flotsam along lake superior
Before I jump into today's lesson and poetry prompt, I want to invite you to take a few deep breaths and just be right here for a few moments. Right now. I'll wait.
This poeming it out stuff can be intense. We have spent our time sifting through some big stuff. In a way, we are sifting through the flotsam that all that came before this moment leaves behind. Maybe you have unearthed some stories you had almost forgotten. Maybe you have finally begun to tell a story that has been literally festering inside you. Maybe you're still not putting pen to paper because you just want to take it all in...and you are feeling some trepidation. Wherever you are is where you are supposed to be right now. And please remember to practice self-care as you need to. Get outside. Go for a walk. Rest. Let go of poeming for one day. Or write more if that is what you need. Listen to yourself.
Now, let's poem it out today!
video URL: https://vimeo.com/40912684
video password: poeming
Prompt: A new voice (or perspective)
Today's prompt is to give a voice to something that doesn't usually speak or to let something else speak for you. In this case, I'm talking about a thing that might be alive or might not be (a bird or a shoe and so on). I want to challenge you to let go of a person speaking in your poem and instead to let something else do the talking.
You could look at this prompt as getting the perspective of the things around you in your corner of the world. What does your desk say? If your driveway could tell stories of all that it has seen, what would it say? How about your front porch? Or the front porch of your grandparents' home? What does the stoplight say? The maple tree? The humpback whale you saw in Maui or in a dream? If you are stuck, consider looking at one of your word lists and finding a few words to inspire you.
In the video, I share three different poems to inspire you with this prompt. Two are by Mary Oliver:
"When the Roses Speak, I Pay Attention" (which you can read here) and "When I am Among the Trees" (which you can read here). Both of her poems are from Thirst: Poems. And then I dare to read one of my own poems right there with hers. My poem is called "The seed says" and you can find it in Five Days in April. These poems illustrate a couple of jumping off points for you with this prompt. You could begin with "The _____ says" as your first line or title. Or you could weave in the voice throughout your poem.
Remember to try to put yourself in the poem somewhere. (Only if you want to of course.)
Above all, have fun! This poem could be silly or grandeous (what does the redwood say?). It could be about an actual experience where you encountered a moose and stared it down and you thought it said something. It could be an imagined experience. It could be quiet and just a few lines.