7:17 a.m. — San Antonio
Well, hello, all! I haven’t had my first cup, so if this post is not quite so articulate and I don’t spot every typo, forgive me. I will try, blurry-eyed, to triple check before sending it out.
By now you will have written imagistic poems all over the place and tried cinquains… although I’m not too sure giving us the ones you wrote a year ago counts, hmmm? This week I am going to chat a bit about a topic that is wide open: write a summer poem. The question is, can you write one and not sound cliché? That’s my challenge.
Let me suggest a couple of possible approaches. The first one: Grab a piece of paper, or a keyboard; jot down every single thing you associate with summer, everything. I’ll wait… really, now. Stop reading this and write down every single thing you associate with summer. This works better if you do not read on, so stop. Now. Jot. I’ll wait…
Okay, are you back? You have your list? Good. Write a poem about summer without mentioning a single thing on your list. Nope, nada. An exercise like this makes us stretch our brains in terms of image and metaphor. It also acts as an antidote to cliché.
Alternatively, you might write a list poem, now that you have a list. Go through everything you wrote down and toss the things that don’t fit, rearrange what does, add and subtract words and give your list a title.
A third possibility is a ‘Summer is not…’ poem, where the poem’s focus is on things summer isn’t to illustrate what summer is. ‘Summer is not coats and hot chocolate; summer is not blue fingers and boots.’Check Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 for a not poem.
Or, you can write a summer poem about a summer that stands out in your life, or a summer poem about a summer you would like to have. If you are tired of you, create a speaker. What’s a summer the speaker dreams of?
Taking things up a level, check the words you choose. Do they fit the poem’s focus? Do they sound like what you are writing about? Does the speaker’s tone [even if it's you] match what the speaker is saying? Is there a form you consider summery? Try it. Does your poem[s] breathe summer?
You will note I am avoiding using pictures as a possibility. Mostly, that’s because that’s what I will talk about next week. You may certainly use an image as a way into a summer poem. Enough to be going on?
I am looking forward to reading your summer poems revved up a notch. Remember that you may post links to your poems at anytime, and if you want to go backwards or forwards with my list of Tuesday Tryouts, do. Should you write a cinquain this week, you can post it this week and tell us you are giving us a cinquain. If you want to wander ahead, the same holds, post and tell us what you have done.
I am giving you the link to the original post for Tuesday Tryouts summer style, in case you have just joined us, or because you want to reread the post. If you have questions, ask, either in comments, or at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, I shall see you Friday for this week’s roundup.
Happy writing, everyone, and yes, you can try all the summer poem possibilities and post them