22 October 2004

Carol Peters

A friend suggested this exercise: Take the last word in each line of a poem and make each line of your poem begin with that borrowed word. My friend claimed that the new poem tended to take on the flavor of the old poem. Although I did not read the source poem I chose before writing my own, my friend's prediction turned out to be true.

I chose for a source poem "Growing Up" by Eavon Boland from An Origin Like Water:

Growing Up

mooning over not knowing what it might mean to be a woman
hair limp across one eye lest I see clearly
hopes for passion with dark-haired acned youths
fully anticipating a body I seem to have been promised
fantasy breasts
girls in my classes who have them
view of the boys who watch them
anemic after bleeding
out of P.E. with an excuse
womanhood so far nothing like the promise—I
knew somehow it wouldn’t happen
bonneted and tormented a cat out of spite
child in my heart
hope altered by perspective
all girlishness, vampishness, femaleness denied
memory and persistence of androgyny

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