Click here to read about the #ExquisiteCorpse project at Teen Librarian's Toolbox

It’s the last Poetry Friday of National Poetry Month 2012!  Today, we’re partnering with Karen Jensen, the  mastermind of Teen Librarian’s Toolbox, to host a day-long, interactive poetry project on Twitter– and we want you to join us!

We’ll be building an Exquisite Corpse poem by collecting the lines you tweet with the hashtag #ExquisiteCorpse.  You can follow the poem as it is written by searching Twitter for the #ExquisiteCorpse hashtag to see our collaborative work unfold in real time.  You can also join in the writing project by reading the latest line and then tweeting your own line to build on it.

Exquisite Corpse is a fun way to celebrate National Poetry Month with friends and writers, or students and patrons at your library.  It’s one of’s 30 Ways to Celebrate, and the game has been around for a long time:

Exquisite Corpse is a collaborative poetry game that traces its roots to the Parisian Surrealist Movement. Exquisite Corpse is played by several people, each of whom writes a word on a sheet of paper, folds the paper to conceal it, and passes it on to the next player for his or her contribution.

Cool right?  We think Twitter is the perfect way to play this game online, and we’d love you to join in the fun!  Here are some tips and guidelines for our version of the game to get you started:

  • Follow the #ExquisiteCorpse hashtag on Twitter to see the latest line
  • Respond with your own line, and don’t forget to include #ExquisiteCorpse so the next poet can play!
  • Make sure to get your lines in by 5pm CST.
  • Check back here this evening to read the completed poem!

Ready?  GO!



UPDATE: 5:15 PM April 27

Our Exquisite Corpse experiment was a wonderful success– all day, there was a steady stream of strange and wonderful poetry careening through the Twitterverse.  Thank you to all who participated!

Here is the final product:

Exquisite Corpse, 4/27/12

Hearts break, tears fall, when goodbyes are said.
Arms embrace and spirits fade. There is no sweet in this sorrow.

The birds were chirping
their sound so sweet

as if nothing were wrong
not dark stain of something that used to be alive
in the street, not you
not me.

Skaters menace, line up, shake hands.
Game on!

but left on their own, would they choose to stay in
and only watch the yellow birds in the clipped grass?

A humming handful of sassy cat slinked
across the sofa and into my morning coffee lap

purring lasciviously, yielding nothing.

Surrounded by memories
searching for truth

I trudge on through existence
Just another workday

A rail of roses
hints at what’s to come:
the cat humming
in perfumed air,
a knife-blade exposed,
a candle the switch light.

My curled toes dangle over the
ex…cru…ciating…ly slow (spinning) linoleum

Arise! the feline said
find the moon is dead
murdered over hours in your sunshine bed.

There MUST be a God! This is one of the signs I prayed for—
a word that rhymes with ‘orange.’ So now I die an exquisite corpse.

Orchid broken nail,
a wintergreen gum, a Metra ticket punched APR 26,
a note that starts “Sinta..”
float away from her body.

A bus of no one stopping in Charlesburg and chugging West

C-thunk, c-thank of plastic vessels, vestiges of all we’ve consumed.
All that we can never have again.

We’ve consumed the day
in Paris, the rain
drops lengthening like shadows
ahead of us, quiet
creeping into the space we fill

Using only our bodies, warmblooded and vibrant,
we move through the quiet air,
birdsong reflecting every surface

takes the moss in pinches from the bouldered eye.

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