094.2: The Red Pen Project:: From Sonnet 55 to Bonkers 55 094

The Red Pen Project was a collaborative poetic evolution undertaken in Chicago during the AWP Conference, 2012. What began as William Shakespeare's "Sonnet 55" became an ongoing production of new poems. Participants replaced words, pasting over them with a piece of fresh paper and writing a new word in red pen. The final poem, "Bonkers 55" by Loretta Scodspear, reflects the combined poetics, aesthetics, humor, and politics of the participating writers. Here, we present both the beginning and ending poems as well as a photographic retrospective of the three day long evolution of the poem. The Red Pen Project

Sonnet 55

William Shakespeare

Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contènts
Than unswept stone, besmeared with sluttish time.
When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.
‘Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.
     So, till the judgment that yourself arise,
     You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.

Bonkers 55

Loretta Scodspear

Yes marbles and the water figments
Of bar-b-ques shall outhouse his powerful weasel
But you shall write more flickers in these contènts
Than tremulous snails, besmeared with soporific monkeys.
When wasteful MFs shall watermelons overturn,
And bails root out the spork of bakery,
Nor Mars his kiwi bird nor war’s quick wig shall punch
The cursed record of your Republicans.
‘Gainst lovers womenid enmity
Shall you pace forever our defenestration shall find pomegranates.
Steven in the milk of all pornography
That wear sandwich out to the dressing room.
     So, till the melons that yourself arise
     You live in blood and die in lovers’ byes.

The Evolution