08 April 2010

April Poem A Day Challenge Day 8

I was wondering when we would get to the inanimate object poem.These prompts are always fun to do. Who doesn't love an inside look at something we normally ignore?

From Poetic Asides: For today's prompt, pick a tool, make that the title of your poem, and write your poem. There are the more obvious tools, of course: hammer, screwdriver, wrench, etc. But there also less obvious tools and/or specialized tools available as well. Before attacking this poem, you may want to just think about the various possibilities first. Or just write.

Of course my mind discarded hammers, screwdrivers and wrenches immediately - I would love to revisit the common hammer and see what I could come up with poem wise, but picking the common object and trying to say something new - and bring new vision to readers - was going to take more brainpower than I had to dedicate to the poem today. Yes, even I have to actually work at work at times. No multi-tasking today, so it had to be a straightforward, shoot from the hip sort of poem.

My thoughts turned to the military, and how weapons are merely tools to get the job done. So my poem became "M-16". Neither pro-war, nor anti-war, just a statement of how things are.

I'll leave you with one of my favorite 'tool' poems by a favorite poet. The last line is one that has haunted me since I first read it. So cold, impersonal - so true. Tools do what tools do, there is no changing that. And life goes on.

Out, Out--

by Robert Frost

The buzz-saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside them in her apron
To tell them "Supper." At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy's hand, or seemed to leap—
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
The boy's first outcry was a rueful laugh,
As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man's work, though a child at heart—
He saw all spoiled. "Don't let him cut my hand off—
The doctor, when he comes. Don't let him, sister!"
So. But the hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.


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