8:24 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to The Battle of New Orleans, by Johnny Horton, courtesy of my son’s music blog
Hello, all. I hope everything is going well. Today I want you to crawl inside yourselves and then, time travel back to several points of your childhood. I read a statement, recently, by Jim Henson, of Muppet fame. He said: The most sophisticated people I know — inside they are all children.
I have talked about how important it is for us to access memories and emotions, in order to have a believable voice in our poems. Being able to access your inner child is important for another reason: no one sees the world from quite the same perspective. To achieve the, as yet, unmarked view of a child when looking at, or watching, something, requires that we remember how we saw things or experienced them the first time.
We Write Poems had a prompt where they asked for an early memory. In the comments of my poem, Neil wrote: If you’re going to change the “form” then also change the pace. That might even make the poem breathe like an excited child breathes, quick and shallow; then the form would reveal even more of the child physically? By example,
over the grass
towards the bushes
might become instead…
towards the bushes.
Of course I’m running rough shod over proper punctuation, but… do you feel the difference? Read it aloud, feel your breath. Does that work for you? (short legs, you see!) And children don’t necessarily speak in whole sentences anyway, do they? (us too?)
He is right. If we can access our inner child, we have a choice, to speak as that child, or as someone looking back [ourselves, or a speaker we create]. For this, I don’t necessarily want a poem on a memory, so much as I want you to play with voice. Choose several moments when you remember specific emotions, that may have been the first time those emotions were experienced by you. Jot them down, and if sensory details accompany the memory, note them too.
What do you learn from recalling those moments? How did that first moment of joy, of anger, of pain, of surprise, of fear, of wonder… feel? As you go through your day, or week, try to see things with that first unfettered sight. Then write a poem. I hope that makes some kind of sense. Your poems will be wide-ranging and that is fine. Take from this what you will and I will enjoy reading whatever you write.
I shall see you Thursday for an update on what is happening to last week’s post. At the moment, Jules and Joseph are the only ones who have thrown something into the pot. The post continues open for a couple of weeks, while I am on the road, and I hope more of you have time to add your thoughts. Friday we have the roundup. Then, we have two weeks when Wordgathering goes dark. It’s my husband’s Fall Break and we are roadtripping!
Happy writing, all.