14 April 2010

April Poem A Day Challenge Day 14

For some reason I couldn't wrap my head around this prompt. I think I dislike the blank word + word = title – write a poem about it formula. I'm not very inspired by that method, despite my previous rumblings about the benefits of restrictions. Or maybe I'm afraid I'll channel the TV program Lost, and start mumbling about how the island isn't done with me yet.

Poetic Asides: For today's prompt, take the phrase "(blank) Island," replace the blank with a word or phrase, make the new phrase the title of your poem, and then, write the poem. You could do a well-known island, such as "Treasure Island," "Ellis Island," or "Total Drama Island." Or you could make up the name of an island. Or you could even have a long drawn out title, such as "You'll never get me on an island" or "If I were on a deserted island."

I thought on this one all day, turning ideas around in my head, and finally carping at the Muse for being no help. In return, I was gifted with this pearl of wisdom from the Muse, who quoted John Donne's Meditation XVII at me.

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

After I sulked and whined a while, (but it's been 'done'! – the muse smacked me upside the head and said get to work - so I did.) I came up with a poem that talks about how in fact, a women can be an island, what brings them to that point, and that while mankind may be interconnected, sometimes womenkind is not. While Donne asserts no one man can exist on his own, cut off from all the rest of society; i.e. there are no human islands, Brewer asserts that some can and do exist on their own, not necessarily by choice, but islanded by fear.

Tolling bells, water metaphors, the engineering of sandcastles. . . just another day at the poetic office. Maybe I didn't hate the prompt as much as I thought.

The best I can tie it into the TV show Lost, and how I felt writing my piece, is with this poem by Donne. (You fellow Losties think of the Black Rock.)

A Burnt Ship
by John Donne

Out of a fired ship, which by no way
But drowning could be rescued from the flame,
Some men leap'd forth, and ever as they came
Near the foes' ships, did by their shot decay;
So all were lost, which in the ship were found,
They in the sea being burnt, they in the burnt ship drown'd.



Kathleen Cassen Mickelson said...

You certainly bested my first thought on this prompt, which was Gilligan's Island.

Constance Brewer said...

Kathleen, LOL, I did think of that - actually, the theme song kept running through my head and distracting me yesterday.