Monday, January 21, 2008


Okay, I tried Tom's prompt at

I MET a grad student from the university
Who said: there is a house on Heidelberg draped in tires,
And piping and an old doll with blinking lids, faded red lips,
And limp yellow locks dangling over one eye.
Despite the grime and cold she is smiling, almost pretty.
It’s clear in better days she was a pampered child’s companion.
There are rusted wind chimes and holey shoes dangling like
New Year Eve's streamers. And the whole spectacle says:
“I am your orphan, abandoned, take in my beauty,
You silly visionaries, don’t despair!”
What remains: crusty dreams, wind tossed and naked,
A lone maiden with arms outstretched to welcome.


paisley said...

oh susan,, that was amazing... i couldn't even begin to tell you how wonderful that was.. i was so afraid of this prompt,, not because i don't change up my form or style,, i guess i just didn't understand it... but you did a remarkable job with this... just remarkable!!!!!

susan said...

paisley, I'm not sure I understood it.I combined a work/image I knew with the lines that mimicked the poem shared. I am encouraged that you like it. Thank you.

paisley said...

i just want to let you know the feed on this blog is not working,,, try signing up for feedburner,,, i use it and never have a problem... i am on my way over to the last piaster (sp) and see if the feed is hooked up over there.....

susan said...

paisely, I have looked and thought I selected the options for feeds, but it's not working. I don't know why.

Dick said...

It's the control of language that is so effective here. The poem unfolds its tale almost entirely without the use of imagery. The reader's interest is sustained by narrative alone. A fine piece.

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent narrative and well created atmosphere too

Anonymous said...

A very original take on Shelley's poem, Susan. You certainly update his Egyptian motif by bringing us into an urban setting.

pia said...

Wow Susan--you might not understand it but I completely relate. You have no idea how much :)

Love it. You keep getting better

...deb said...


And do tell of the inspiration; I'm *very* interested.

I love how the introduction is nearly forgotten by the end of the poem. Intriguing.

pepektheassassin said...

Terrific work with the prompt!

susan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
susan said...

Hi Deb,

The inspiration is twofold: The Heidelberg project was created by urban artist, Tyree Guyton. His work was pretty controversial and drew major national attention in the 90's. Additionally,in one of my favorite anthologies, The Abandoned Automobile: A collection of Detroit City poetry 2000, poet,Leslie Reese, has a superior piece entitled, "I Love You (The Heidelberg Project.)" I've recited the Reese piece more than a few times. I haven't memorized it, but I know it if that makes sense.

...deb said...

Great intersecting ideas. I *love* that. Them.

We're wanting to add a "What's Your Favorite Poetry Book, This Week?" or something like that to RWP. Your inspiration - and I bet you have more - would be a great addition.

Now to do it...

Becca said...

This is amazing, Susan. I don't know what the "prompt" was, but it doesn't matter because this is a fine poem that stands alone.

And I wonderered if you were thinking of the Tyree Guyton project - I know that's what came to my mind.

There are so many strong lines here, and it evokes a sense of pathos but also of strength.


I'll probably be back to read this one a few times.

susan said...

Thank you all,

Pia, clarification: I was unsure if I were following the instructions for the exercise, but writing what I knew only took pulling from collected experiences and images. I love Reese's poem. We, writers are always filing away images, sounds, words, phrases if only in our heads. The whole controversy and significance of the project didn't hit me till long after the dust had settled.


Figures you'd know the project. If you're ever in Michigan again, we need to have coffee.


Say I have shelves of books. If you haven't looked, my virtual shelf help has several titles.

SB said...

After reading Dick's comment, I had to go back and read the poem again, because I had such clear images in my head -- but he's quite right. You've painted a picture with very few images, indeed.

Even knowing nothing of 'the project', there is something about "there is a house on Heidelberg" -- its specificity, I think. And the sound, of course.

I enjoyed reading this very much.

Yes, twice. Three times.