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Monday, December 31, 2012

Trick Poetry

In First Loves, Margaret Atwood describes this "trick" poem ("I Saw a Peacock" by an anonymous British poet) as "the first poem I can remember that opened up the possibility of poetry for me." The trick is the two ways it can be understood; read a line at a time, or read from the middle of one line to the middle of the next. The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes notes that it appears in a commonplace book dated to around 1665; it seems to have been first published in the Westminster-Drollery in 1671.

I Saw a Peacock, with a fiery tail,
    I saw a Blazing Comet, drop down hail,
    I saw a Cloud, with Ivy circled round,
    I saw a sturdy Oak, creep on the ground,
    I saw a Pismire, swallow up a Whale,
    I saw a raging Sea, brim full of Ale,
    I saw a Venice Glass, full fifteen feet deep,
    I saw a well, full of men's tears that weep,
    I saw red eyes, all of a flaming fire,
    I saw a House, as big as the Moon and higher,
    I saw the Sun, even in the midst of night,
    I saw the man, that saw this wondrous sight.

Write a "trick" poem using this technique.  
Each line must be able to be read separately, as well as from the middle of one line to the middle of the next.
Note: I made a simple template simply dividing your line in two parts.
Its advantage is simply that you can see separate parts and visualize how with will combine.

Note: in this poem . . each half is a complete rhyming poem,
each line can be read either way with the lines in the other column on the same line,or on the line above or below it, with rhyme in at lease one sequence.

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