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.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Wordy Thursday with Wild Woman: Hannah's Boomerang Metaphor Form

Some time back, in 2014, our Toad-friend Hannah Gosselin created an interesting form that I like very much, called the Boomerang Metaphor Form. She began with the "This poem is - " format, and added some intriguing features, in which the first statements are expanded in separate stanzas, and then boomerang around to be repeated  at the end. Here is the premise, as described by Hannah:

Boomerang Metaphors 

* Create three, “This poem is a ____,” statements.

* Support each statement in separate stanzas, (one can choose the length of the supporting stanzas and whether or not to rhyme or employ free verse).

* Restate the statement that’s being supported in the last line of these supporting stanzas, (as mini boomerang metaphor refrains).

* Then name the list of three, “This poem is a _____,” statements again as a boomerang metaphors closing refrain.

Note: One may choose to state the closing refrain slightly morphed but mostly the same. As it seems, words that go out into the world do tend to come back touched – slightly transformed.

* The title encapsulates the three listed elements, “This Poem is a ____, ____ and a _____”

Hannah's brilliant example of her first boomerang poem is sadly not available, as her blog is now private. (I miss her!) So here is my version, to give you a general idea:


This poem is the breath of dawn on a windswept
morning at the edge of the sea.
This poem is a murrelet on the wing.
This poem is a grey whale, spy-hopping.

This poem is misty with early morning fog.
It drapes shawls over the shoulders of
Grandmother Cedar so she won't be chilled.
This poem loves the morning.
It looks to the sky to see all the colours of the day.
This poem is the breath of dawn on a windswept
morning at the edge of the sea.

This poem is a tiny bird who makes her nest
deep in the forest.
This poem must fly great distances,
out to sea and back again,
in order to find sustenance.
This poem sometimes grows tired,
and in need of rest.
Its perch is precarious,
its nesting sites vanishing
along with the old growth.
This poem is sometimes in need of 
rescue and protection.
This poem is a murrelet on the wing.

This poem swooshes up in placid waters,
takes a look around with her wise old eye
and finds that life is good.
This poem is an ancient voice;
she speaks with an old soul.
Then this poem does a series of dives and breaches,
just for the joy of it.
This poem is a grey whale, spy-hopping.

This poem is the breath of dawn, on a windswept
morning at the edge of the sea.
This poem is a murrelet on the wing, heading for home.
This poem is a grey whale, spy-hopping
for the sheer love of living.

                  ***     ***     ***

Well, that is the general gist of it. Smiles. Take a run at it, and feel free to improvise and make it your own. As always, if you don't feel like tackling the whole form, feel free to try another angle. Some people like to simply begin "This poem is -" and proceed from there. 

The main thing is to enjoy the process, whatever you choose to do. Remember, I'm not strict!

Let's see what we come up with.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The Tuesday Platform: Cowardice and Courage

I recently took out of its plastic sheet this poetry collection of the prominent Tamil poet and writer, Perumal Murugan, after buying it sometime last year. And it has been such a blessing to read his words, his thoughts that carry the weight of the political and social deprivations and their impact on individual lives on a daily basis. There is anger in it, there is passion in it, there is courage in it, and yes, there is cowardice too, as a powerful sentiment and socio-political statement.

Names of Days

Names of days
have become ruins of antiquity
We can give them new names
by flinging up new words
from the warehouse of language

Week, month, year
all such calculations too will go obsolete
Even day

We shall name a day Cuckoo’s Call
We shall name a day Scattering of Snow
We shall name a day Stone’s Softening
We shall name a day Mountain Peak
We shall name a day Crescent Moon

Each unlike the other, each unlike the other
So many days

We shall name some days
Devil’s Scream
Fool’s Grunt
Corpse’s Stench
And get past them easily

~ 23 February, 2015

Songs of a Coward: Poems of Exile, Perumal Murugan, translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan, Penguin India

Good day, poets! Welcome to Imaginary Garden With Real Toads. For The Tuesday Platform, share one link to a poem, old or new, that you would want all of us to read for its poetic craftsmanship, personal significance, or all-encompassing humanism, et al. This is Anmol (alias HA) and I wish you a beautiful week ahead, with its many opportunities and experiences, and not to forget, the poetics.