9:35 a.m. — Atlanta
Based on a Sharon Olds exercise tweaked by James Penha, further tweaked by me.
Hello everyone. I hope all are well. The exercise for this week is a lot of fun and is one I enjoy letting time lapse and repeating.
5 good nouns 5 good adjectives 5 good verbs and by good, I mean strong and specific.
Do this first without consideration of the rest of the exercise. You may want to stop here and make your selection, before reading on. Not knowing, or not thinking about the subject of the exercise can lead to wonderful paths down which you might not have wandered.
Take a look at your right or left hand. Really look at it. List things you notice literally or figuratively. Think about where it has been . . . what it has touched . . . the wondrous and the awful . . . whom it has touched . . . the wondrous and the awful . . . for a moment or over and over again . . . how it has touched . . . in anger, love, passion, terror . . . what you hoped for it . . . what yet it might do.
If you find it helpful: draw it, sketch it and maybe label it in a way that reminds you of all your hand means to you. The first time I did the exercise I didn’t do this, but the second time, I did, and it led me in a different direction with the style. I drew my hand, both sides, as closely as I could to the reality, which allowed me to be even more cognizant of lines and shadows and irregularities and patterns. I labeled everything with similes and metaphors.
Write about your hand — a poem or a poetic statement that you then turn into a poem — this might be a good subject for a prose poem.
Include any or all or none of what you have been thinking/sketching . . . It may be about one moment or dozens, macro or micro.
But you want to try to include in the poem at least ten of the fifteen words you listed.
Having said that, if you are hit with a poetic brainstorm that doesn’t fit the exercise’s instructions, go with the brainstorm. The poem is always more important than the rules. You can come back and follow the rules another time. It occurs to me that the etheree might work nicely as a form [but would probably require throwing out some of the rules set forth], and so would an Italian sonnet. And, there is always free verse.
Remember, I am taking Thursday off, but have had suggestions from two readers for discussions, so will be back with the first, next Thursday, I hope. I will see you all Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts and next Tuesday for one more free form, before we tackle a more structured form.
If you have questions, ask; if you have suggestions for a topic, suggest; and, if you have a poem, post it so we can all read the results.
Happy writing everyone.