Literary Hook: A list poem: ‘This Year for Lent’

By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet

Are you a list-maker? If so, you may be interested to know that a new category of poetry has been emerging—“the list poem.” It can be serious and lyrical.

For example, if you were listing the things you loved about someone; i.e.: “How do I love Thee? Let me count the ways.”

However, you can also choose to be satirical and absurd, in which case you might create a silly, though original, piece of writing.

Try it. You might enjoy the experience.

This Year for Lent

I’m giving up.
I’m giving up Brad Pitt,
George Clooney,
in fact the entire cast
of Oceans Infinitum.
I’m giving up smelt,
horehound drops,
spam-scrambled eggs,
Belfast, and Gary, Indiana;
TV evangelists,
male enzyme enhancement,
multi-tasking, and cuckholding.
Yep, I’m giving up.
I’m giving up Tupperware,
Avon, Salad Shooter,
French nails and Astroturf,
Naugahide, Colonial furniture,
and Hummels; escargot,
Kashi, and farm-fed shrimp.
Yes, I’m giving up.
I’m giving up pretending
to like Starbuck’s coffee,
that I don’t watch television,
and that I understand square feet.
I’m giving up Rush Limbaugh,
both Howard Sterns, and Bill O’Reilly;
ice fishing, rappelling, and hunting;
the expressions “laid back”
and “sucky” and “functionality.”
I’m giving up thongs, Botox,
tanning beds, and liposuction.
You heard it here, folks.
I’m giving up.

From the Mar. 3-9, 2010 issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!