamilton’s First Lines

Below is a list of some of Hamilton’s favorite first lines.  Your challenge will be to select one of the sentences below and use it in a poem so that it may finally see the light of day.  


  • Your selection DOES NOT  have to be the first line of your poem (I think Susan covered first lines rather nicely in her Sunday challenge).
  • It is required that you use the sentence in its entirety (word for word), in honor of Hamilton’s keen sense of good literature.   
  • Poems posted for this challenge should be written expressly for this prompt.  Management reserves the right to remove unrelated or predated efforts.


First Sentences of Fine Literature as Selected by Hamilton Cork- a sampling for your consideration

“The shed pulsated and glided along the street consuming rubbish and stray cats like a wooden basking shark.”

“I threw myself on to Jesus and crushed him flat with my boomerangs.”

“Chi and Ricard tied their hair together, loaded their pistols and began to boogie to the hot Latin beats.”

“Underwater Steve went crazy when he was photographed.”

“I was seven years old when I realized I had the ability to eat other people’s shadows.”

“The pirates all looked at the plate of freshly cut sandwiches before them and immediately burst into tears.”

 “Although she wouldn’t admit it, Jill knew she was slowly turning into a hula hoop.”

“Cats, cats, cats, everywhere cats, but then stepping out from the crowd, a single crab.”

“Tex stood at the back of the room in his enormous yellow trousers, hoping and wondering.”

“An eyeball as big as a car and fingers like summer hosepipes:  this guy wasn’t fucking around.”

“Zoobrella was her name, and she shone like a fresh crystal chrysanthemum from sector 5G.”

“Cancel the cakes, Marjorie, Sebastian’s going to use a trench coat instead.”

“Ian cried tears on to the hard shell of a dead crab and knew in his heart he was finally a man.”


Choose wisely, Toads!   And bring us back something unexpected!



28 comments:

Kay L. Davies said...

These sentences, OMG, Izy, are they for real? No wonder the editors deleted them. I can't find one that makes any sense. LOL
This should be an interesting challenge!
K

Fireblossom said...

But...but...where's the famous second part of the Izy challenge?

*mopes*

Isadora Gruye said...

@ Kay...I love that you did not need to know if the sentences were real, you simply went and wrote a poem!! @ Fireblossom....I am assuming you are speaking about the "defy a convention or standard part of the challenge? My thinking was that the sentences are so bizarre and concept of reviving them was out of standard, that it would sort of force its way into any poem using the sentence. Similar to the dub step goat last month. In essence, I am getting all meta this year!

Fireblossom said...

Got it! Get on witchoo bad self, Gruye!

Fireblossom said...

Okay, I have done the deed. I hope you like. :-)

Kerry O'Connor said...

[Insert loud guffaw and interjections]
These opening lines are a scream. I can't wait to see what may arise from this spur to the imagination.

Extra points to anyone who uses the boomerang one!

Susan said...

Totally had fun with this!

Kim Nelson said...

Full day ahead, but by Zoobrella, I'll get this done!

Marian said...

best. prompt. EVAH. !!

toads, i am traveling for work the rest of this week... will respond to this and whatever else you throw my way, but please be patient with me. see you on saturday! xoxo

Susie Clevenger said...

Love it! I have my hubby at home so I will be a little late responding. But respond I will!!

Ella said...

Wow, this cast quite a spell on my musings of the sea! I am drawn to the crab and cake lines...lol
ZoobrElla does excite me ;D
Old salts do tell spicy tales!

Kerry O'Connor said...

This is the product of bodily exhaustion and an over-used brain... could probably do with a run through and edit, but I cannot let my day job get in the way of Izy's challenge!

Kerry O'Connor said...

PS. Am I the only one who has googled Hamilton Cork?

Fireblossom said...

Oy. I just did, Kerry. You mean I've done something with Brit taint? Ay caramba. Next, I'll be buying a cheap portrait of the queen.

Manicddaily said...

Agh - these are so engaging. I am very behind the gun here so don't know if I can do, but much enjoyed reading them, and will try if I can. k.

Hannah said...

Thank you, Izy!! I was surprised where my line took me! :)

Sabio Lantz said...

So aren't you going to tell which books these come from?

Peggy said...

Quite a wonderful bunch of inspirational lines! And yes, Kerry I googled Cork!

my heart's love songs said...

i LOVE this challenge, Izy! in fact, i loved it so much that i used ALL the sentences. yes, my brain is that warped, just ask Fireblossom. {grin}

Fireblossom said...

My lips are sealed! (and I'm afraid of darts and boomerangs!)

Manicddaily said...

Hi Izy - this was very funny. I think some of the others are terrific and those are great first lines of "Mr. Cork's." I especially like the cakes one, but I did not take that one. k.

Kim Nelson said...

Izy... I just told you that cats were one of three things about which I never write. Since this is Out of Standard, I shall have to do it. You are making me stretch this week!!!

hyperCRYPTICal said...

Thanks for this excellent prompt Izy - took some time - but I got there.

Anna :o]

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Izy, I read the prompt, including that wonderful bio of Cork, and found my line at once. Was the last thing I wrote before going to sleep and the first thing I posted when I booted up "Sadie," my trusty desktop. Thanks for a rollicking prompt. Peace, Amy
http://sharplittlepencil.com/2013/01/31/chanteuse-in-sneakers/

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Also, I never posted my DUBSTOP GOAT in time for that prompt (depression makes me hideously late for things), but I may just post it on a whim, and if I do, I'll send a link here!! It was such an uplifting prompt for me. Thanks, Amy

Kim Nelson said...

ARGH! I threw two away before coming up with something I could live with. It is NOT Pollyanna-ish.

Emma Major said...

I think I'm loosing my mind because the one I went with spoke to me entirely, but then I did break some of the rules of what a sentence actually is. thanks for prompting me to smile when I was feeling so awful xxx

Stacey said...

Wow, this was harder than I thought it would be.