I’ve missed a bunch of you since dropping out of the Poetry Friday scene earlier this year. After 18 months of posting original poems and making the rounds I felt like I needed to take a break (or give you all a break, depending on how you felt about my poetry!) and refocus my energies on other things. Getting a job after 4 years of unemployment was one of those “other things” and the result was that the writing balance in my life sort of shifted onto a back-burner. I’ve been slowly looking for opportunities to nudge back onto creative turf and this week I stumbled onto something that became a perfect catalyst.
Also, it makes a good poetry challenge for all, and could be the start of something big and new.
Over at Guys Lit Wire there was a re-post of a Neil Gaiman video where he’s proposing everyone give someone they know a scary book for Halloween, a project he’s calling All Hallow’s Read. Neil hardly needs my help getting the word out about anything, but if you want to see what he’s up to (along with a half-dozen people playing zombie in a graveyard over his shoulder) the you’ll want to check this out. But also in the post was a link to someone who had taken Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven” and printed it as a single-sheet self-binding booklet to be given away. It’s a cool idea, but it got me thinking.
What if, instead of a chapbook, all of us poetry advocates decided to give out something a little more manageable, spooky but fun? What about something as bite-sized as those little candy bars that get handed out, I wondered. What if, along with a treat, we tossed into trick-or-treater’s goodie bags…
An original Halloween limerick!
They would fit nicely on those pre-perforated business card sheets that you run through a computer printer, dozens of them would be super cheap, and they’re just the right size for carrying around in a pocket and sharing on the playground the next day! Share with friends! Collect them all! Trade them for valuable candies!
First, it’s short and fits the space nicely. Five lines with an AABBA rhyme scheme that literally sings. The limerick also has great tradition of both nonsense and a twist ending, a character and an undoing or a fatal flaw. Plus a limerick feels most complete as a narrative style, it doesn’t necessarily invite reflection so much as it tells a great little story. In rhyme.
My personal feeling about this is that these Halloween poems is that they be like little birds (or ghoulish ravens, if you will) released into the night and allowed to spark and ignite a correlation between scary and fun and poetry, or any combination thereof. I would certainly expect that if you were to do this that you put your name on it, and maybe a website or email address, though there might be something scary-fun about an anonymous poem magically appearing among the candy. Maybe on the back of the poem you could print up a “Happy Halloween 2012 Trick-or-Treat Poem Day” or something like that along with some scary fun clip art. As long as the fun of the poem wasn’t diluted with a marketing promo, a moral message, or an obnoxious copyright warning that has a word count more than twenty characters or so, I think what it looks like is up to you.
What do you say? Anyone up for this?
I would be jazzed if people posted their poems as comments, and it would be a kick to see photos of the final product. Feel free to share this idea with anyone and everyone, just convince them to drop by and share what they did in the comments.
And now, just to show you what I mean, a trio of newly minted Halloween limericks!
In the rain a young pumpkin named Josh
Rolled down into the lane for a slosh.
His friends back on the vine
Couldn’t warn him in time
As a car came and turned him to squash!
A single dead playboy named Lance
Tried to score at The Afterlife Dance
He came dressed to the nines,
Spouting bad pick-up lines,
But he hadn’t a ghost of a chance!
On All Hallow’s Eve, dark and pale,
The same wretched thing happens to Gail;
She casts spells the whole day
To keep strangers at bay–
Trick-or-treaters show up without fail.
So it’s Poetry Friday, here and there about the internet. A little early, perhaps, but you can go a-trick-or-treating about the offerings over at Live Your Poem where Irene is hosting today.