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Thursday, December 15, 2005

To An Unknown

“I ...went and sat with the sellers of strange gods, who by reason of their craft are abominated. When I told them what I had done, each of them gave me a god and prayed me to leave them.”
-Oscar Wilde, "The Fisherman and His Soul" from _Complete Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde_

One god was small and round, his metal back cool against my fingers. Another was wrapped in fur and had to be slung on my hip. The third god was blown from glass and laid on my cheek by a woman wrapped in white. This woman, covered in white, flicked her eyelashes and looked into my face. Just when I thought I could hold no more, another god rested in my arms, placed there by a hand so large I thought I saw trees. This hand laid on me a flat god which could only be worn, not carried, an expansive god threaded by lumber fingers. This god clung to me from head to toe, and wrapped my waist in creases. From that place I went out, each of my gods adorning my body. Careful not to disturb them, I went out, peering through the gauze of my last god.

Okay, so Dwayne said I need to put an explanation to this post.;-) Said it's a little too cryptic. A few months ago I thought I was writing a series of prose poems, but I wasn't. I finally learned what a prose poem was this last week in residency. I learned that some of the defining characteristics of a prose poem are:
1) The sentence works as a unit rather than the line. Therefore, no line breaks or stanzas.
2) The writing is muscular and adheres to the same poetic devices as poetry.
3) Usually begins from an absurd premise.
4) Is metaphor.


Blogger Annie Wright said...

You have always been good at creating images with words, but I think Dwayne was right...I needed a little more explanation. (*Sheesh* I can't believe that comes from one artist to another.) Clarification on what was being done was good. What does it mean for writing to be muscular? Just curoius...

11:38 AM  
Blogger Annie Wright said...

oops...I meant just *curious*.

Hehehe...dang lack of spell check!

11:40 AM  
Blogger Christin said...

It means the the language is tight. That you don't have lazy words that don't accomplish more than one purpose at a time.

12:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here were my guesses:

friends (cell phone -- little round god with a metal back)
money (purse -- made of fur a slung over the shoulder)

love the imagery for the third god but it beats me . . .

anyway, if the purpose is to evoke a feeling a provoke thought, the poem definitely puts me in a certain frame of mind


6:42 PM  
Blogger Christin said...

Dad, it's neat to hear your guesses. You know I wasn't thinking of specific anaolgies, only trying to capture the scene I saw playing in my head.
The scene was born from a gut reaction to the Oscar Wilde quote, and the title is important to the poem, "To An Unknown."
I guess the images that are important to me in this poem, revolve around this man getting ready to set out on a journey, but before leaving he is overwhelmed by the merchants who load him up with gods.
Why are they giving him these gods? Why is this man going on this journey? What will he find in the end?
These are the questions that surfaced for me as I wrote this poem.
What do you think?

1:08 PM  
Blogger Eric Nentrup said...

Calling Christin!

Hey! Remember me??? So sorry to use your comments as an email, but I couldn't quickly locate your email address and was short on time.

Write me up when you get a chance--I'd love to connect!!!


Eric Nentrup

11:58 AM  
Blogger Christin said...

Eric, How could I forget you!?;-)
Thanks so much for getting in touch. Look out there's an e-mail coming your way...

12:49 PM  

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