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Poem It Out Classroom

week 3: getting into your digsite

liz lamoreux

video URL: https://vimeo.com/100268997
video password: poeming 

This week, we travel into the past and unearth a few stories and memories. This post is full and the video is long (about 20 minutes), so you should really settle in with a cup of tea and your notebook. Feel free to pause the video and come back. Move through it at your pace.

In the video, I invite you to add the senses to your "poetry toolbox" this week and to see them (including the sixth sense of "knowing") as a tool for grounding yourself in this moment as you dig into the past. They can also be a powerful ally in accessing memories and setting the scene. (So when in doubt, rely on your senses this week.)

Additionally, I invite you to think about looking for the poems that give voice to similar stories or experiences you want to investigate or write about. You can think of this as your poetry creative adventure this week!

I share the following poems and poets in the video:

John O'Donohue's book To Bless the Space Between Us, and I read the blessing, "For the Traveler." You can find out more about John O'Dononue here.

Sharon Olds' poem "I Go Back to May 1937," and you can read it here. I really honor the way Sharon Olds gets right to the realness of things in her poetry. It is gritty and honest and helps me to be more honest in my own writing.

Marge Piercy's poem "The Day My Mother Died," which you can read here and find in Colors Passing Through Us.  

Prompt: A day that changed everything

Today's prompt is to write about a day that changed everything. The story of this day could be big, something that shifted everything in your world. And it could be much more subtle and be about how one quiet choice realigned you in a way that changed you. Remember to gather your words, your questions and observations (and you could use that tool to first write notes/observations about this day), and your senses to help you as you write.

Another way to work with the prompt today would be to let go of focusing on one day, and instead create a timeline of sorts (starting with today and moving backward in the way that makes sense to you). You might make a literal list that begins: Today... Last week... In April of 2009... In the Spring of 1978... Or you might be even more specific. Have fun with it and look for clues that could lead you to a poem. Perhaps your list will become a poem.