Happy Poetry Friday! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)
I love a poetry collection that’s a good mash-up, so Leslie Bulion’s latest, Random Body Parts (Peachtree, 2015), makes me squeal with joy! First, it’s poems about body parts. Yes, please. Annnd, it’s poems in a ton of different poetic forms. Excellent. But wait. There’s more. Every poem has a nod to Shakespeare’s writing. Say whaaaaaaat?
To get the idea, I’m going to have to share a poem, its sidebar, and its end note. Since my stomach growls all the time (so embarrassing), I’m sharing the poem “Lunchtime.” Seatbelt buckled? Here we go!
Thrice the empty pot has whined.
Thrice times thrice the cavern gapes.
The signal comes: ‘Tis time, ’tis time!
In the cauldron, mix and stew
Choice ingredients for our brew:
Flesh of fowl ground into hash,
Blood of berries bled from mash,
Wheat paste wet with human spit,
Plant parts mangled bit by bit.
Grumble, grumble, roil and rumble,
Acid burn and slurry tumble.
Lumps of lard from fatted swine,
Shellfish innards laced with brine,
Spuds unearthed from ud, then fried,
Mucus oozed from deep inside,
Milk that’s soured into curd–
Borborygmus roars are heard!
With a pulverizing rumble,
Churn and thrash the slushy jumble.
?–Leslie Bulion, all rights reserved
Sidebar: Your stomach, more a muscular bag than an empty pot, churns food into a thick, liquidy shake called chyme. Putting food in your cavernous mouth signals your stomach to produce strong acids and digestive juices that help break food down into nutrients your body can use. Luckily, the stomach is coated with slimy mucus so it can’t digest itself! The growling sound your stomach and intestines make as they work is called borborygmus (bor/bor/RIG/mus). [Addendum: Now on school visits, I can apologize for my borborygmus!]
End note: Lunchtime: This poem is written with the same rhyme pattern and number of beats, or meter, as the witches’ speech in William Shakespeare’s play, Macbeth: “Double, double toil and trouble;/Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.” Imitating? a well-known poem is a wonderful way to practice rhythm and rhyme in poetry. After the first three non-rhyming lines, the rest of the poem is written in couplets–two lines in a row that rhyme. What part of your body is “the cavern” in the beginning of the poem?
Wow. You’ve got your STEM, your poetry writing, your Shakespeare reading–all tied up in a neat, clever collection. I got to see a sneak peak of this back at NCTE when Leslie posed for my Be a Star campaign!
And we got to go out for a yummy breakfast and walked the exhibit floor a bit, too, where I admired Leslie’s new book at the Peachtree booth.
I highly recommend Random Body Parts–perfect for science teachers, English teachers, poetry lovers, Shakespeare fans, and anyone who like a bit of dark humor. If you’re hungry for good poetry, stave off borborygmus (see what I did there) with a copy of Random Body Parts.
And don’t miss the Poetry Friday Roundup at Carol’s Corner today.