I’m chuffed it’s a Marianne Moore inspired prompt on napowrimo. net today, I did a presentation on her as part of Masters in poetry, knew it’d come in handy…
Here is my list of all her animals that I could gather:
Animals: (in poem titles): buffalo, fish, bird, octopus, weasel, elephants, dragon, goat, giraffe, bug, crow, tiger, whale.
Today’s poem takes some inspiration from Sian S Rathore’s elegant elephant poeming.
I also tried to use the Marianne Moore style to tie a giraffe in, and used some elephant and giraffe facts to create my narrative.
Solitary Giraffe and Elephant Behaviour
Escaping up the neck of a giraffe, measuring
The sea’s width by hand, picking cacti
As you would flowers; the vanishing act of our sanity
Makes us tremble on buses, this world!
Let us learn from elephant behaviour
the way they attract gravity to them
negotiating the earth’s tilt a step at a time
you eat an extremely varied vegetarian diet
rather like an elephant, you are
serious minded but prone to laughing
at the tickle of the wind, the flapping ears
dusting your sides.
With a gurgle and slick rush the water
Speeds up the long flexible nose,
50 galloons a day, you must learn how to hold it
there in the trunk, then let it go
into your tucked away mouth
you can spend ten years learning
how to be an elephant
if you desire a giraffe’s tail for a necklace
you’ll have to fell it, neck and all.
If the first stanza sounds unlike me, that’s because I wrote it over one of Marianne Moore’s poems, Sojourn in the Whale, so it echoes the syllabic structure of that poem. The rest is my own free verse spinning.