Week 5: The Between


I am borrowing a workshop prompt from Dara Wier.

Dara once pointed out that in Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish,” the first and last lines create a sentence:
“I caught a tremendous fish / And I let it go.”

Project Verse Competitors: You must select a setence, and you’re going to split that sentence. Part of the sentence will have to be the first line of your poem and the other part will be the last line of your poem. By the way, you don’t get to create your own sentence. Come on, that would be too easy!

Your options come from Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace:

Option 1:
Thus the private asylum is far beyond his reach at the present.

Option 2:
As soon as he saw her, he knew that this wouldn’t happen.

Option 3:
He approached her with a calm and smiling face, presenting an image of goodwill.

Option 4:
A piece of toast cracks like slate between his teeth.

Option 5:
He already has a name, she sighs reproachfully.

Select your sentence, and write your poem in 40 lines or less.
There are no form constraints.
One person will end up like Bishop’s fish.

Get to writing!

5 responses to “Week 5: The Between

  1. I'm so confused.

    There are still, what, seven poets in the contest? How in the world will we finish on time at this rate? And only one person got cut in the past two weeks?

    My head hurts.

  2. What's 'on time' to poets, after all? I think this competition is a mind control experiment, wherein Dustin gets to watch us all from a Stately Wayne Manor like high tech estate, laughing an evil 'Mwahahaha'-esque laugh as we squirm each week. Meanwhile, Beth & Dana pop into his secret lair from time to time via a portal in the Georgia State U rare book room, to ogle us as we sweat over our laptops each Thursday night; all three sip martinis and chant 'Dance, monkeys, dance!'

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