9 votes

Animating the Inanimate Poetry Challenge

@cadadr's 4 word poetry challenge is one of my favorite Tildes threads to read through on account of the many clever and thoughtful responses, so I figured I'd try to kick off another one. This one is a little more conceptually involved, but I think it still has the potential to be a good time like the last one.

Rather than going with a strict word or line count, instead I am creating a restriction based around personification:

Challenge:
Your poem must:

  • Be written from the point of view of an inanimate object
  • Give the object personality/emotion
  • NOT name the object, so that people have to infer it from what you've written

An example might be an automatic door that is bored to tears from opening and closing ad nauseum. Or maybe a watering can that is excited to tend to its garden.

In trying to come up with a model I decided to channel a resentful milk carton:

It's fine
I get it
You don't have to justify yourself
Lots of better things have come around
Since you first chose me

Just know that I'm still here
If you need me
Waiting for that blissful moment
Where you light up my world
And take me in your hand
And make me feel like I'm flying
Before you lower me down
In a lover's embrace

It's fine
I get it
Until then I'll sit here
In the cold, cold dark
Trying not to go sour
Next to the slowly molding cheese
And forgotten grapes

It's far from perfect but hopefully it gives you an idea of what the assignment can look like. While I saved my "reveal" to the end, don't feel obligated to use that tactic unless you want to. You don't have to hide the identity of your object, just don't name the object outright in the poem.

Feel free to make your poem as long or short as you wish. Feel free to make it as meaningful or silly as you want. Above all else, have fun!


If you need help with ideas or just want the challenge of writing to a randomly selected specification, you can use this noun generator for objects and this adjective generator for sentiments.

7 comments

  1. Algernon_Asimov
    Link
    I am made. I exist. I roll, I bump, I jostle Among others of my kind: My long thin hollow siblings. We pour in our hundreds Into boxes. Darkness. Waiting. Movement. Darkness. Waiting. Light! We...

    I am made.
    I exist.
    I roll, I bump, I jostle
    Among others of my kind:
    My long thin hollow siblings.
    We pour in our hundreds
    Into boxes.

    Darkness.

    Waiting.

    Movement.

    Darkness.

    Waiting.

    Light!

    We are free.

    So much light!
    Noisy.
    Busy.

    Food odours.
    People sounds.

    I lie in darkness again.
    Waiting.
    My siblings disappear.
    They are taken.
    One by one.
    Waiting.
    What will happen?
    Where do they go?
    Where will I go?
    What destiny awaits?

    I am taken!
    I am immersed.
    Wet. Cold. Fizzy.

    Warmth.
    Warmth at one end.
    The cold wetness travels through me.
    The wet coldness moves within me.
    It stops.
    It starts again.
    Stops.
    Starts.
    Stops.

    Movement.

    More darkness.
    More waiting.

    Was that it?
    Was that all?

    So much waiting.
    So little purpose.

    More waiting.

    Movement.

    I am surrounded by random things.
    Some of my siblings are here.
    Jumble surrounds me.
    Chaos.

    I wait.
    I wait.
    I wait.

    So much waiting.

    I will outlast my maker.
    I will outlast my user.
    I will outlast them all.

    For such a small purpose was I made, but I am immortal.

    What a waste.

    4 votes
  2. [5]
    unknown user
    Link
    Through me the ocean through the ocean the sky through it the clouds through the clouds the flight of a gaze into where Through me a river through which a mountain upon which ice above which snow...

    Through me the ocean
    through the ocean the sky
    through it the clouds
    through the clouds
    the flight of a gaze into where

    Through me a river
    through which a mountain
    upon which ice above which snow
    embraces crystallised sleeps
    which again through me, the same means
    not unlike the images of stars resting on lakes

    Drip
    drip
    drips onto cold silvercolour metal

    There
    where
    bread is made with soil and ocean

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      kfwyre
      Link Parent
      This is quite a puzzle for me--I'm not sure I've got it figured out yet. That said, I love the way it flows, and the ending image is powerful.

      This is quite a puzzle for me--I'm not sure I've got it figured out yet.

      That said, I love the way it flows, and the ending image is powerful.

      1 vote
      1. [3]
        unknown user
        Link Parent
        Thanks! I can give a couple hints if you want.

        Thanks! I can give a couple hints if you want.

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          kfwyre
          Link Parent
          I'll take one! I want to figure this one out for sure.

          I'll take one! I want to figure this one out for sure.

          1. unknown user
            Link Parent
            This is a household object found in multiple rooms of a house and is used multiple times every day. There is one of these in the room where you'd cook bread. There's also a little onomatopoeia...

            This is a household object found in multiple rooms of a house and is used multiple times every day. There is one of these in the room where you'd cook bread.

            There's also a little onomatopoeia camouflaged in there somewhere.

            1 vote
  3. unknown user
    Link
    (Off topic) Saramago's Objecto quasi is a (not so) short story where all the characters are household objects. An interesting read, slightly relevant here.

    (Off topic) Saramago's Objecto quasi is a (not so) short story where all the characters are household objects. An interesting read, slightly relevant here.

    3 votes