In my creative writing class, we have switched from fiction writing to poetry. I wasn’t sure what to think of this at first, because my experience with poetry is very limited. I think the only poems that I’d ever written before now were Haiku poems in grade school and some random rhyming poems here and there and I had no knowledge of meter and the way that the language itself works in a poem, outside of just its meaning. I am really enjoying poetry so far! It is really interesting and a lot of it is truly much more complex that most give it credit for. (especially those that exist with the above mentioned variations in meter and syllables and stresses)
Our first work of poetry that we read last week was Annulments, by Zach Savich. I really, really enjoyed his work. He also came to our class today and had a discussion with us and then held a poetry reading tonight at Tulane as well. His work isn’t the traditional poetry that I had read before, but really just poems that are strings of what my teacher refers to as “image observations” like we are required to do for our class. They are bits of conversation or bits of images here and there or descriptions of things. They seem totally random and thrown together until you are finished and see links of common themes throughout the piece. The reader is really left up to come up with their own meaning of the work, if any at all. Overall meaning or not, each statement itself brings up a lot of thought and interesting observations and images enough to make it really interesting and worthwhile to read. I would definitely suggest you all to read it!
Anyway, our assignment for this past week after reading the book, was to take a list of images (everyone in the class had submitted one image observation from their own image journals) and also choose five of the ones that Zach used in his book. We were to take this list of twenty or so images, and choose ten that we felt drawn to or we thought were connected in some way and then alter them as we saw fit to create a poem based on the style that Zach used in Annulments. This is how my poem turned out:
White Scrap Paper
White scrap paper, horizontal lines.
Black ink forms letters, then words, then phrases to expose my thoughts.
My thoughts, memorialized.
White, vertical lines lightly bobbing in sync, aiming straight up to the peach
Blue morning sky. Empty triangular shapes where sails ought to be.
Road rushes from beneath us into a smooth river of gravel
Too fast to see its cracks and bumps
The bridge runs directly over the river, never touching banks
I drew your picture by holding my brush over the water
We row out over the water where stars are.
Fluid sphere, propelled, fast, slow, fast—outcome unknown.
Even the bottom of the sea is made of land.
Ripped up. Not smooth. No longer white.
Shining black smudges.
Paper torn apart. No words.
The age of a thing determines its beauty.