Thursday, September 26, 2013

Shakespeare Made Blank Verse Look Easy

When we were learning how to do "blank verse" in my college poetry course, I'm pretty sure that my instructor explained it to me wrong. Basically what I came up with for the assignment was a descriptive list, something that a police officer might jot down at the scene of a crime or record with those little recorders that they carry with them sometimes. Anyway, this is what came of the assignment: 

(c) A.F. c.2009

The Body

Hands bound, tied tight with plastic wire.
Nails broken, rough, down to the cuticles.
Arms sliced by branches whacked against the skin.
White nightgown stained with dirt and blood and tear,
Torn open to reveal milky-white flesh.
Legs bruised and smudged with mud and leaves and grass.
Feet cut deep by the sharp rocks and thorny twigs.
Two purple thumb prints on an ivory throat.
Lips chapped, a blanched white like old egg shells.
Eyes, a vivid pink and bloodshot, staring
Wide open with a filmy gaze of fear.
Cheeks like a waxy, ashen mannequin's. 
Dumped careless in a ditch off route sixteen. 
Her body torn and beaten violently,
Waiting to be found from a milk carton. 

(c) A.F. c.2009

Later on, the teacher made me re-write the "blank verse" poem, so the following is just a different version of what you just read.

The Body (Version II)

I walked along the forest green, where there
Behold a body lain; shrouded in moss
And thick inlaid with worms who feast on flesh.
And dirt beneath the broken nails, worn down
By scratching. Hands of death that stole away
This once ripe girl, whose pale white skin was sliced
By vicious branches through the wood. Her white
Night gown is stained with dirt, with blood, with tears.
Her limbs, purple and blue, caked thick with mud.
Her feet cut, bleeding, from sharp rocks and twigs.
Her lips no longer cry for help, they're chapped
A blanched white, as are her waxy cheeks
Which contrast sharply violet, oval marks
Upon the base around her ivory throat. 
Her eyes stare up at nothing, vivid pink.
Her eyes so wide display a gaze of fear.
She's torn and beaten, dumped with no concern.
A smiling photo taken in the sun
Is shown upon the backs of milk cartons.
Beneath the picture, one word bold: MISSING. 

(c) A.F. c.2009 

No comments:

Post a Comment