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Poet Jim Simmerman?s short essay entitled, Twenty Little Poetry Projects claims to provide the reader with ample tools to write the ?ultimate? poem. Simmerman?s ?tools? come in the form of twenty short rules and guidelines, each of which outline how each line of your ?ultimate? poem should be written. Having read Simmerman?s essay, I was immediately intrigued, and thought I should give it a go. So here goes. The ?ultimate? rugby league poem. With all the blame to go to Simmerman if it fails to turn out. (BTW, if at first you don?t understand it, don?t worry. You?ll catch on.)
(Rules always first, and in Bold)
1. Begin the poem with a metaphor.
Good refereeing is the cornerstone of rugby league
2. Say something specific but utterly preposterous.
An example of good refereeing can be seen on any replay of the Sharks vs. Storm game from round 25 this year.
3. Use at least one image for each of the five senses, either in succession or scattered randomly throughout the poem.
It was on this night that we witnessed a travesty of justice. We heard the jeers and snipes from the Storm supporters. We felt our chances of making the eight slipping away. We smelt the fetid stench of corruption in the air, And we tasted bitter defeat.
4. Use one example of synesthesia (mixing the senses).
Defeat smells like slippery mud, and freshly cut grass.
5. Use the proper name of a person and the proper name of a place.
It sounds like Tim Mander?s laughter ringing in your ears on the long drive back over the bridge and out of the Shire.
6. Contradict something you said earlier in the poem.
Not that I?ve ever heard Tim Mander laugh.
7. Change direction or digress from the last thing you said.
But 2004 will not be remembered for the laughter.
8. Use a word (slang?) you?ve never seen in a poem.
We will remember more the exploits of Noddy and Peach. Sully, Vags and Waltzing.
9. Use an example of false cause-effect logic.
They were our heroes. Because they wore blue.
10. Use a piece of talk you?ve actually heard (preferably in dialect and/or which you don?t understand).
Ka mate Ka mate Ka ora Ka ora, Tenei Te Tangata Puhuruhuru, Nana I tiki mai whakawhiti te ra. (Perhaps we should have signed Ali Lauititi to go with Lomu and Vagana)
11. Create a metaphor using the following construction: "The (adjective) (concrete noun) of (abstract noun) . . ."
The dark clouds of madness descend of fans of the Sharks.
12. Use an image in such a way as to reverse its usual associative qualities.
We search for darkness in our tunnel. We forget that there is light.
13. Make the persona or character in the poem do something he or she could not do in "real life."
Mander will be unbiased.
14. Refer to yourself by nickname and in the third person.
The Genius will lose faith.
15. Write in the future tense, such that part of the poem seems to be a prediction.
He will be mocked by those around him when he tips against the Sharks.
16. Modify a noun with an unlikely adjective.
Purple haze champagne will flow. Obliterate reminisced nights.
17. Make a declarative assertion that sounds convincing but that finally makes no sense.
The drinking is painful, we drink to dull the pain.
18. Use a phrase from a language other than English.
Encima de Cronulla ascendente, de los muchachos en el blanco negro y de azul.
19. Make a non-human object say or do something human (personification).
The porch light screams for darkness. Will our faith remain unmoved?
20. Close the poem with a vivid image that makes no statement, but that "echoes" an image from earlier in the poem.
Mud and grass escape our lives.
NB: Oh, and in case line you?ve read the poem through five or six times, and line 19 is still a little too obscure, it?s a reference to a famous Jack Gibson quote. ?Waiting for Cronulla to win a premiership is like leaving the porch light on for Harold Holt.? Cheers.
Word count: 699 words inc title
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