An assignment Lee Ann Brown gives
to her students at Brown University
Take a poem of Helen Adam or Emily Dickinson's, set it and perform it.
Write or rewrite a Ballad
Take a favorite song & transcribe it
Then perform an operation on it
Either 1) Subtraction: Cross out words until you have a much more minimal poem using only words contained in the song. 2) Write new words to it. Think of ironic implications, and/or beautiful variations. 3) N + 7: Look up every noun in the piece and replace it with the 7th Noun down in the dictionary. Sing 4) Semo-definitional song/poem: Replace the nouns in the song with the definition of those nouns. Again, sing.
Write a 1 page poetic piece that is also critically engaged in response to some particular (close reading) aspect of Emily Dickinson and/or Helen Adam. Take My Emily Dickinson as a model.
Try slipping back and forth between clear prose statement or explication, and more improvisatory and 'poetic' language and methods. See, especially, Howe's treatment of "My Life had stood--a Loaded Gun-" (esp. p. 129-134) with her use of associative lists and diagrams. Use any way you can think of to get your response down on paper.
Document URL: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/pomo-exercise.html
Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:28:10 EDT