Today’s prompt from napowrimo.net:
Describe in great detail your favorite room, place, meal, day, or person. You can do this in paragraph form.
Now cut unnecessary words like articles and determiners (a, the, that) and anything that isn’t really necessary for content; leave mainly nouns, verbs, a few adjectives.
Cut the lines where you see fit and, VOILA! A poem!
I wrote about a magical place. Here’s the version edited as per instructions:
what were windows,
Rivière de Sorgue bubbles
Musée de Petrarque stands stately
tiny secluded valley
the pool where
river is birthed
A hole I could hold in my hands.
the poet still walks.
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Here is this beautiful place, a site of a novel (theoretically in progress, though actually resting, like dough) from our visit in 2011. I dream of returning there to stay and work on this project when the trees are all leafed. The arch is behind the Musee, a modern-ish town is directly behind the limestone wall/cliff. I’m standing on the path to the fontaine (the river source). There is another photo from this walk on the cover of my poetry chapbook 2011.
Here is the first version (I couldn’t do it in a paragraph form, despite myself!) I think it could make a fine poem itself:
Through the arch and back through time
the long-abandoned château des Evêques de Cavaillon, XIV
rocks crumbling from what were windows, vacant eyes looking down to where
The Sorgue bubbles by, twisting this way, then that.
Musée de Petrarque stands stately amid garden and tall stretched poplars.
We walk along the ancient path beneath the limestone cliffs,
This tiny secluded valley, until we reach the pool where the river is birthed
from a hole I could hold in my hands.
You can feel the magic here; the poet still walks at
Fontaine de Vaucluse
Which version do you prefer? The ‘brevity is an art’ version or the ‘extended version’?
I expect WordPress to link to a complete blog post about our visit to Fontaine de Vaucluse below (entitled Magic Fontaine); you may be interested in reading that post, as well.
Teacher moment: Do you know who Francesco Petrarch/Petrarque/Petrarca is? He was the father of humanism. He coined the term “The Dark Ages.” He traveled around Europe rescuing ancient Greek and Roman texts; at his death, he had the largest library in Christendom. He is called ‘the first tourist.’ He was a philosopher and scholar. Most of those things are forgotten. He is best remembered because he invented the sonnet form (specifically The Petrarchan aka Italian sonnet). For 50 years he wrote these 14 lined poems to/about Laure/Laura (deNoves) de Sade, a married woman who died, likely of bubonic plague, in 1348. He met her the first time April 6, 1327 in Avignon at Ste Claire Convent and his adoring sonnets in praise of her remain with us today. They are called Canzoniere. (Somewhere on this blog you’ll find one-#61- that I’ve translated from the Italian, likely also linked below). He was a man who knew he was making contributions to history. He expected to be remembered. I have a little crush on him, as in my Grace Awakening series, the musical young man, Ben, was Petrarch in a past life…)
Really love both, honestly the first one (the condensed one) feels very poetic but I prefer the whole experience 🙂 Nicely penned!
Actually, I myself try limiting the articles– unless it doesn’t sound right to me or I deem it really necessary (e.g. “She is the one.”)
Yes, articles are an easy cut, generally. The poet in my example being important, since it refers to Petrarch.
Oh, by the way, very nice photo.
Thanks. Imagine how pretty it’d be a few weeks further along? I am longing to go back.
both are beautifully written… I like the brevity of the first, like snapshots.. and I love the lingering of scenes in the second…
It’s an interesting exercise, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by, Lori.
As with so much of Europe, Vaucluse is a majestic site, indeed! Where would we be, without Petrarch?
There is something in the air there, for sure (and it might be him…)
fantastic. a wonderful exercise. they both have value. the first is more of an incantation methinkst. beautiful. thank you.
My pleasure, Eric. Thanks for stopping by.