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.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

In The Remains of This Month (April!)





Above is a fragment of a Buddhist sculpture, which I post thinking of one of my favorite poems in the world, also about the fragment of a sculpture (but a Greek one.)  That poem is Rainer Maria Rilke’s Archaic Torso of Apollo (translated by Stephen Mitchell). In the poem, Rilke describes how the remains of the statue embodiy all the bits that are missing--the head, the eyes, the curls, the stare.  The last line of the poem - “you must change your life” - somehow encapsulates the integrity of the broken statue; and to me, urges change both because of the example of some high standard of classical beauty, but also because of a realization of the ephemeral quality of time.   (PS - I don’t mean to oversimplify the poem here, as honestly, I think it says a whole bunch of things.) 



Whenever one visits a museum, and especially if one is interested in art of other times, one sees many pieces that are the remains of themselves--fragments of sculptures or vases or mosaics.  This word “remains” has many connotations in English--the remains of a sculpture, the remains of a person, the remains of the day, the remains of a relationship, even just the remains of a meal (as in, leftovers!)



I ask you on this 16th day of this crazy month of April to write something that stems from this word--remains, remaining, remainder--  and I post pictures of sculptures I have taken or pieces that seem to me to be remains of some kind.  (Feel free to do an ekphrastic poem and certainly to use your own pictures.) 



PLEASE view this prompt as widely as possible.  You do not have to use the word "remain" or "remains" in your poem.  You can write directly of something related to remains (or one of these pics).  But I am perfectly happy if you write about gas mains!   Just use the prompt and a picture (if you like) as something to jump off of. 

And have a good time!  Visit your friends too, if you want to remain friends!   (Please note that I will be traveling today and attending a sad family event so may be delayed in commenting.)

Also, I'm sorry not to identify the pics better--they were all taken by me, some at the Met Museum, and I don't have very good notes of them.  (If there's one you particularly like, I'll try to figure it out.)  Some, of course, were not taken at the Museum.  One is from the 9/11 Memorial in downtown NYC,

Finally, thanks to Kerry for arranging this crazy month, and for all the support of those participating and not! 


















22 comments:

Magaly Guerrero said...

These images are rather impressive, Karin. I'm very curious to see what everyone is going to come up with. Very, very curious. ;-)

amyjosprague said...

Very interesting take on the remains...LOVE IT

Gemma Wiseman said...

What a grand choice of images. I had difficulty trying to settle for one.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Hey everyone,

Hope you are having a wonderful week so far :D sharing my poem "The remains of a saga unseen." Hope you all like it.

Thank you Karin for the lovely opportunity..!

Lots of love,
Sanaa

Kerry O'Connor said...

I'm definitely giving this one a lot of thought.

Outlawyer said...

Thanks all. I am very tied up today and tomorrow. Will get around but maybe late. K.

Cara H said...

I spent two hours composing an epic poem for poetryofthenetherworld.blogspot.com on a tablet. My eyes have exploded and my brain has melted.

Hannah said...

Thank you, Karen! Inspiring indeed. :)

brudberg said...

Great prompt... I thought of those remains and what we can learn from them... and maybe what we should learn. I had some pictures myself and found a fitting one from my recent visit to Amsterdam

hedgewitch said...

A wonderful prompt, and amazing pics, Karin--I have gone a little off track, and because of subject, used some differing ones--hope I have still managed to get close to your intent.

Outlawyer said...

Hi am in car, thankfully not driving and trying to steer close of those driving by smart phone-- in my car-- I have no intent and thanks much for participating. K.

Gillena Cox said...

This prompt really really fits my mood; i'm in a zone of depression; happen to me every so often

much love...

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I likely only marginally touched on the prompt, as I wrote about the remains of a life, more or less. Hope I am not too far off the mark. Smiles.

Bekkie Sanchez said...

I love this but need to think about it before I write. So many things I could write about! I'll probably head out to ride my bike and come up with something while I ride. It's one of the things I love about riding my bike besides burning the calories...once my endorphins kick in it's like a zen state. I have so many great thoughts while riding and it's a sunny warm day here in California. I'll be back with a poem later have a good weekend Toads! Hugs and kisses!

grapeling said...

k, I won't claim it's poetry, but it's words, at least. thanks for the cool prompt ~

Susie Clevenger said...

A great prompt Karin!

Linda C. Folks said...

A fascinating prompt, Karin, Love your pictures, so interesting,,,

amyjosprague said...

THESE WERE ALL FANTASTIC READS.
In the words of Cheryl Strayed (my professor/editor added the last word):
WRITE LIKE A MOTHERFUCKER, SWEETPEA!

Marilyn Cavicchia said...

Another "prompt mashup" from me, after taking a break from those ...

C.C. said...

Interesting prompt.....got to it late tonight so will look forward to reading all the posts tomorrow :-)

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

For me, a long rambling piece that;'s taken all day to complete – and nothing to do with statues.

angieinspired said...

I'm playing catch-up today...picked the haunting little dolly picture