The Exquisite Corpse Poem is a collaboration. Each writer in the group contributes a random sentence or phrase that then becomes part of a complete poem. The result is surprising and creative! We do this each year as part of our closing ceremonies for the Oaxaca Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat. For 2015, our mission was different however.
We adapt the Exquisite Corpse Poem based on the game developed by the Parisian Surrealist Movement. Professor Robin Greene, our writing instructor and coach, takes liberties with the concept and edits what we have contributed into something more coherent than abstract, but always beautiful!
This year, we dedicated our Exquisite Corpse Poem to honor returning participant Becky, in celebration of her upcoming marriage in North Carolina over Memorial Day Weekend. Congratulations, Becky.
To Becky, Upon Her Upcoming Marriage
Becky, it’s spring at last under the beloved fields
in Teotitlan, where the earth is full and steady,
constant and quick as our rushing breath,
constant and slow as the rotating moon;
love, we wish to tell you, is light and dark,
bitter and sweet, rough and smooth. So let
the planet remain round, Becky, let your leaves
open and rustle; let your moments be amazed
and electrified, changed and unchanged—as
marriage is both perfect and imperfect, full
and empty, and light radiates in the star-
filled darkened sky. Becky, we are your sisters
now, braiding your hair with soft ribbons, asking
you to hug the space between all spaces, allow
the romance of cockroach and swallow to matter,
give yourself to the heart-merging of all white
daisies in wind. And in return, we give you
our blessings: for you are so lucky, Al is so lucky,
and so lucky are we.
The dates are set for 2016 Oaxaca Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat — March 4 – 12, 2016. Send me an email if you are interested in attending and/or finding out more. As soon as we publish the program description, I’ll send you a notice. Thank you! –Norma Hawthorne Shafer
In 2015, all our participants were women who returned from years before, many for two, three or more times. This was our fifth annual writing retreat and the energy, and quality of writing and poetry was amazing. There is a space for you in 2016.