Poetry Workshop 1

I’ve written many times that poetry is not my GoTo although I love a good poem. Show me the works of Dickey, Frost, Eiseley, Poe, Tolson, Hughes, Cummings, Toomer, … and I’m gone, gone, gone.

So, of course, I had to take a poetry class.

In this first workshop we read several pieces, one of which was Jean Toomer‘s Becky.

It influenced me greatly, and as Dorothea Brande would wrote in Becoming a Writer, I was poorly influenced.

Let me tell you how it was
When all those men came down to look on me

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There is a joy in knowing something sucks.

Means you can fix it.

But that’s for another class.

Read the second class’ meanderings.

He stands naked in a ditch.

I mentioned back in Four pieces for a workshop I’m taking an online writing course. I’m sharing the exercises from that class in that post, Two Pieces for a Workshop, and in Four (Other) Pieces for a Workshop. This post is from the last class in that series. Here we were given “He stands naked in a ditch.” as a prompt and asked to create an atmospheric flash piece/tone poem from it.

I came up with the following 54 word piece.

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Four (Other) Pieces for a Workshop

I mentioned back in Four pieces for a workshop that I’m taking an online writing course and shared the requested exercises in that post and in Two Pieces for a Workshop. This time we were asked to 1) evoke emotion in two lines and 2) write about someone experiencing a strong emotion.

Evoke Emotion in Two Lines

  • He couldn’t believe what he heard,
    A siren calling his name.
  • The sky fell down around him,
    Drunken stars lit like father’s eyes.
  • She dabbed nail-polish on his nose.
    Easier that scratching his cheeks.
  • The guitar played itself in the corner
    Memories of old songs lost in time.

Someone experiencing a strong emotion
My sister lost her grip on the inner tube I sat in. The current pulled me out, away from the dock. I was focused on my parents and their friends drinking, laughing, eying each others’ buttocks and bulges and breasts, deciding who would spend the night with whom.

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Why It Works for Me – James Dickey’s “The Sheep Child”

This is the tenth in a series I’m doing wherein I discuss why a particular piece of writing works for me, aka, this piece of writing taught me something about writing, encouraged me to be a better writer, engaged me, captivated me, educated me, et cetera.

As I’ve written elsewhere, it’s one thing to know something is good, it’s a better thing (in my opinion) to know why it’s good and then be able to copy what’s good about it, to learn from it so you can be as good and (hopefully) better.

This time out, James Dickey’s “The Sheep Child” from his poetry collection, “The Whole Motion”.



Robins, Basho, and 20th Century Poetry

Three More Poems

I’ve written previously that poetry is not a form I go to readily. Such is still the case. I’ve been toying with sharing some of my poetry on Facebook. There’s a few gifted poets there – they hit more than they miss – and I sometimes feel the need for comradery.

Let me know what you think of these.

Do Robins Remember?

Do robins remember
They were once

Do bluejays watch
Scurrying beetles
And remember
Brontosaurs falling to the grass?

Do cardinals hopping from seed
To seed
Remember being
Raptors chasing down their prey?

Or do they not care,
Their days being what they are,
Only hoping that tomorrow there is
A little more
Because memories fade
And tomorrows never last

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