The One-word Poetry Volume

Here’s a weird idea I had when I was on vacation recently — I would write a poem that included the phrase “this exalted life.”

Soon that poem turned into a title. That’s what I would call my poetry manuscript.

But wait. There’s more:

What if I wrote an entire volume of poetry where each poem included the word “exalted”? That’s what I’m working on right now.

Someone probably had that idea first, but for me, it was a small revelation and a chance to stretch creativity farther than I’ve gone in the past. In fact, I blame Frank O’Hara for the idea.

His poem, Why I Am Not a Painter, has a line in it that suggests he did that very thing.

My poem
is finished and I haven’t mentioned
orange yet. It’s twelve poems, I call

So thank you, Frank O’Hara. Just the inspiration we poets and writers need.

I’ve not written the first poem yet, but I have ideas for four poems based on that one phrase. I may choose just the word, I may go with the entire phrase. Who knows? But since this is National Novel Writing Month, and since I’m more concerned with poetry than prose right now, I’m using the time to formulate ideas.

What unusual technique, style or approach have you used in your poetry?

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