This post is part of a series of weekly found poetry prompts. If you have an idea for a found poetry source, email Senior Poetry Editor Beth Ayer.
Susan, Be Smooth by Nell Giles (1940) is a primer on how to be a Smooth Operator and has nothing to do with bathing tips for wome– oh. Correction. It is a “hand-book of Good Grooming for Girls, especially girls under twenty, who want to be seen and heard.” In it, Giles teaches important skills including “the art of pursuit in reverse,” and shares kernels of wisdom like “Girls who aren’t very smart and aren’t very pretty can get anything they want just by being smooth.”
Prompt: write a poem using Susan, Be Smooth as your source text. Apply any constraint or found poetry technique in a way that will make you important to your friends and gaily, poisonously attractive to your enemies!