It’s Friday once again and time for another paint chip poetry prompt. This week we are in the O section of the poetry dictionary. I was torn between two of the entries, until I actually pulled the paint chips and found one that I could easily apply to one of the two possible entries.
I decided this week we’ll be writing object poems, which John Drury defines as follows:
OBJECT POEM A poem about an inanimate object. It may give us a fresh look at something ordinary, or it may transform a strange object into something familiar.
The term is a translation of the German Dinggedicht, or “thing poem,” and some of the best object poems are by Rainer Maria Rilke, including his “Archaic Torso of Apollo.” Don Bogen has written object poems such as “Card Catalog,” “Salver,” “Necklace,” “Among Appliances,” and “Bullhorn” (which he calls “A gun / for the mouth”). Charles Simic’s “Fork,” which appears on the next page [but is not included in this prompt], has two companion poems, “Knife” and “The Spoon.”the poetry dictionary, pg. 193
My challenge to you is to pick one of the paint chips below and write an object poem about it. If you are feeling ambitious, write a series of object poems, one about each of the paint chip words and phrases. If you are feeling rebellious, you can write an object poem about some other object but incorporate one or more of the paint chip words and phrases in your poem.
An aside: The other day, my husband and I were at Wilco looking for plants to add to the garden. I caught sight of the paint section and wandered over to see if actual paint chips had some good words that I could add to the mix. The first few I looked at were kind of boring. I may give it another look sometime, but for now, I’m still using the paint chip poetry deck on our second time through.
The paint chip words and phrases we have to work with this week are cotton, nest, emerald, wonderful wisteria, Boundary Waters, hermit crab, and swamp.
I’ve decided to write two separate object poems about two of the paint chip words, though I think I may weave one of the other words into one of the poems.
In Black and White Ink and charcoal swirl seemingly haphazardly on white paper until an image emerges of a rough weaved robin's nest no eggs no tufts of cotton to soften the hatching should eggs ever be laid in this drawing on my living room wall
Birthday Ring Tiny emeralds encircle a single creamy pearl Perfection after days of scouring ring case after ring case in every Hana Hwy boutique in Paia in every Whalers Village store in Ka'anapali in every Front St. shop in Lahaina finding nothing I liked nothing suitable for the occasion. Until there it gleamed the right price the perfect size the tiny emeralds a splendid green the pearl robustly round a proper present for a birthday in paradise
Now it’s your turn to write one or more object poems inspired by the paint chips of the day. I do hope they all get used some how, some way, by someone. You can share your object poem in the comments. Or, if you prefer, post it on your blog or website and drop a link in the comments. Remember to invite your friends, both readers and writers, over to join the fun.