Progress: Yesterday I wrote an incomplete first draft of a poem about a nightmare I’d had the night before, which involved this gigantic hairy spider leaping onto my head and laying her egg sacs in my hair. What I have of the poem is pretty good, I think, for a first draft, but there’s four or five little blank where I need a better image than what I have. I’ll come back to it in May and make it (I hope) brilliant. Today I’m planning to try my version of N+7, in which I replace nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs and only keep the sentence structure, and then use the resulting hot mess with its occasional serendipitous accidents as a springboard to write something that makes sense, on “Elegy for Sol LeWitt” by Ann Lauterbach, which is the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-A-Day poem for today.
Prompt for today: Join me. Pick a poem you like and do an N+7 and then craft something sensible out of it.
Mirrored at joannemerriam.com.
3 thoughts on “My skin grows sticky as a web.”
Could you be more specific about what N+7 means? I think I’ll try that tomorrow (day late, dollar short, etc.).
Traditionally with N+7 you replace every noun in a poem with the noun seven words after it in a dictionary. That can yield some funny results, but is really derivative since everything else remains the same. See here. My version of N+7 is to replace almost everything (and I have word lists instead of a dictionary, so I can do everything on my laptop). So in “I wandered lonely as a cloud,” instead of just replacing cloud, I would replace wandered, lonely and cloud, and I’d get “I whispered lovely as a cobalt.” Which is nonsense of course, but sometimes you get really wonderful images, and then I use those as a springboard to write from. I can email you my word lists if you’d like. Just let me know.
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