Sunday, February 6, 2011

That last post wasn't enough for one day, so I'm adding a bookshelf, too.

Image courtesy Korianne Speaks
I just found out about another really interesting prompt site called Poetry Tow Truck from my poetry pal, Pamela.

(Like the alliteration?)

Anyway, this site, hosted by Donna Vorreyer, provides some truly esoteric writing ideas on Saturdays.  Today, the exercise was to look at a bookshelf, make a list of 6 or 7 books on that shelf - and then write a draft of a poem using the titles in the list.

I wrote my 'draft' in free verse, which is unusual for me since I normally write in (mostly) rhymed poetic form, but I did that way because it was the only way I could figure out how to make it all work.

An Investment in Fine Art

Ogden [g]nashed his teeth.
He stood and glared
at the large,
somber-toned oil painting
which was hanging
on the south wall
in the old, silent drawing room.

The sisters reluctantly
followed him
into the drawing room
in a nervous huddle.
They too stopped
and stared at the painting -
which Betsy, 
the youngest sister,
had just acquired.
It was simply titled,
The Riverside.’

“Shakespeare himself
could have written
a perfect sonnet
about such a masterpiece,”
said Betsy,
in an attempt to explain
her reasons for purchasing
that particular piece of art.

“It was a waste
of precious funds,”
snarled Ogden,
“There’s a reason Father
made me Executor.
No one in America,
much less anywhere else,
would have spent so much
on this trash!”

“Well, I –
yes I, Toto, like it!”
declared Thomasina,
the eldest sister,
whose nickname
(which, by the way, Ogden despised)
was the same 
as a certain famous
Cairn terrier.

“I like it too!”
exclaimed Midgie,
the middle sister.
“Although, to be honest,”
she continued with a sly grin,
“I would have preferred
a signed manga cel
of something like NausicaƤ -
instead of some
priceless piece of
early 17th century art...
like this.”

Midgie, Betsy and Toto
all giggled
as Ogden stormed
out of the room.


The books on my list were:
1.) Ogden Nash, The Life’s Work of America’s Laureate of Light Verse by Douglas M. Parker
2.) The Old Silent by Martha Grimes
3.) The Riverside Shakespeare
4.) The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America
5.) NausicaƤ of the Valley of Wind – Hayao Miyazaki
6.) The Sisters – The Saga of the Mitford Family by Mary S. Lovell
7.) I, Toto – The Autobiography of Terry, The Dog Who Was Toto by Willard Carroll


  1. RJ, definitely a different writing style for you, but most enjoyable. You have an interesting reading list. Nice to see you over at Donna's place:)


  2. How fun I think I am going to go try that right now.

  3. Thanks, Pamela! It was great fun - and all due to your pointing me in the right direction!

  4. I can't wait to see what you do with this, Kristen!

  5. RJ, this is absolutely delightful. A lot of fun. I do appreciate the lead you provided and also the way you incorporated - some of my fave books - into the poem. Well done. Poem on ...

    I like you theme ... cheerful. And so is your charming gravatar.

  6. @Jingle Poetry - yeah, I think so too! ☼