But don't worry. I shall show mercy and give a gentle prompt, which is just what the doctor ordered, especially if you live in America and are painfully aware that today is the annual deadline to file federal and state taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
For anyone living elsewhere, I’ll catch you up: April 15 is a delightful holiday in which we in the United States fill out legal forms at the last minute (or click, click, click on the web), and count our children's heads as glorious or inglorious exemptions and tax credits.
On past tax days in America, coinciding with National Poetry Month, the Academy of American Poets and the American Poetry & Literacy Project distributed thousands of free copies of The Waste Land at selected post offices across the country to taxpayers rushing to make the deadline.
For today's prompt we will utilize Eliot's complex and very long poem "Wasteland" in a very simple way. Copy any good length of Eliot's poem and paste it into this Scripts page I originally saw on Found Poetry. See how easy that was? No pesky numbers. You might even want to do this a few times..it's that easy.
Steady as we go here. Now, click on the first tab in the top left hand corner marked "Oulipean," and choose "Fibonnaci Seq" from the drop-down menu. Now click "Run" and let the machine run the fibonnaci sequence numbers for you in a jiffy, before it spits out your word list. This is so much easier, and more fun than itemizing deductions, I must say.
What the Fibonnaci sequence generator has just done was read through your pasted text and picked out words correlating to the procession of the Fibonacci sequence. In this sequence, each term is the sum of the two terms immediately preceding it; 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55 and so on. But don't let all these gobbledy-gook numbers concern you. Your job is to pick as many or as few of the words you like from the generated word list, to use in any order you choose to for your poem.
Not disbarring Benjamin Franklin's quote, “Nothing is certain except death and taxes,” we'll be throwing it out, just for today.
Finally Toads, your prompt: Write a free verse poem using as many words from your generated word list as you like (numbers are of no consequence here). Be certain your poem has no reference to our taboo subjects, taxes (money & numbers) and Eliot's constant muse, death. Instead, offer us plenty allusions of renewal, rebirth or salvation, which are themes Eliot peppers the other half of Wasteland with. So, all you owe us today is one free-verse, up-beat poem.
Post your new poem in the linky box provided, and don't forget to give some love to your fellow poets on this, the day smack in the middle of the cruelest month. Leave your messages or questions in the comment section.
I shall return Sunday to make my rounds, after I take my "second tax deduction" prospective college hunting...running all those miserable numbers!