The prompt for today was both fun and anxiety producing. The instructions: Create a questionnaire about a topic with between 5-10 free response questions. Ask your family members and friends to complete the survey. Use their responses to compose a poem. In your citation, list the questions you asked in your questionnaire.
When unsure, I gravitate towards nature as my focus, hence the questions I chose to send out. What I did not reckon with is the difficulty I had trying to make ten different voices sound like one speaker (a big thank you to my friends and family who answered the questions). I’m thinking, now, that I gave myself the problem by picking answers to one question. I have spent more time with this poem, than any other, so far, because I would haul it out everyday and tweak. While I still haven’t brought it to a coherent whole, I do think the speaker sounds more like one voice than it did: Things Picked Up On Beaches.
Other poems developed from survey questions (As you read the poems, note the original questions):
Kathy Douglas: I Have No Theology
Sheree Mack: spectacle lynchings (not for the faint of heart, powerful)
Misky: White Porcelain Memories
Richard Walker: it is hard (not really)
Marsha Schuh: All Travels Are Time Travels
Zann Carter: Sometimes The Dark
I have favourites, you say? Possible biases? Yes. We’re almost half-way through and I have come to know the poets whose poems I’m going to like. I try to have a couple of new names for each day. My biases? If a poem is not properly spaced my brain doesn’t even want to try to deal with it. So, you know the names you will be seeing again, but I will send you off in new directions, as well. Enjoy today’s.