I have an old, brown carved box,
daily polished but never locked;
the lid is broken and tied with a string
but I treasure it above everything.
In it I keep little squares of paper,
mapped with grey mildew spatter,
with hair inside, and a little picture
with a saying from the holy scripture,
which hung over my brother’s bed
long before I found him dead:
a reminder of when we were children
which I endeavour to keep hidden,
and other things as small
that I cannot recall.
I have in it a rose,
picked in winter when it froze.
Other women also have such boxes,
some have gold or silver lockets
where they keep such trifles, I suppose,
but no one has my rose.
Kim M. Russell, 4th April 2018
My response to The Poetry School NaPoWriMo Prompt for Day 4: The Coupling
Ali says that Karen McCarthy Woolf is not only one of our finest contemporary poets, but also a brilliant inventor of forms, and the ‘coupling’ is his personal favourite.
First, we have to find a passage of prose we like and lineate it in a way that feels meaningful, then interpose a line of our own after every line of prose, perhaps echoing the prose line with assonance or rhyme. He says that the rules are a bit strict and we can loosen it up a bit by using a poem instead of a passage of prose, or adjusting the punctuation in the quoted passages.
I have chosen two opening paragraphs from a short story by the South African writer Olive Schreiner (1855-1920), entitled ‘The Woman’s Rose’. The original lines are in italics – it has developed of its own accord into a Victorian dramatic monologue.