Poems for this week were inspired by either our own names or the name of someone we admire, coming out in acrostic form. There were a great many poems, furthering David's tried and true method, that prompts are the soil that bear the sweetest of fruits.
Pamela Joyce S’s “Strung Out on Poems” won the award for wit—and she will receive a copy of The Best American Poetry 2018 for her effort.
Poetry, mea culpa maxima,
Aligns clay persona with anima.
Mainlining morphemes and vaping verbs, I
Escape the mundane phrase. Vox humana
Lures a lucid line, words raining like manna
Assembling in time. Then … nothing. Nada.
A brevity prize—and a copy of The Best American Poetry 2018—goes to Beth Dufford for “Short for Elizabeth”:
Beets agree with her;
Time is flexible;
Hope is extant.
Angela Ball’s “Acrostic Villanelle for Elizabeth Bishop” may be the most ambitious of the entries, an acrostic and a villanelle, in with true Bishop-like decision:
Elizabeth, your poems transcend loss—you would hate “transcend.”
Let me try again. They naturalize loss—join it to nature.
In Hebrew, your name means “oath of God”—curse or promise, endless.
Zoom of the VW you half-learned to drive, freedom, a patchy memory—
At last we’re getting somewhere—your poems dislike the staid, the mature.
But they do transcend loss, though you would hate “transcend.”
Evenings I spot your Man-Moth on the A train. Vaguely
Trembling, wings mashed by glum commuters, he endures.
Help me understand Elizabeth as “oath of God”—curse and promise, no end.
“Bishop” means “overseer”—the mucho mundo of your famous eye
Imagined life fresh-minted—yet quaint as a rotogravure.
Still, Elizabeth, your poems transcend loss—you would hate “transcend.”
Here I set down your two names, the first, “God’s promise” or “God’s curse.”
Old or almost old, I need the sea as you caught it, art and memory
Perfecting a beach where sandpipers rush on twigs of legs, lagging, insecure.
And you, EB, are no more than art—dubious monument to daylight,
Assortment and assembly—like Cézanne’s mountain—provisional and pure.
Your name means curse or promise, permanently.
Your poems transcend loss, though you would hate “transcend.”
The award for originality goes to Grant Dowling, who includes memorable facts, events, and names, in not this, but other poems, taking advantage of all the uses of research and scholarship that a poet has at his or her fingertips:
G ypsies and ewjies: Grunfeld’s lithiogramic agachés reconstinpated again.
R uffling beans, another, unending. Ten times salted across—that perjurer.
A ctus. Triumphiant tribalisms, scattered triavial trivium. “No Theater in Twenty” pays.
N eo-Vichian mirandous necronometer: Patsy’s inarticulately groaning measurements.
T ithing shoebox challah, calmly Conley “chin-ups” Lowrance contradicted Barbara Johnson
B ut now, Baha Men ask: “Who let the dogs out?” A socritease, that sing, tickled my fanny
A pril 26, 2011 last. Bahamanian blisses blessed his kisses. aAhaha Tinktong.
R ichard (Dick familiarly to familiar’s too familiar familiars) Moran explained meaning.
T ransparent mental states swell swell concomitant avec Vinton Freedley’s backing, parlour de façon.
O’ Ten, damn, well. Eaten Agni. Bob Benson, Bill Wambsganss, medical exigencies
L ong, awoke reality, backward protruding. In other contexts and times I did fine.
O BE 2008: Mary Bennett, Mane Binaj, Meiji Tenno, Star Black, and the Bahamian.
M y duck burned in the heart of a pan. She hated Carmen Miranda.
E dward Taylor, specialized in Donald Richie, only Kenkyuujo imprints, only sconce-a-washiki.
Visit the American Scholar's page to read the entire post! A new prompt comes next Tuesday.