Thursday, February 29, 2024

Sparkling potions

According to [Riverside] cemetery, as of 2023, people have been leaving $1.87 in change (the amount of Della's savings at the beginning of "The Gift of the Magi") on Porter's grave for at least 30 years. The cemetery says the money is given to area libraries.
~John Boyle

Happy Poetry Friday! Have you read "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry (a.k.a. William Sydney Porter)? The ending gets me every time. Here's an excerpt of the poem O. Henry- Apothecary by Christopher Morley, who must have been aware that Porter was a licensed pharmacist:

O brave apothecary! You who knew
What dark and acid doses life prefers,
And yet with friendly face resolved to brew
These sparkling potions for your customers—
In each prescription your Physician writ
You poured your rich compassion and your wit!


Last week, I mentioned that my National Poetry Month project this April will be short story-based:

Take a short story (from a magazine, anthology, one you've written, wherever) and...

* write a black-out poem
* a poem for two voices (two of the characters talking)
* a poem about the setting
* a summary
* a poem imagining the inspiration for the story
* a poem that changes the story in some way
* or whatever you want to do!

I thought I'd give you some links to short stories in case anybody would like help getting started:

* 100 Great Short Stories
* 75 SHORT Short Stories
* 50 Feel-Good Short Stories
* On Seeing the 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning by Haruki Murakami
* The Faery Handbag by Kelly Link
* Going Home: A Short Story Inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem, “Because I Could Not Stop for Death.” (Okay, maybe it would be too circular to write a poem inspired by that one.)


TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!


Sally Murphy said...

So much to love here. The idea of the story inspiring the leaving of the change, and that this in turn is donated to libraries. The poem celebrating the author, and the inspiration to write a poem inspired by another short stories. Will see what I can do. thanks Tabatha.

Linda B said...

Don't you love that lovely compliment Morley gave to Porter in the poem? And it reads so smoothly! I do know the story, loved sharing it with students who had never heard of it, and loved their shock at the end. How lovely is the idea of leaving the change! I do love your poetry month idea, but I am not sure I have the time to read and respond, though I'll certainly make the time to read yours.

Irene Latham said...

Ooh your NPM project is going to be SO MUCH FUN!! Can't wait to read along. xo

Rose Cappelli said...

I haven't read "The Gift of the Magi" in some time. Maybe it's time to revisit. Thanks for sharing all your ideas.

Linda Mitchell said...

The Gift of the Magi...oh, my goodness, yes. I think there must have been a film adaptation of it in the 80s. I remember "seeing" it. But, could it be that I saw it in my head? To this day whenever my husband and I miscommunicate, I'll say "but I bought you a watch fob" and he'll say, "I bought you combs." I have a great collection of YA short stories picked out for this project--now to remember to bring it home for the project!

Bridget Magee said...

I haven't read the Gift of the Magi...must rectify that. Your NPM project sounds intriguing. I look forward to your creations. :)

Michelle Kogan said...

Ah Tabatha, just got around to reading "The Gift of the Magi" it's marvelous and sad—My heart dropped when Della sold her hair. I'm reading short stories by James Thurber, perhaps I can do something with one of them for your project… Thanks for sharing all!