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wallyroo92
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Variations on the Word Love

Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Poetry Contest

Classic Corner Tribute: Margaret Atwood

Co-Hosts - Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze

Welcome back to the Classic Corner Competitions, Part XXXIX, in an ongoing series introducing serious writers of DUP to the most well-known classical and modern poets.  

Margaret Atwood was born in 1939 in Ottawa, Ontario. She earned a BA from Victoria College, University of Toronto, and an MA from Harvard.

She is the author of over fifteen books of poetry, including Dearly (Ecco, 2020), The Door (Houghton Mifflin 2007); Eating Fire: Selected Poems, 1965-1995 (Virago Press Limited, 1998); and Morning in the Burned House (Houghton Mifflin, 1995), which was a co-winner of the Trillium Award.

Among her novels are The Testaments (Nan A. Talese, 2019), winner of the Booker Prize; The Blind Assassin (Doubleday, 2000), which won the Booker Prize and the Dashiell Hammett Prize; and The Handmaid's Tale (Houghton Mifflin, 1985), winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award and the Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Also the author of short story collections, children's books, and nonfiction, Atwood's work has been translated into many languages and published in more than twenty-five countries. Among her numerous honors and awards are a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Molson Award, the Ida Nudel Humanitarian Award, and a Canada Short Fiction Award. In 1986 Ms Magazine named her Woman of the Year.

Atwood has served as a Writer-In-Residence and a lecturer at many colleges and universities. She lives in Toronto.


More information regarding Atwood: https://poets.org/poet/margaret-atwood

Guidelines  

Write a new poem honoring Atwood inspired by any one or more of her poems.

Do your best to make us feel as though we are reading poems by Atwood. The more we feel you "capturing her essence" in "your own words" , the higher you will score. This will involve choice of wording, delivery, subject material, formatting, target audience - a wide range of factors.    

The Rules  

1.  Two entries per DUP persona.    

2. No erotica; this is open to all ages and can't be viewed with an ECW ( Extreme Content Warning ).    

3. No exact word limit; however, attempt to keep it no more than 250 - 300 ( unless the poem you're emulating is longer ).    

4. Any form is acceptable ( but studying the poet is advised ).    

5. Hashtag #MargaretAtwood; the page will automatically generate as soon as eight entrants hashtag the theme.  Do NOT copy/paste your poem to the competition, it must be linked to your page with the below information.

6. In your poem's notes, provide links to the poem by Atwood that inspired yours. Without this, we have no way of determining if you were truly inspired by Atwood or simply swapped fresh words into her existing poetry, which is a form of plagiarism.

Comp will be judged by Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze. As in the past and in the event there is a tie, we will call in third ( and possibly fourth ) judge.

LASTLY**** ALL NON-ELIGIBLE ENTRIES WILL BE REMOVED. This is not a competition to deliberately ignore guidelines so as to advertise your work.

You have one month; best of luck to all entrants!

Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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For Physicists

( After Margaret Atwood )

Before the embryo
that multicellular organism
something cracked—
the egg, wafting
as cottonwood
suspended
within
a deeply folded
mucosal surface.

A precursor of cells
differentiating themselves
into angioblasts,
giving rise
to a formation;
roadmaps of vessels
and stem cells
segregating
into elements.

One ellele
from each parent
contains every ancestor's DNA
before us; conjoined
manufactures
its own blood and cells
to evolve—
survive.

Blood is the Breath
that bellows life
into human form,
an archaeological archive
continuing its course
through hollow bones,
until whitewashed
earthen fossils

burying another lifetime
in our Akashic records.
~
Written by Ahavati
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Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 11140

Just a  reminder that this comp is a Margaret Atwood tribute competition; therefore, any entry that doesn't qualify per the guidelines will be removed if not edited. Thank you.

slipalong
slipalong
Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Joined 1st Jan 2018
Forum Posts: 643

Twit-twoo Twit-twoo

A screech that penetrates and splits
a head that spins
the eyes like beads
as grief will come from the darkening depth

 Beat its wings
 flap around, not softly
invading, with a noiseless draught

With its ever, yellow haunting eyes
as on its perch, so deftly launch
bears down upon its prey

Bright day, be dark as down it swoops
"twit twoo" "twit twoo" a chorus bleak.
It comes for me and you, and you.
Its talon's clutch and not release
and do not think, that you can hide

For each of us, our camouflage, will be exposed.
For it is hungry chicks, with open mouths
brown feathered flecked, its shadows overcast

Its appetite cant be appeased,
rotten as the grave it's weathering headstone
writes short words in fear.

 Drying essence of regard. we still hold dear
 dew of morning. we cant postpone,
soul's sentinel, its nightly flight
the ache without repair

That ghost, cold shivering of loss
clutch of unhatched eggs, that hold regrets
the aeronaut, that always spots
so vulnerable we are hidden behind false circumspect
a dying star in my cosmos


Written by slipalong
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JohnnyBlaze
JohnnyBlaze
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
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Cricket Song

  
Is this really necessary?
I am constantly asking  
   
There are no critics with answers  
cryptic or straighforward  
only crickets chirping  
---they are just as unhelpful  
   
Sun settles to earth  
long after my cement crusted  
little, red wheelbarrow  
with a recently flattened tire  
came to an abrupt halt;    
   
a contraption quite useless    
in its downtime on a good day  
except for collection of rain  
and shade offering to chickens  
---lack of multifunctionality  
on full display as if it was  
the perfect minimalist poem  
   
I know I already asked this, but  
Is this really necessary?  
in the hopes of reply from something  
other than Mary's busy little builders  
   
So much of our lives consumed    
with acquiring this and that thing  
to accomplish that and this task  
---all of which excelling in irrelevance  
if you were to fast forward  
the Betamax recording of Life  
to the end result  
   
Regardless of my energy expended  
shuffling mortar across yard  
for binding a fireplace's brickwork  
the house I am currently building  
already exists in finished form  
for generations to come;  
   
enjoying its warmth in winter  
after trudging paper-sacked foods  
through snow from the market  
strangers who didn't have to lift a finger  
in the construction of it other than  
writing a check  
   
 
Written by JohnnyBlaze
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Non-entry entry

Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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Inserting a quick thank you here to the moderators who have removed non-eligible entries. Please make certain you read the guidelines before entering. Titles can often be misleading. In this case, it's the title of a Margaret Atwood poem ( as is customary in the Classic Corner Comps ), NOT the topic for the competition. Thank you.

MaryWalker
MaryWalker
Fire of Insight
United States
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Joined 20th Mar 2015
Forum Posts: 222

Swan Song

 
These days, everywhere you look
on billboards, television, Facebook:      
adverts for invaluable beauty products    
     
POND’S® Rejuveness      
and other anti wrinkle creams      
guaranteed to torpedo ugly      
ducklings right out of the water!    
     
Synonymous with flawless skin    
age is the nemesis of youth      
---its agents madly storming beaches    
marching their jackbooted crows feet    
around as many closed eyelids    
as there are heads in the sand    
and asses held up in high esteem    
      
If only this film
was just a Technicolor dream . . .    
     
because in 4K Ultra High Definition    
not even us Hollywood starlets    
can hide our hairy      
moled and freckled faces    
from scrutiny surrounding      
the skin's mutiny    
     
What was wrong with      
Polaroids and VHS tapes    
you sadistic fucks?    
     
Now more exposed than ever    
the secret of what we really look like    
is out and laid bare
in a red carpet affair    
Unfair!
     
Alright, Mr. DeMille,    
I'm ready for my close-up
   
     
Best to avert your eyes!      
Turn back now while you can!      
For all of you beer bellied Adonises    
are but a Gorgon's breath away    
from becoming Michelangelo's next David  
     
 
Written by MaryWalker
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Non-entry entry

JohnnyBlaze
JohnnyBlaze
Tyrant of Words
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Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!

We're down to about 48 hours left to enter this Classic Corner Comp. For those of you who already have, review your entries to ensure they comply to the challenge rules and correct any errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

 <-  Ahavati & JohnnyBlaze

wallyroo92
wallyroo92
Tyrant of Words
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Joined 11th July 2012
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Blessed be the Fruit

(Parallels of Fictional Tales and Real-World Spells)
 
There are these men who claim to have more
knowledge over women’s bodies. They issue laws
to have more control over them under the guise of
morality or God and all that that is pure, and so a
plan is formed, but it’s more of an ominous map
that seems to head toward this fictional dystopia
 
*
 
Quoting scriptures, they look to these ancient laws,  
to a time when women were stoned to death if
they were caught in the act of fornication or some
other decree that defied the male authority.
 
*
 
But now, the hypocrisy is obvious, shameless, and blatant
as it seems they have more skeletons in their closets
then there are bodies disposed of in ditches and  
graves. It’s an indoctrination when the extreme buys
into the idea and so they spew a rhetoric blanketed  
in beliefs they deem to be…divine.
 
*
 
We see it throughout history, throughout cultures all
around the planet, even more so today with the aid
of technology. How many lives were threatened when
they spoke up? The Malala’s, the Parks, the Franks,  
the women who challenged the norms because they
had more to contribute…the Curies, the Nightingales,
the Kellers. How many times were they met with
indifference and resistance.
 
*
 
I ask myself, what about those who had the chance
to speak up and didn’t? Those who subjugated because
they were too afraid or simply didn’t see the truth for
what it was. Perhaps it was the propaganda machine  
that twisted their view of reality, that it was better
to conform than be different from the norm in order
to be able to fit in.  
 
*
 
But it seems some have bought into the ideology with
all their heart and mind, without regard for science
or facts. They’ve gotten so deep into it, they’re willing
to sacrifice their lives. They’re willing to support the  
men who oppress women simply because their lives
and views are somehow better than those who have
less.  
 
*
 
But I guess, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness
doesn’t really apply if you don’t have the resources
or wealth to do as you please. It seems like many have
fallen under a spell to sell their individuality for the sake
of preservation and status. It’s as if in tying the knot
with the hangman, they carry the noose. It’s as if marrying
the executioner, they get to hold the axe.  
 
Written by wallyroo92
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PoetsRevenge
PoetsRevenge
Dangerous Mind
United States
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Joined 30th June 2016
Forum Posts: 471

Rabbit Song

I smell that you
are chasing me with your eyes,
and I leave my scent behind
so that you may know the joy of
my leaping / if only for ignorance
of what a stone feels.

My only conquest
is to break the grasses down;
not to diminish them but
encourage them by chewing
their stalks to a pulp.
I eat what nobody wants
and leave their digested remains behind
in your overgrown pasture.

How do I survive;
this is how, and why --

I am light as air, I think,
and the ways of the world don't
collect in my fur or between my toes
where my nails claw loose dirt
agitating microbes to no real
transformation.

I have no more to do with
what purpose surrounds me
than what I had brought
to those streamlined channels
I created and memorized:

They will close behind me
            when I leave;
Winter will erase my existence for a time
and I'll become transience
itself.

Somewhere else;
I will burrow and outlive the frosts
to be remembered in Spring as
the tenacious one who never really tries
even in the patterns of
grassroots which become all
I can truly exist for.

       .....
Written by PoetsRevenge
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Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 11140

Thank you each for braving the Classic Corner Comps! Judging is in progress and we will announce the winner asap.

Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
109awards   profile   poems   message
Joined 11th Apr 2015
Forum Posts: 11140


Thank you all for braving the Classics and for your patience throughout the judging process! Congratulations to your entries, and the winners:


FIRST PLACE: Wallyroo 92: Blessed be the Fruit

Bravo! Just Bravo! Congratulations on your win. That final stanza was remarkable and sealed the piece ( but please put an end-stop at the end of the first stanza to match the rest ). And anyone who hasn't read Atwood's 'Marrying the Hangman' ( particularly the notes ), needs to.

I am not quick to shrug off 'The Handmaid's Tale' as are others. I wasn't quick to shrug off 'Star Trek' as were others. Now look where the space program is headed. For centuries the masculine has attempted to suppress the feminine. Just when we think we are moving forward, it seems we step backwards.

Either way, there is an unbalanced, masculine force attempting to dominate this country. Unfortunately, it already dominates many other countries. You totally captured that essence in this piece.

Again, congratulations on your win!

Second Place: PoetsRevenge: Rabbit Song

Atwood's Rat Song is not only one of my favorites, but also one of the most difficult of her pieces to understand. Many misinterpret it as humans ingesting rats ( and they do in many parts of the world ); however, that is not what she is conveying at all.

The Rat is speaking to the human as a sentient being. It's not a coincidence that she chooses a rat. They are one of the most detestable and expendeble known creatures to humanity. Thus, it's almost a level of enlightenment if we can view such a creature in the light of compassion and a fellow sentient on this planet.

The rat recognizes the Oneness of all creatures from the Source of Life, which is what is referred to in the final stanza and in reference to the throat.  It's the voice of LIFE that the rat is referring to, something every sentient being on earth shares. She also referenced the nature of animals, i.e. - the rat's nest of human clothing ( which is much more remarkable then the human diet of animals meat ) referring that we all do what we do to survive and propogate the species.

So, in essence, Atwood has taken this lowly creature, despised by humans and given it a voice of compassion vs retribution. As humans, it's almost impossible to reisist that desire for revenge when others persecute us; however, the rat has done that here through Atwood's poem.

What a compassionate person she must've been to convey such a beautiful message.  it's interesting to gauge human reactions after reading this.

Your poem also conveys the spirit of survival through the rabbit's natural inclinations. It also stresses that the rabbit leaves nothing behind as far as a carbon footprint. It destroys nothing, but encourages growth instead. It's a beautiful narrative from the rabbit's perspective of its existence.

Congratulations on your placement.

Third Place: Slipalong, Twit-twoo Twit-twoo

Slip, you did a phenomenal job stepping out of your comfort zone. We are amazed at your progress in such little time.

Owls can be viscious predators, and they say hell hath no wrath as that of a woman scorned. Thus, Atwood did a phenomenal job conveying such predatory ruthlessness with that of a women who had been murdered, and was back for revenge. Animal spirits offer us their innate talents to imbibe and strengthen within ourselves.

Your poem was beautiful in imagery. You are truly becoming a master of verse in just the few short years you have been practicing.  

That being said, there are a few inconsistencies with punctuation throughout the verse. For example, there are no end-stops until stanza four; yet, you're using capitalization and lower-case in the previous three, which would denote the end/beginning of new sentences.

You did absolutely amazing with your possessives; that was very impressive up until the sixth stanza:

Its appetite can( ' )t be appeased,
rotten as the grave it's its weathering headstone
writes short words in fear.


In the seventh stanza you have an inadvertent end-stop mid-sentence:

Drying essence of regard [ . ] we still hold dear

We suggest combing through the inconsistencies, especially regarding punctuation. This poem is too beautiful a poem, too rich in palpable imagery, and most importantly, definitely reminiscent of a classic corner entry.

You would have scored MUCH higher had it not been so inconsistent.

JohnnyBlaze
JohnnyBlaze
Tyrant of Words
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Conratulations! Wonderful entries from 3 of the hardest working poets ever to grace DUP!

slipalong
slipalong
Fire of Insight
United Kingdom
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Congrats to Wallyroo & PoetsRevenge and Ahavati for the judging note, in my case hard but fair (no laurels to rest but a crown of shame to wear)

Ahavati
Ahavati
Tyrant of Words
United States
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Joined 11th Apr 2015
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slipalong said:Congrats to Wallyroo & PoetsRevenge and Ahavati for the judging note, in my case hard but fair (no laurels to rest but a crown of shame to wear)


I call BOLLOCKS! There is no crown of shame for that entry. I feel because you stepped out of your comfort zone and pushed hard, you were merely emotionally exhausted afterward and ready to move on without returning to double-check the edits.

It was a stellar entry, Slip. You'll be on top of it the next time. <3

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