poetry, death, and humor

It’s good to see another narratist aboard. Welcome Beverly.

A recent assignment in Creative Writing was to write a poem on death. The condition was to make it funny. We are working with lots of conditions. Anyway, the writers are going to have problems with this. Conditions interupt natural development of a line of thought, but they also force the writer to consider technique, to concentrate on an image that may gell later.

A poem on death could begin:

Death smiled.


Death came for me, then changed his mind.

Sounds like Emily Dickinson.


The dead man told jokes


Jim yelled, “Tell my mother to put me in clean socks.”
Then he jumped. Into another century.

That sounds like Soto.

Each line here is a decision.

9 thoughts on “poetry, death, and humor

  1. Beverly

    Thanks for the welcome sign. I like to take advantage of opportunities and hope someone else may benefit in return.

    It looks like the free wheeling impression I got of the class just bounced up and rolled out the window. Its time to make some sense out of all that I have regurgitated onto paper.

    Even though I still regret selling back my Intro to Lit text, I have realized that by you rehashing the elements of poetry in class I am getting a better interpretation and reinforcement to their functions. I’m sure having to appy them to my writing has something to do with how valuable they are too.

    I did pick up a couple jounals from bourders last Tuesday. Out of the slim pickins I was able to decide on one called “Mythosphere” edited in 2000. What interested me was a selection of Diane Fahey’s poems based on fairy tale themes. I also like the idea that the journal focused on image, myth, and symbol. The most recent edition of the “Kenyon Review” is the other journal I chose basically for the range of poetry, fiction, and drama that it entails. But what unconciously evoked my interest to the issue was the photographic image on the cover. Isn’t that how books are sold? Who cares what’s inside!

  2. gibb

    Hi Beverly, and welcome to the group!

    If you were drawn to Fahey’s poems based on fairy tales, you’d like Company of Wolves, a short story by Angela Carter. I went nuts over that one.

  3. Beverly


    Thanks for the welcome. I will have to look into your suggestion of Fahey since I need to brush up on short stories as well.

  4. Beverly


    I meant Carter, which I am having no luck finding. Is this story somewhere on the internet?

  5. gibb

    I look for it online this evening, but haven’t been able to find it so far. If worst comes to worst, I’ll xerox a copy and either leave it somewhere at Tunxis for you or bring it to the meeting if you plan on coming.

    BTW, I’m still reading stories from my Intro to Lit Book! Oh, and check out the links to Story Classics on this site–there’s some of the very best right there.

  6. gibb

    Damn. Wrong Site. Check out Story Classics on the Narratives site. I’m too lazy right now to reproduce the link here, sorry!

  7. Beverly


    Thanks for all the trouble. I plan to really get into some of the sites and some. . . I need to start “feeling” the elements a little better. I’m hoping this storm has some advantages like a magnetic field that will attract knowledge to my brain the same way I can always count on rainy days to yield a successful shopping excursion. I’m at the college Tuesday and Thursday mornings if you happen to have a copy of Carter’s story, but don’t go out of your way. It’s not like I’m experiencing a shortage of reading material.

  8. gibb

    Are you in the Creative Writing Course? I may swing by or can leave a copy with Steve or Neha. It’s a short read, and just totally different than much of what else is out there.

  9. Beverly


    Yes I am in the creative writing class. I would be interested in reading the Carter article, and I thank you for your generosity.

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