Inspiration Squared

A friend of mine, a poetess and professor of the arts shared a link to a website with 66 Experiments for writers. As I perused the list, one of them inspired me to give it a try. The instructions were:

4. Acrostic chance: Pick a book at random and use title as acrostic key phrase. For each letter of key phrase go to page number in book that corresponds (a=1, z=26) and copy as first line of poem from the first word that begins with that letter to end of line or sentence. Continue through all key letters, leaving stanza breaks to mark each new key word. (Cf.: Jackson Mac Low’s Stanzas for Iris Lezak.) Variations include using author’s name as code for reading through her or his work, using your own or friend’s name, picking different kinds of books for this process, devising alternative acrostic procedures.

The book I’ve been reading these days is “Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch” by Henry Miller. I loved the result. Here it is.


Built for herself
Into a dozen families
Gay in plummage, their beaks were hard and cruel

Simple life
Upon the old homestead
Reason of their thouroughgoing nonconformity

A much needed vacation
Never decide if he is a curse or a blessing
Day when the blue of the sea rivals the blue of the sky

Think of what would have happened had I been left entirely to my own resources!
Here, the redwood made its last stand
Emerald isle

Or nothing to one who is an artist
Recognized artists
A resident of California
Need of harmonious surroundings
Gold-crested hills, the marble-topped peaks
Enough to take a sunbath
So often people dream of an ideal life

Otherness made him an artist
Forbidding to the man of the pavements

Herself in the mirror of eternity
I encountered eleven years ago
Either direction
Replicas in this vast country
Ordinary fellow, he will throw everything to the winds
Nature is inviting
Yet nothing is taught or preached here
Merry-making colonies
Upon mountains of pure gold
Souls scattered over several hundred square miles

Been living on the ridge
Of a great artist
Subtlety such as I never ceased to marvel at
Call it an initiation
He rides beneath the stars

About audreyryan

semi-pro rogue theatre critic
This entry was posted in poetry, writing technique and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

If you have something to say ... say it!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s