I had pictures to show you what our sunrise looked like at 5:30 in the morning.
It really was a beautiful morning. This got me to thinking about my Sunrise poem, and the fact that yesterday's poem read from left to right, but when you look at a map on paper the East is on the right and the West is on the left. So I took that poem apart to try running the words in the opposite direction.
But along the way something happened. It made me think about two poetry exercises I have learned about in poetry workshops.
The first exercise I learned from poet Yousef Komunyakaa. He said that a lot of poets carry their poems on past the point where the poem should be done. Many is the time I've read a poem and known what I was reading was really two poems and the poet needed to seperate the two thoughts and write two poems. Komenyakaa suggested reading the poem from the bottom up and asking yourself if you really need that line. Eventually you'll reach a point where the natural ending of the poem should fall. It is his instruction that helps me to make tighter poems with more impact. His exercise helps me to get down to the essential meaning of my poetry.
The second exercise is one I know my friend Ruth Moose uses in many of her poetry workshops. She has students cut apart the lines of their poems and then try to see if there are other ways to patch the lines together. This changes the order of the lines.
This is what I was doing with the spine poem when I took the words off the first drawing to have the poem read right to left. Like Magnetic Poetry, I could easily look at each word and see if it was in the right order. To see if I had the words in the best order. And in my playing I tightened the poem. I think I like the poem better this way. What do you think?
|(original art by Joy Acey, all rights reserved)|
If you have trouble reading this from right to left, here is the Sun poem
Your challenge for today is to take one of your old poems and cut it up to see if you can come up with a different poem by rearranging the lines. Have fun playing with your poems.