Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Creating Simulated Poems Using High Heat


Verneuil Process

A fairly technical procedure for making gems, the verneuil process involves grinding up the raw material, superheating it, and dripping it onto an “earthen support rod.” The end result of the process is a “boule” at the tip of all the accumulated melted matter that crystallizes into the manmade ruby/whatever, which is broken off the support rod and sinter cone to be faceted and sold.

For more information on this process, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verneuil_process

Applying a similar process to create a poem is not new. Many poets suggest taking a favorite line of poetry, writing a poem using the “stolen” line as a first line, and then knocking the line off the finished poem. I was once in a workshop with C.D. Wright where she changed this up a little bit by taking a line at random out of a novel.

My thought is that the “support rod” for a poem doesn’t need to be literary. A line of directions, journalism, one stolen from a sibling’s diary or the letter of a famous person, or for that matter off the back of a cereal box might all work.

My suggestion for today: “The cartoonist beloved by GIs and regular guys”

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