5 March 2009
The random poetry challenge: pick 10 words at random from a dictionary (Close your eyes, open a page at random, and place your index finger on the page. Open your eyes and write down the word closest to your fingertip. Repeat this until you have 10 random words written on your list. No cheating!). Using those words and up to 5 more, write a poem. Then create a postcard to illustrate your poem.
I chose my words from my beloved old (© 1968) honkin’ big (weight 5.7 lbs) Reader’s Digest Encyclopedic Dictionary: magic, receiving line, carol, Syria, insanely, corneous, rent, Cyprus, mouchard, unregenerate. (For rent, I chose the separate into parts with force or violence meaning. Mouchard came from the French-English section near the back. It means stool pigeon.) I wrote the poem first, but here’s the postcard:
Here’s my poem:
Magi carol, carol magically!
From Syria to Cyprus
the corneous mouchard
the receiving line.
Cyprus to Syria.
which shows, if nothing else, that I’m not very good at writing poetry! But it was interesting how all the words managed to come together thematically. Corneous means made of horn or a hornlike substance, but as my luck would have it (when I went googling for corneous pigeons, hoping to find a bird carved from a horn), it also refers to parts of feathers! Also, my unregenerate spy carrier pigeon (standing in for the mouchard) is holding a magic wand with a handle carved from horn (corneous).
I have a book of World War II maps that I got at a thrift store, and this map showing action in Syria also included Cyprus. One of my favorite Christmas carols is We Three Kings, titled Kings of the Orient in the version I printed. Of course they’re also referred to as magi, thus the title. And wasn’t one of them supposed to come from the Middle East, or Turkey maybe? So that fits with the map.
Changes I would have made in retrospect: print the music so it stretched the entire width of the card, put the (classic American wedding) receiving line closer to Cyprus so the pigeon is reaching from Syria to Cyprus, maybe have the music (adhered via packing tape transfer) along the bottom instead of the top. I do love that hand-colored spy pigeon, though. I hope he doesn’t suffer much for his unregenerate ways!