Over at TweetSpeak Poetry, we’re finishing up Part One of Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within by Kim Addonizio. Our intrepid leader, Lyla Lindquist, has encouraged us to do as many of the exercises as possible. “As possible” is the operative word here, because there are plenty of exercises in Part one.
Addonizio tells the story of a fellow writing seminar teacher taking one photograph a day for the 12 days of the seminar, and then writing about it. Addonizio suggested doing one a day for five days, and then describing why we took it.
How the photo happened: I would like to say I was trying to experience the evening, attempting to soak up some inspiration for writing. Actually, I was putting the garbage out – real garbage, recyclables and yard waste. I looked up, and saw the full moon almost directly above the stop sign at the end of our street. Out came the smart phone. Click. And I had the photo.
The question became, what to do with it. It’s been sitting on my smart phone for a month, and we recently had another full moon, which reminded me of the photo.
As I read through the rest of Part One of Ordinary Genius, I read the section on rhythm and flow, and how a poem needs to sound “poetic.” So I started playing with the photo, and the idea of the harvest moon, and that stop sign, and this was the result:
Sign of the Harvest Moon
It shimmers in a blackened sky
mantled with a misty crown,
iconic figure of harvest end,
the time to lay the reaper down.
It soothes, it does, in its cloak
of pale shades, its iris eye;
it gazes on sleeping lights below,
willing the day to stop, to die.
Well, it’s not one for the anthologies, but it has a rhythm and rather poetic flow to it.
The fact is, I don’t usually write this kind of poetry (poetry that rhymes). But it is a good way to practice the sounds of poetry, and the flow, and how it contains movement.
Please visit TweetSpeak Poetry to see what Lyla Lindquist is up to today with the book discussion. And don’t tell her I only did one photograph instead of five. And that it was a month old, taken before I knew I would be doing the exercise.