Sunday, April 07, 2019

NPM: Day 7 (My Line of the Progressive Poem)

Here is The Progressive Poem thus far…

Endless summer; I can see for miles…
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles
No time for school- just time to play
we swim the laughin’ sea each and every day
You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today

Found Lines:
L1 The Who, ‘I Can See for Miles’ / The Beach Boys, ‘Endless Summer’
L2 The Beach Boys, ‘Fun, Fun, Fun’ / Dean Martin, ‘When You’re Smiling’
L3 The Jamies, ‘Summertime, Summertime’
L4 The Doors ‘Summer’s Almost Gone’/ Led Zeppelin ‘Good Times, Bad Times’
L5 Ray Bradbury, Dandelion Wine “You had only to rise, lean from your window,”
L6 Joni Mitchell, “Chelsea Morning”

Like every year, writing my line for the Progressive Poem has made me reflect on how I normally go about writing.  It's all up to me: mine is the only voice that's heard, unless I choose to write in another's voice, and even then, it's my choice, nobody else's. As always, I feel disoriented as I look at what I have to work with; there are already six other voices involved, and before we're done, thirty people will add to this poem. Thinking about all those voices made me imagine the other writers, across the US and the world, writing. In my case it always includes giggly discussions with my children. My son suggested an Ice Cube line: "Today I didn't even have to use my AK." (Note to gentle readers, children and children's poets in particular: don't Google the rest of that song.)

All of the participants in this Progressive Poem come from different backgrounds; we all imagine different scenes out that mythic window of a childhood summer. That "portrait of today" could be anything at this point in the poem; the only specific we have of the landscape is that there's a "laughin' sea." My problems (again, the same ones I have every year): I have no picture in my head of what is going on here, no idea of who the persona of the poem is, a strong desire to inject some action, a need to respect the rhyme scheme and structure, but not much sense of what they are. Oh, and it's supposed to be a found line. I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to do all of that. In fact, I know I can't.

I knew early on I wanted to find my line from Paul Simon, since he's the one I love ("You're the one," yes, you, Paul Simon, "you broke my heart, you made me cry...") who's the same vintage as most of what my predecessors picked, so I've written it from two of his songs, though one of them is from much later. I really wanted to know what was outside that window, that portrait of today, and what makes up portraits except colors? So here goes:

Endless summer; I can see for miles…
Fun, fun, fun – and the whole world smiles
No time for school- just time to play
we swim the laughin’ sea each and every day
You had only to rise, lean from your window,
the curtain opens on a portrait of today:
Kodachrome greens, dazzling blue

Found Line:
 L7 Paul Simon, "Kodachrome," "Dazzling Blue"

As usual, a whole lot of fuss and bother about a line that ends up being four words.

Tomorrow's line is from Mary Lee, and you can read it here.

2 Kat @ Kathryn Apel
4 Jone @ DeoWriter
5 Linda @ TeacherDance
6 Tara @ Going to Walden
8 Mary Lee @ A Year of Reading
9 Rebecca @ Rebecca Herzog
10 Janet F. @ Live Your Poem
12 Margaret @ Reflections on the Teche
13 Doraine @ Dori Reads
17 Amy @ The Poem Farm
18 Linda @ A Word Edgewise
20 Buffy @ Buffy's Blog
21 Michelle @ Michelle Kogan
22 Catherine @ Reading to the Core
25 Jan @ Bookseedstudio
26 Linda @ Write Time
27 Sheila @ Sheila Renfro
29 Irene @ Live Your Poem
30 Donna @ Mainely Write


Irene Latham said...

BEAUTIFUL! I love this line!! Well done, Ruth. You did it! xo

Linda B said...

I really enjoyed your intro, Ruth, true that each of us holds a unique portrait of summer, and now you bring in Paul Simon, your own favorite. Adding colors makes reality come closer! Wonderful line!

Mary Lee said...

Oof. This is gonna be hard...for all the reasons you listed and the fact that I'm a prairie girl, not a beach girl. Thanks for the colors. I'll see if I can find some action. ;-)

Jone said...

I love reading your selection process. It’s fascinating as to how we come to the lines we give. I was so glad that Kimberly posted early enough that I had time for thinking.
Paul Simon is another from the sound track of my teens. Simon and Garfunkel were probably the first concert I saw at the Hollywood Bowl as a Girl Scout.
I love those four words. Perfect choice.

Amy LV said...

"What makes up portraits except colors?" What a cool idea to take two color names from two favorite songs. I am just checking in weekly on the progress, so it was fun to see what has been happening! My husband and I had the chance to hear Paul Simon and Billy Collins talk about their process a few years ago - what a gift. Happy continued Poetry Month! xx

Penny Parker Klostermann said...

Paul Simon...yes!!! Nice work and great explanation of the challenges when participating in the Progressive Poem. It's interesting how we fret over one line and even though it's challenging to come up with a line we feel is fitting, it's a whole lot of fun!

Margaret Simon said...

Paul Simon is one of my favorites, too. Love the word Kodachrome. We can see the color. Now where else will we go before Friday when it's my turn!

Carol Varsalona said...

The curtains were opened and there in front of our eyes we see a vivid array of colors, Ruth. Four words, 2 songs, and a lot of inspiration went into your short line that leads us to What? I can't wait to hear the next line. You can now sit back and rest while the rest of the writers go through a similar questioning process. Thank you, Ruth.

Matt Forrest Esenwine said...

I love what you did, Ruth - using these two songs was a creative way to find intriguing visuals for our poem!

Robyn Hood Black said...

Love this injection of color, Ruth - and love me some Paul Simon! Thanks for a great (dazzling) contribution. :0)

Ramona said...

Incredible addition and thanks for the links to the music videos!

Ramona said...

What a treat to read your words and listen to the songs. It definitely adds to the fun to have the links that connect the found words to the songs.

jan godown annino said...

Hi dear Ruth - You have channeled my exact colors of spring view as I write this - the green of wild grape vine leaves, the blue of our dazzled North Florida sky. Appreciations for the colorful view of your neurons i poem line creation mode, I loved every picture you brought us to on the path. And always, a hug for Mr. Simon, always.

Happy 2019 Progressive Poem & Happy April 2019 National Poetry Month!