Monday, June 29, 2009

Project Verse ~ Week 4: Shore Tags


Did you know that, worldwide, hermit crabs are experiencing a housing shortage? About 30 percent of all hermit crabs live in shells that are too small for them, and up to 60 percent can't find homes that are the correct size in the spring when they experience their growth spurts.

Dana Guthrie Martin, one of our weekly judges, created a project called Shore Tags that addresses this problem. Click here for all the juicy details as to what Shore Tags is looking for in a poem.
Give us what Shore Tags is looking for in 40 lines or less.

No form constraints.

Work hard because the winner of this week's assignment will be published in the Shore Tags project.

Since the judging period falls on the weekend of a holiday, the results won't be posted until Sunday, July 12.
Week 4 poems are still due by 10am on 7/3.

Competitors, check back to I Was Born Doing Reference Work in Sin on Monday, July 6.
You have a curve ball coming your way.


Ottpops said...

Open question: is it better to write a poem for a cause (a tricky road always for poets) that you don't passionately believe in or to write a poem that covers slightly different terrain that you are passionate about?

W.F. said...

I have always found writing "for a cause" to be the most dry and inarticulate writing I've done. Good question.

I've asked myself this question a few times since this week's challenge appeared. I'm up to my elbows in the situation in Iran right now and here I am trying to write about a hermit crab housing shortage.

Since the latter is part of a contest I'm interested in remaining a part of, I'll certainly write that poem.

Would I rather be working on a poem about Iran? Yes and no. There is nothing I can add to the discussion about Iran, my perspective matters very little. But my passions run high when reading about protests, watching videos of violence, etc.

I'd say, in general, its "better" to write about that "different terrain" whenever possible. However, writing about the hermit crabs this week has put pressure on me in new and interesting ways, and I feel like that's how you build your poetic muscle.

I'm excited to see the entries.

Emily said...

At this point, I'm genuinely concerned that if the poem contains subtleties, it'll get slammed. Because the truth of the matter is, I really have very little to say about hermit crabs, despite a week of much research. So, if we use the hermit crabs as some kind of metaphor for something in our life, is that acceptable? Thoughts?

W.F. said...

Emily --

I share your concern, though maybe my concern is slightly different.

It seems I can't include the slightest oddball metaphor or simile without it being stomped on. This is the way I write, it was the way I wrote when I submitted to the contest, and none should be surprised by it. Oh, I go on.

I believe using the hermit crab as a metaphor is fine. According to the Shore Tags rules, "The sky’s the limit, really, in terms of what you can write". I think this leaves it very open, maybe too open?

Ottpops said...

Agreed. I like strange similes and personified cities and imaginative prose - the short personal easily understood poems are winning so far ... I think that great poems don't provide answers; they evoke questions.