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Famous Starts

Famous starts, but instead of a Humble Ending, let’s do another Internal Comparison.

I’m taking all the starter sentences today from Edna St. Vincent Millay. I found hers harder to do than the Merwin ones. Oddly, I think this is because she is so precise in her word choice and clear in her meaning. You’d think that would make it easier, but somehow it didn’t.

Feel free to play along, and remember – this is practice, so this will probably (definitely) suck. The goal is to make an internal comparison, not a story completion or extension. Technically, there should be a spark of surprise, but I’m not good enough at this yet to do that.

When I did the Narcissus one, I was happy with it, but after letting it sit, I’m not sure it works. I should maybe have chosen Demeter sucking her teeth by the fire or something?

The word ugly challenged me. I understood her meaning, but couldn’t get my own thinking to line up straight alongside for a reflection. The pumpkin one seems more of an inverse, and the wealthy man one feels too moralizing.

I spent more time than I’d care to admit on the candle. Look, she says it best, and I’m not sure how to say it a different way AND be surprising. This one almost felt like trying to complete the NYT crossword puzzle. I’m sure there are lots of people out there smart enough to do it – I am not one. (I’ll keep trying.)

I like the last two. I don’t love them? But, I think they might be the better of the bunch.

Okay, your turn. Did you come up with any lines? Will you share?

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