"Seven bums and fourteen legs,
a brazen ecstasy which begs
the question some of us are asking -
is Peter Goulding multi-tasking?"

Martin Parker, Editor, Lighten Up Online

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Standing on the footpath as the Poetry Bus departs

This week's task set by Bill has me beaten I'm afraid.
Take a sentence, remove the second half, think up alternate endings and make a poem out of them.
This is my workings (like maths exams, I'm hoping not very optimistically to gain a bonus point for showing my reasoning)
Sentence - There's a guy works down the chip shop / swears he's Elvis
There's a guy works down the chip shop / who got done for assault and battery / who has no sole / who has a sense of plaice / who can sprinkle me with vinegar any time he likes / who's a little ray of sunshine / who wears a herring aid / who double jobs as our local TD.

Its actually quite a useful exercise because I'm intrigued why I can't do it.

Some theories - I've written about 6,000 words and 2 poems over the last three days and I'm all written out; the phrases don't lend themselves to a rhyming poem; the phrases don't lend themselves to a serious poem in free verse; the phrases point towards a bad fish pun poem and I feel the object of the exercise is to get away from the original sentence.

Whatever. All I can do is point people towards Bill's blog where they can be linked to more imaginative poets than me!


  1. I found it tough as well, not sure but think I have one after several attempts that will hopefully be a poem by the deadline - ie tomorrow. Anyway 6000 words and two poems is pretty super going for 3 days work, busy busy!!

  2. I'm having a tough time as well. I've got some notes on my laptop and few lines I like, but so far, nothing I'd be anxious to post. A sneaky migraine isn't helping. (Or is it perhaps the result?)
    Love that "herring" aid line!


  3. No, I've had a few attempts but I think that the prompt is not good for us rhymers, unless you deliberately choose second halves that rhyme.
    Niamh, you came up with a stunner - I'm envious.
    Kat - hate them sneaky migraines!

  4. And what is wrong with a fish pun poem? I like it...more fish! More fish!

  5. Plus I love rhyming but no way I could do it every poem! It's worth learning to enjoy doing both I think.

  6. it was a hard one to fin'ish alright! Don't f'eel too bad... (sorry.. )

  7. Pete, this is as good as mine! I couldn't do it either, I think because I left myself with the need for a verb in the half-sentence. Have noticed that if you went with an "and" to add onto maybe things flowed more.
    And Rachel's right, more fish pun poems! More fish!

  8. Up with fish! Let's not forget that one in the aquarium.

  9. I think you were onto something there! At the same time, I almost didn't get on the bus this week because I had such difficulty with this one.