Last month was the annual Sealey Challenge, a challenge began by the amazing poet Nicole Sealey to read a poetry chapbook or full collection every day for the month of August. I did not, alas, complete the challenge and am behind on both my reading and writing…and cleaning…and laundry, etc., etc..
As part of the challenge, (another) amazing poet Dana Levin posted poems from Inger Christenson’s ALPHABET (translated to English by Susanna Nied). I was first introduced to Christensen’s poetry in the Poetry Lab workshop run by Danielle Mitchell. ALPHABET is one of my all-time favorites.
For the first prompt, ask yourself what if the dreams you had in the night stained your skin the next morning. Describe the colors, the patterns, and images. What faces would tattoo your chest and hands? Would you attempt to cover them up or do as Christensen writes, “dreamers go around openly now / with dreams out on their skin”?
One of the most fascinating aspects of ALPHABET is that it is arranged by the Fibonacci sequence. For the next prompt, write a poem that’s first line is …… (Full diclosure, I got this prompt idea from Poetry Lab)
For the third prompt, write a short poem that juxtaposes the natural, the beautiful, the toxic and the man-made. How do certain objects, or even ideas, blend these different categories? What remains distinct? For inspiration, read the excerpt below:
And, as always, credit the poet for your inspiration and best of luck!