Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday Poetry Stretch - One Day Late

I'm late again my friends. I will post the results from last week's stretch shortly. The poems were really lovely.

This week I thought we would take inspiration from Jane Cooper's poem Seventeen Questions About KING KONG. In it, Cooper asks only questions. Here's how it begins.

Seventeen Questions About KING KONG

Is it a myth? And if so, what does it tell us about ourselves?

Is Kong a giant ape, or is he an African, beating his chest like a responsive gong?

Fay Wray lies in the hand of Kong as in the hand of God the Destroyer. She gives the famous scream. Is the final conflict (as Merian C. Cooper maintained) really between man and the forces of nature, or is it a struggle for the soul and body of the white woman?

Read the poem in its entirety. You can also listen to Cooper read it.

So, the challenge is to write a poem on a topic using only questions. Leave me a note about your poem and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. WOW! This is ...quite a poem. Quite a challenge...

  2. Okay, so I was in the mood for horror...

    Officer Morrison's Vampire Poem

    Did you come at dusk, flying in bat's body?
    Or did you smile your way in the door,
    made welcome by the woman whose shining hair
    is now stained with rust? Did you speak
    charmingly to the party guests, telling tales
    of old Romania, perhaps New Amsterdam?
    Or did you cut to the chase, going straight
    for the jugular, sucking the life from the life
    of the party? And what happened
    to the others? (All these spilled drinks,
    broken glasses and splashes of wine everywhere.)
    Are their bodies waiting to fall heavily
    out of coat closets? Or did they simply run
    and run till they were safe at home
    and could pretend they were never here?
    That they didn't leave their hostess
    to deal with you, to take your hand
    and welcome you into her breath,
    to the bright red party of her death?

    --Kate Coombs, 2010, all rights reserved

  3. Wilbur Asks Charlotte Ten Questions

    1. Is interspecies communication
    actually possible—or necessary?

    2. Is the barn our world
    or is the world larger than the barn and yard?

    3. Do you really spin silk out of your body
    or are you slowly unraveling through time?

    4. How did you learn enough human language
    to mount a publicity campaign?

    5. What’s with the rat anyway?

    6. Can food eat food?

    7. Is E. B. white? Gray? Pink? Alternatively pigmented?

    8. Was he truly a Dear Genius?

    9. Did you have to die? Couldn’t you have just rested up for awhile?

    10. Where was Pa going with that axe?

    ©2010 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. From a children's collection in progress called Life at the Aquarium:

    Enteroctopus dofleini

    Could you open a jar with your arms?
    Could you teach me to juggle eight squid?
    Do you name every one of your thousands of eggs?
    Are you jealous of how the nautilus swims?
    Do you know how to speak to the oysters and clams?
    Does the cuttlefish get on your nerves?
    Is your pressurized world claustrophobic sometimes?
    Would you walk on two legs if you could?
    Do you hide when the wolf eels are hunting?
    Do you still hear the ocean's faint echoing sound?
    Are you looking at me as I'm looking at you?
    And what, may I ask, do you see?

    Copyright 2010 by Steven Withrow. All rights reserved.


    Who picked this musical name
    for the part of the fingernail
    that is, in most cases, completely hidden?

    How many more extravagant vocables
    do we miss by not paying attention
    to what is at our fingertips?

    © Diane Mayr, all rights reserved

  7. Are You Afraid?

    Are you afraid of growing up?
    Are you afraid of dying?
    Are you afraid to tell the truth?
    Are you afraid of lying?
    Are you afraid of squeaky mice?
    Are you afraid of inky nights?
    Are you afraid to give a speech?
    Are you afraid of climbing heights?
    Are you afraid of dental tools?
    Are you afraid of haunted places?
    Are you afraid of getting shots?
    Are you afraid of tiny spaces?
    Are you afraid of circus clowns?
    Are you afraid of scaly snakes?
    Are you afraid of lightning strikes?
    Are you afraid to make mistakes?
    Are you afraid to be afraid?
    Why do you let your fears invade?

    © Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
    (The Poem Farm)

  8. Oooh - definitely some great poems up this week! Okay, I will give it a shot:

    Jump Rope Rhyme

    Why go fast? Why go slow?
    Why say you know
    when you just
    Is it really why, or is it why not?
    And who is the how
    and when
    the what?
    Clock doesn't tick? Tick untocked?
    Who will make a key
    for a heart
    Is it you, is it me?
    One potato, two potato,
    we see?
    Do some see a baby? Do some see a hearse?
    Do most see a lady
    with an alligator

  9. Ha. I really like Jane's Question #3, though #8-10 are tied for second.

    And Julie, "Clock doesn't tick? Tick untocked?" is wonderful, especially because it reminds me of old-fashioned magazine/radio ads from the 1930s or 40s.

    Not to mention the lunula, octopuses, and fears...

  10. Finale?
    Where does all the music go after it is played?
    So present in the moment to forever fade away.
    Remembered sounds and feelings held within -
    Could this be gone?
    Once touched, heard, met, encountered
    What becomes of life’s love song?