For VN’s birthday this year, I thought I would try a new poetic form created by Terrance Hayes called a shovel poem. The idea is to take a line from another poet’s poem and use each word as successive end words to each line of a new poem, so you can read the original line by reading down the right margin. My poem borrows a line from John Shade which, alas, might be more appropriate to a death day poem.
By lamplight of a febrile dream, ISaw the house in Ithaca where we livedIn fifty-seven. We sat out onThe unmown lawn at night. Moths flewBetween white moons of dandelions. And onYour blouse you pinned a firefly and inYour hair a dark Vanessa closed theBook of its wings. Darling, your eyes reflectedFor an instant my face, then nothing, nothing but sky.
Enchantés (French VN Society)
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