Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MyPoWriYe #49 - Rose Seller



During my year living in NYC (1994-1995), a few images stood out.  This is one.  I cannot count the times that I have re-seen the corner flower shops in my mind, puddles of petals on the ground, roses for sale.

Students - we all have images that pop into our minds here and again.  An image may be beautiful, frightening, quiet, haunting, humorous, sad...  Images are pictures, and in my own poetry, I have often felt that image-capturing is where I need the most work.  "Rose Seller" is me trying to take a quick and lovely photograph with words. 

One of my favorite poems about petals is X.J. Kennedy's poem "Blow-Up" which you can find in this lovely book about the Earth, The Earth is Painted Green.  Another is Ezra Pound's "In a Station at the Metro" which you can read at poets.org.


Poetry is a dance.  As poets we work to broaden and deepen our ideas, strengthen our sense of structure, play with word sound and meaning, and sculpt scenes with images.  We mess around with line breaks, punctuation, and titles, pulling new words in and kicking old words out.  It's like rearranging the furniture over and over - joyfully!

What images come across the screen of your mind, like flashes, by surprise?  You may not be able to think of one now, but tune yourself to awareness to be ready when an image arises.  Capture it, and set it free in a poem.

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