Today was an awesome experience!
I got the opportunity to tell the story of how I came across the book of poetry that we’ve featured in today’s poetry hour, and I got to try my hand at a new style of poetry that I have never tried before.
So let’s get into the meat and potatoes…
Today’s episode is dedicated to my friend Eric Hopkins (ig: @ehop_ehop), who let me borrow his book of poetry after I found myself on an excursion through the streets of Salt Lake City, Sugarhouse to be exact. It was while I was hounding every Little Free Library, hunting for a book of poetry that I found my self at his door.
After our last episode I realized I didn’t have anymore books of poetry to share for poetry hour, and so I went on a hunt after yesterday’s episode. In lieu of the current pandemic, however, there are no bookstores or libraries that are open. I knew yesterday that it was going to be tough to find some poetry.
With that said, I was in the right neighborhood when I came across my friend Eric’s place. My phone being dead, I shouted at his door asking him if he had poetry (like the crazy person that I am). And as luck would have it, he in fact was so generous to let us borrow a book of poems from the legendary 20th century composer John Cage. The book is called Composition in Retrospect, and in it there are a series of mesostic poetry.
I know you’re thinking that is the craziest word you seen.
Well mesostic poetry closely relates to acrostic poetry, and I had the opportunity to write some of mesostic poetry. Not very good, examples. Generally imperfect, to be sure, but I did write the following poem using my friend Eric’s name as the spine for the wings of the poem:
The biggest thing to learn about the mesostic poem is that a spine is necessary and that wings will develop. And you see, these wings cannot have a repetition of the letter used in the spine on the line from which it is found. So if the first letter of the first line that’s used in the spine is B you couldn’t write the word boB, or beacuse there is a duplicate of the letter b.
Cage’s work is truly a difficult masterpiece in that many of his mesostic poems are in fact perfect mesostics. Truthfully, I myself was not able to accomplish making a perfect mesostic, and hat as can be seen from my Instagram post or the one on my Twitter feed:
So I enjoyed making this episode quite a bit it did take a little bit longer than usual to write the poetry overall, but the experience of seeing a master at work and also having the experience to imitate a master (even poorly) was quite an experience.
The big thing out of all this that I wanted to share with you is that you should try to take on one of the mesostics. They are an exercise discipline mixed with inspiration. And right now you will find no greater inspiration for your poetry then the enjoyment you will feel with flowers, as you can see from our Pinterest post.
Thanks for being a part of poetry hour period and we look forward to another episode tomorrow.