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POW: My new favorite poem about Nancy Drew

Whilst perusing Flavorwire’s list of the best new poets of 2011 I took a look at the work of Nancy Reddy and was blown away.  She’s written a poem about Nancy Drew that goes into the legendary sleuth’s life using the usual associations:

You’re Nancy Drew and you drive a blue coupe.
You drive fast. Your mother is dead.
You’re solving mysteries that stump the cops.
You sass them back. You’re flip-haired and eagle-eyed.

And gradually  turns into something darker:

You’re on vacation in the snow-stunned Alps
when the innkeeper comes to you for help.
He’s getting threats from a dark-wigged woman
who claims that she’s your twin. You’re snowed in.
He tells you all the town’s most handsome men
go missing after dark. You wear a borrowed mink
and sleuth by candlelight. You smell Ned’s soap.
She’s a false wall. She’s a trap door.
(from anti-)


photo by flickr user Marxchivist

Of course, re-making an idea and using literary allusion is nothing new in poetry or in other creative endeavors (anyone want to make a bet on when The Hunger Games will be remade?) Here’s a list of 50 movie remakes coming up, posted in January. Reddy’s poem is an example of how it can be electrifying to read what you remember as reinterpreted in someone else’s brain.

Another poetic term that’s related to this is looking at a piece of art and writing about it. It’s called ekphrasis, and it’s really fun.  The next time you’re wandering around the Carnegie Museum of Art, try your hand at some ekphrastic poetry.  Take the atmosphere of your favorite book and turn it into your own thing–part of your personal  imaginative world.

After all, next month is National Poetry Month and time to submit to the annual Ralph Munn Creative Writing Contest. Check your local library branch for upcoming writing workshops!

Here are some books to check out if you prefer your poetry in physical rather than digital form:

Heart to heart : new poems inspired by twentieth-century American art / edited by Jan Greenberg.

Mirror, Mirror: A book of reversible verse / Marilyn Singer

A collection of short poems which, when reversed, provide new perspectives on the fairy tale characters they feature.

Side by side : new poems inspired by art from around the world / edited by Jan Greenberg

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