Exquisite Corpse

05 Apr

[Note: The contents of this post may or may not make sense due to a 3-day migraine. Read at your own exquisite peril.]


Exquisite Corpse is an old parlor game a group of creative friends made popular in the 1930s. It involves several players who “write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.” The name of the game is a direct result of one such collaborative poetry effort:

“The exquisite corpse will drink the young wine”

I remember making art with my classmates in grade school in this manner too, and the game has been adapted to suit many surrealist art styles. Some early artistic creations can be found in a slide show filled with strange looking creatures and wild imaginations.

I can’t wait to do this with my local writers’ group! Several among us write poetry, and this would be a fun exercise, maybe even for the non-poets. suggests that your group should come up with a sentence structure beforehand…like adjective/noun/adverb/verb/noun – and that everyone can contribute one word at a time, until you feel you have a poem of sufficient length. You can add articles, verb tenses, etc. later, when you’ve completed your own exquisite corpse of a collaborative poem.

I will go exquisitely nap now and dream of fabulous collaborations!


Posted by on April 5, 2013 in Uncategorized


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3 responses to “Exquisite Corpse

  1. Jessica Marcarelli (@jmarcarelli)

    April 5, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    That actually sounds like a lot of fun. Sometimes I feel like they were more creatively minded back then.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Jessica @ Visions of Other Worlds
    Twitter: @jmarcarelli, #atozchallenge

  2. katyaarmock

    April 5, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    Several of my friends and I did this to pass the time on a bus trip in Europe in college. It’s like MadLibs on steroids.

  3. Shawn Yankey

    April 5, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    This really does sound very cool. I will have to try this out myself soon.
    Shawn at Laughing at Life 2


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