Forced Poem


This poem originated as a class exercise in which each person was given 5 slips of paper containing phrases clipped from various unrelated sources. These phrases were to be used in any sequence, and be unchanged (except perhaps for tense), and in their entirety, to construct a poem. Other words could be added around the original source phrases, but could not separate a phrase. The original phrases are underlined. (As I have done here, it was allowed to use one of the bits as a title.)

During Our Lifetime and Beyond

                      Let me have bent my shoulders

                                     to the music that is life;

Not to be one of those--

                       one of the most short-sighted ones

                              Who sense no time;

                                                            have no sense,

Who cannot see

             the urgent need to cut sharply back

                              On the ammunition in the yellow eye of a gun

                                               That threatens to reduce the world

                                                                                              to powder.

But rather, let me have been

                             one of those who played a role

                                             So that the leaders

                                               were helped to find a suitable come back with words,

                                                                                                                not fire.

© C.E. Carl 5-87

© C.E. (Carl) Elias 5-10

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Comments 9 comments

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Powerful poem! I love the "yellow eye of a gun"!

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 6 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Thank you, habee!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Wow! This is great! Thanks for letting me know about this too!

AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 3 years ago from California

Love this--and I love when the circumstances are so prescribed --really well done!

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

@ Susan--Thanks very much. Glad you enjoyed it. It was a challenge.

@ AudreyHowwitt--Thank you; I am happy you liked this poem, though I'm more of a free spirit, and not so fond of such "prescribed circumstances." ;-)

jhamann profile image

jhamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

What a great poem you have created with a wonderful idea. Thank you for sharing this. Jamie

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Hello, jhamann,

Thanks very much! I'm glad you so enjoyed this poem. Thanks for the share!!

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

Very clever and creative!! :)

DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 3 years ago from Oakley, CA Author

Thanks, Sunshine! Glad you enjoyed it! ;-)

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