Write Imperatively

The man in the high castle
lost paradise
beyond the wall
in the land that time forgot.

In our time,
the journal of the plague year
composed on the tongue
the story of our lives.

We have always lived in the castle.
Go down, Moses, shout at the devil
our residence on earth has been
a season in hell.

This world is taboo
but even so
children of the new world
search the sky
past the reefs of earth.

With the strength to dream
sleepers joining hands
knock upon silence
because it is becoming visible
and voyage to a beginning

Once out of nature and
approaching oblivion,
sleepers awake
to the stars.


Composed for dVerse Poets Pub Meeting the Bar: Finding Poems in Bookshelves

This week for Meeting the Bar, the prompt is book spine poetry. The rules are:

Go through your collection on books, and note the titles.
Sort them so the titles form a poem.
Take a photo of the books.
Write down the poem.

Although the titles provide a good backbone for the poem, we may put some flesh on the bones, so we have the option of writing a second version to which we add our own words to form a fuller poem.

Bjorn writes: As often with found poetry, you will likely be frustrated at first and most likely you will come to the conclusion that though the titles provide a good backbone for the poem, you prefer to put some flesh to the bones. So as an option I give you the possibility to write a second version where you add your own words to form a fuller poem.

I actually like the surreal quality of the agrammatical results, so I only added a couple small transition words and left the rest clunky.

24 thoughts on “Write Imperatively

  1. Glenn A. Buttkus

    Kudos for going with like a dozen titles. I did likewise with my poem, using all the books by Hemingway. I liked “children of the new world searched the sky past the reefs of earth.” what fun.

    1. Jedediah Smith

      Thanks. It’s a fun prompt that makes tings happen outside your control. The lines started making me think of Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush.”

    1. Jedediah Smith

      Oh thank you. As I said above, it started to feel like the taking flight portion of Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush.” Which itself was inspired by Arthur Clarke’s Childhood’s End. Cool things happen when you use the language of giants.

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