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.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Tax Day

Hello Toads! I situated myself in the middle of "April...the cruellest month" (according to T. S. Eliot) to give my very first prompt. 

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!






18 comments:

grapeling said...

if I had more energy to chase down the suggestion, Angie, I'd love to try the generator. just... my days are too long as it is... but I hope to return to it, after the madness...

Gemma Wiseman said...

I am afraid I am totally lost. The Scripts page link goes to a screen that says 'çoming soon'. Nothing else is visible. No idea what I can do with this now. Sorry.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh, is THAT all? I was at first thinking of something clever about taxing daylight. Ah well.

No, the process you request sounds like fun, actually; I'll be back with something later.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Oh damn, I had the same experience as I see Gemma had too. I have been Googling other random poetry generators to see if I could find it, and what I notice is that most of them seem not to work on Mac.

Maybe I'll just do a found poem from The Waste Land.

Gemma Wiseman said...

I have finally decided to do a found poem as a Fibonacci - based on an extract from The Waste Land. I did try to find alternatives, but no generator. Also, I could not escape a small connection with death, but my final poem is not about death. I feel Eliot's poem tends to linger round such connections as death and bones with little sense of revival or renewal. Maybe we weren't meant to reflect the spirit of his poem and do the opposite. I'm not sure. So maybe just a little of what I have written is what you intended.

Outlawyer said...

Hey Angie, I also couldn't get the Scripts page to work--that said, I am so enjoying a return to the Wasteland. What a beautiful poem. I should read it regularly--it is just so great, so it is a wonderful joy to read it. I may just read it throughout the day and try to think of something. Thanks. k.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

I too went my own way, with erasures, jumbling and repetitions on a section of The Waste Land, to produce something fairly positive (if not very meaningful).

Raivenne said...

Since I did a Fibonacci Spiral form here at Real Toads on Day 6 with Something Changed, I will skip the form, but find some other way to use Eliot's words.

angieinspired said...

No worries guys, I had a feeling this might happen...just use some words from Wasteland and forget the generator. Thanks!

brudberg said...

I didn't have the time to do a new script so I tried to see what it would be... and used a word list to create a sevenling.

Hannah said...

Found poem fun...thank you, Angie!

Kerry O'Connor said...

Such an excellent prompt, Angie.

Marian said...

Yeah, really nice prompt, thank you Angie!

Linda C. Folks said...

As some others have said, I couldn't find the word script, so,,,I will try a "found poem" from a section of The Waste Land. I will need luck with that :-)

Susie Clevenger said...

Great prompt Angie. I created mine from a list of words I collected from a section of the poem. My brain is fried... lol

De said...

I, too, had generator issues. ;) But I had fun with the text. Happy to see you prompting here, Angie! :)

Outlawyer said...

Hi Angie--I am traveling to a funeral (after part day at work) and have had a rather difficult day so I don't know if I can muster anything tonight.) I really enjoyed revisiting The Wasteland through the day--I'll certainly keep it in my brain, even if I can't do it. (Or I'll do late, if I can.) Thanks. k.

Other Mary said...

I know I am lttp, but was hoping to do this. I also am having trouble wtih the scrips link.