Sunday, 5 April 2015

Their Slippers Leaped The Town

After Emily Dickinson

I said: I'm going to stand here
and count 

until you get up and dance.
One two three – 

and they were gone.
Their slippers leaped the town.

I took my pencil out
and scribbled a few notes

on the whole experience
as I often do when I'm lonely.

I wrote: who appointed you
dance captain? and decided

to stop being such a prig,
took off my heels,

sunk each of my ten toes
into the soft blue rug

where they squirmed 
like delighted worms and said:

you'll never get us back 
into those shoes again, sister.

Today's NaPoWriMo prompt: Find an Emily Dickinson poem – preferably one you’ve never previously read – and take out all the dashes and line breaks. Make it just one big block of prose. Now, rebreak the lines. Add words where you want. Take out some words. Make your own poem out of it!  

The poem I chose to work with is Dickinson's 'Snow flakes'. The process resembled a game of Chinese Whispers, with each revision morphing the previous one. Except, in this case, I think quite a bit of the original remains intact. And, of course, I couldn't resist leaving in one dash, as a salute to Emily Dickinson. Here is the original poem:

Snow flakes

I counted till they danced so 
Their slippers leaped the town – 
And then I took a pencil 
To note the rebels down – 
And then they grew so jolly 
I did resign the prig – 
And ten of my once stately toes 
Are marshalled for a jig!

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