It’s been a long, long week of business travel, conference presentations and learning from others – all good, but wow, my brain is both overstimulated and blank at the same time. That’s why I was delighted to see the latest prompt from the dVerse Poets Pub—it gave me a brain exercise with a structure that required focus and yet allowed silliness and creative freedom. It was just what I needed to unwind.
The prompt from Bjorn instructed participants to pick a word with no more than three vowels and four consonants, find as many words as possible that use only those letters, and then write a poem using only those words and no punctuation. This, my friends, was a very challenging task. And yet, now that I’ve done it, I feel lighter and refreshed.
The word I chose was “peanuts”. And here’s my silly poem. Note: in an earlier version of this post, I mistakenly said the word was “peanut” (not plural). So any readers prior to 5:12 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 11, must have thought I was crazy! Or at least, not following the rules and just throwing in random “s’s” to be a rogue.
Multicultural 5-Course Meal
eaten tapas paté peas neeps papas tuna sauté peasant pasta nuts teas pants unsnap sunset nap
I’ve been writing more poetry since finding the dVerse Poets Pub—thanks, y’all!—and have been intending to try to incorporate food and cooking into my poetry. This was a fun way to get started without having to feel like it had to be perfect (or near-perfect, nothing is EVER perfect in my world).
The process took multiple steps:
- In Notes on my MacBook, listing all the words I could think of from the letters in “peanuts”, which was inadequate – I really only thought of one-syllable words and just couldn’t see how to string them together
- Reading the comments on the prompt post, where I learned that others were struggling (yay! I’m not alone!) and found a helpful link to a site that provides words with specific letters
- While gathering those words to paste in Notes, realizing that this site only used each letter once and that I was missing out on a boatload of multi-syllable words and Googling to find this word finder tool
- Pasting all the words into Notes and starting to mess with them, then realizing it would be easier if I separated them into nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., and starting to do that
- Realizing that this would take a looooooong time with the 384 words that had been retrieved (and after all, it’s just a quick Saturday morning mind-exercise) and having the GREAT idea to use ChatGPT for this sorting (which I did)
- Trying to string together some of the words in a cohesive poem (which I didn’t)
- Going to read the poems that had been written and shared by other poets, which provided inspiration and the realization (again) that others had struggled and that it could be short, nonsensical or whimsical and not get me thrown out of the Poets Pub
- Deciding on my course and whipping up (puns intended) a poem about a big dinner, after selecting words from the list that were related to food
- In the writing, allowing myself some liberties:
- using words beyond the standard American English and mixing them together nonsensically, as in “neeps” (UK word for turnips) and papas (Spanish for potatoes) – thus the “multicultural” nature of the dinner
- putting together some dishes that don’t really work in a meal; I wouldn’t normally serve potatoes with pasta, for instance, and pate with tapas is a little too heavy
- sautéing the tuna; it’s just not the best way to cook it, and I’d rather have it seared hard and fast, still very red inside, wouldn’t you?
- Not having wine with dinner (a nice Pinot Noir would have been so good with that peasant pasta and tuna!)
Again – it was fun!
And now, back to my Saturday chores. Thank you, if you’ve read this far, and since you’re here, have you ever had a giant meal that made you sleepy (but happy)? Every time I go to Da Corradi in London, I feel that way.
© 2023, Glover Gardens