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Literary Hook: List poem explores what to give up for Lent
By Christine Swanberg
Author and Poet
For some of us, Lent means a time of discipline. Once, when I was trying to figure out what to give up for Lent (and stick to the promise), I was flooded by a list of silly things that either I never had in the first place, or wouldn’t want anyway.
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,” you would probably do so in earnest. 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 poem is published in The Alleluia Tree, now available at Barnes and Noble, or by calling 888-books98.
This Year for Lent
I’m giving up.
I’m giving up Brad Pitt,
in fact, the entire cast
of Ocean’s Infinitum.
I’m giving up smelt,
Belfast, and Gary, Ind.;
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.
Christine Swanberg is a local author and poet. She received the Lawrence E. Gloyd Community Impact Award at the 2012 Rockford Area Arts Council State of the Arts Awards.
Posted March 18, 2014