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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Let's Dance

Are you ready to collaborate again?

After serious consideration of number of collaborative forms, I’ve decided that it would be fun to try a collaborative nested meditation. Easy to explain (Geoff already has), and I think that the shift of voice in each stanza will add breadth to the poem at the same time that each additional line adds depth.

To review:

  • The poem starts with a single line stanza that is a complete sentence. (I’ll provide the first stanza.)
  • Each successive stanza repeats the previous stanza and adds one more line that changes the meaning. Every stanza must be a complete sentence or multiple sentences.
  • The words from previous lines cannot be changed. The word order of previous lines cannot be changed. No exceptions.
  • Capitalization and punctuation of previous lines can be changed.

Each collaborator will add a complete additional stanza. You may add as many stanzas to the poem as you like, but please do not add two successive stanzas.

There’s no limit to the final length of the poem. I’ll declare the poem complete if there’s been no activity for one month.

As we did with the sestina, please cut and past the entire poem into your comment whenever you add a stanza.

I personally don’t care about subject matter. Meditate or not as you see fit.

OK. I’ll steal a line from David Bowie (no, not from Miley Cyrus) to get us started:

Let’s dance.

10 comments:

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

In the confusion of other things, I missed this one...

Let's dance
without thinking.

J.E. Stanley said...

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

pottygok said...

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Shelley Chernin said...

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

J.E. Stanley said...

Lines 4 & 5 are amazing. I'd printed out the first four lines to see if I could come up with a fifth line. I'm VERY glad that I didn't get to it!

pottygok said...

Oooh, Shelly! Nice turn!

Shelley Chernin said...

I enjoy the way in which collaboration forces me to move in different directions than I would on my own.

Before I posted this collaboration, I wrote a nested meditation to try out the form. It's a very different thing to be able to pre-plan for subsequent stanzas or to have the luxury of going back to rewrite a line in order to make a later shift possible.

Here, I feel like I have to find the flow of an unfamiliar river, fed by a bunch of little creeks upstream from where I jumped in. It's a wild, unpredictable ride. Thanks to everyone who is contributing.

Shelley Chernin said...

Fair warning.........When I started "Let's Dance," I said that I'd declare the poem complete if there was no activity for one month. It's nearly one month since I added the last stanza.

I'll give you one more week, until Tuesday, Dec. 22, to make additions to this collaboration.

I believe this poem still has more life left in it.

Again, here's where the poem now stands:

Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

Geoffrey A. Landis said...

I'm not sure I don't like it as it is. Another line would need to add a new direction, and I'm not sure it needs it.

I have a proposal; shall we start a new stanza?


Let’s dance.

Let’s dance
without thinking.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past,
the bitter taste of ashes.

Let’s dance
without thinking
about the past.
The bitter taste of ashes
would smother our burning tango.

Let's fly.

Shelley Chernin said...

I love it!

Cited...

The poet doesn't invent. He listens. ~Jean Cocteau