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My poetry sisters and I tackled an unusual form of poetry this month, in that it's not a specific form. Instead, we did poems "in the style of" someone else. And the someone else we ended up choosing was e.e. cummings. We didn't pick one poem, but each selected a different piece of his work to play with. I chose "maggie and milly and molly and may", a poem about four little girls at the beach, and wrote my own poem about rescue cats.

tortie and tabbie and tubbie and tom
by kelly ramsdell fineman

tortie and tabbie and tubbie and tom
were one-time stray cats (that found a home)

and tortie discovered a nest of yarn
that made her forget that she hadn’t been cozy,and

tabbie befriended a fabric mouse
she carried up and down the house

and tubbie was chased by a horrible thing
which whirred round the room dusting carpets:and

tom found peace napping without cease
curled tight in a ball in the sun on some fleece

For although it’s not bad to be out on one’s own
there’s something quite purrfect having a home

Andi got the idea that we ought to record ourselves reading this month's poems, as if going out on a limb with Cummings's work weren't enough, so here is an audio file of me reading the poem:

Following is the original poem by E.E. Cummings. You can see that I preserved some of the original words (especially the "horrible thing"). If you are a careful reader/scanner, you might also notice that I preserved the precise metre of Cummings's work, as well as trying to mimic the sorts of experiences each of the four characters has in their space.

You can "embiggen" the poem by clicking on it.

I hope you will check out the wonderful work by my poetry sisters:

Laura Purdie Salas, in the style of "Spring is like a perhaps hand"

Tanita Davis, in the style of "the Cambridge ladies who live in furnished souls"

Andi Jazmon, in the style of "the wind has blown the rain away"

Liz Garton Scanlon, in the style of "i like my body when it is with your"

Tricia Stohr-Hunt, with two companion pieces in the style of "silence"

Sara Lewis Holmes, in the style of "in-Just"

For still more poetry, click on the link below for this week's Poetry Friday roundup.

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( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
Andi Sibley
Jul. 10th, 2015 10:32 am (UTC)
You have done such a purrrfect job on this Kelly! My favorite is Tom, curled on his fleece in the sun. That's peace to me too.
Jul. 10th, 2015 09:15 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Andi. My poem felt a bit "fluffy" compared to the excellent work you guys all did!
Sara Lewis Holmes
Jul. 10th, 2015 10:52 am (UTC)
LIke Andi, I'm all for snoozing in the sun, but I also think I could be friends with a "fabric" mouse. I love how you've re-imagined ee's poem with fur; so playful, and yet, clearly, an homage to the original.
Jul. 10th, 2015 09:16 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Sara - I really don't know why it seemed obvious to me that the poem should be rescue cats, but it did.
TS Davis
Jul. 10th, 2015 11:48 am (UTC)
alas! the horrible thing!
...I love mention of the vacuum, that cracks me up. Our cat when I was a kid hissed and puffed at it even when it wasn't plugged in. This is a charming little poem and makes me a little sad I can't have cats anymore (weird allergies that I didn't have when I was a kid have surfaced).
Jul. 10th, 2015 09:18 pm (UTC)
Re: alas! the horrible thing!
Pets and vacuum cleaners have very odd relationships. I'm always amused by the cats that ride on top of the Roomba, which is sort of what I was envisioning here, even though we don't have one! (Sorry about the new allergies. Life isn't always fair.)
Jul. 10th, 2015 01:28 pm (UTC)
Love this playful poem--so happy at least one of us did a happy one! The moments with the fleece and the fabric mouse were my favorites:>)

from me (laura purdie salas)

Edited at 2015-07-10 01:28 pm (UTC)
Jul. 10th, 2015 09:20 pm (UTC)
I really love all the excellent work done by the rest of my poetry sisters this time - it's all so thoughtful and so evocative and wonderful.
Jul. 10th, 2015 07:27 pm (UTC)
This is a delightful mashup of the original poem and your ideas about the cats. Clever and creative! Thanks for sharing with Poetry Friday.
Jul. 10th, 2015 09:21 pm (UTC)
Re: Fun!
Thanks so much! The "in the style of" challenge that my poetry sisters and I did really made for one of most challenging projects yet!
Jul. 20th, 2015 04:03 pm (UTC)
"embiggen" - you are hilarious!
and with apologies to e.e.,
I likes your poem better.
listening to you read it was cool, too.
Jul. 22nd, 2015 11:56 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweet friend.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )

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