Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Poem a Day Keeps The Imagery in Play

Writing daily, it's like exercise, rest, and vitamins--it's good for you, you're supposed to do it, and I, sadly, usually don't. I'm quite bad at routine--I can't even breathe routinely (allergies and asthma), so I'm the last one to talk about "sticking to a routine" and expanding your writing ability and dexterity by writing every day.

 Still, just because it's not something you've been able to achieve before, it doesn't meant you shouldn't try again and again and again. So, Here I go, AGAIN to attempt to practice what I've been told is good for the poet within--writing every day for the rest of the month as part of National Poetry Month.

Since I'm already nearly two weeks behind, I'm going to dive right in and do two poems a day to get "caught up." But I also want to invite each of you to check out the Poetry Foundation. Not only do they have one of the best poetry magazines in the country, if not the world, but they also have excellent articles, interviews, audio poems, and an amazing anthology of poetry. Not to mention the fact that they have an entire section on poetry for children, so check them out today--tomorrow--as often as you like. Dive in with pen, paper, keyboard, and open mind at the ready! Visit the Poetry Foundation

The imagery in my fiction is what often prompts readers to say, "I felt like I was there" or "Reading your book was like watching a movie"--I write for kids, so this is a great compliment from a young reader who might prefer film to books. Imagery didn't come naturally to me. I learned to create vicarious imagery through lots of practice--describing things in my head, reading lots and lots of fiction, but my ability to create memorable imagery didn't really hit a high point until I learned to read poetry for the purpose of analyzing the construction of the imagery and once you've done that with poem after wonderful poem--they're like good chips, you can never read just one. For some insight into imagery, check out this great article from Rachel Richardson "Learning Imagery and Description".  Once you've learned to unpack the mysteries of imagery, then the best thing to do is practice...practice...practice, so here I go--a one, and a two....

Poem 3 of 30

Mage of the I before the ine
they used to think creativity
was only divine
then co-created
God and I
on a tear
to find the right image
the rose that opens
like a book dropped on a
table to stand, pages suspend
by curiosity
peaked even
the golden wire bowl
centered around the eye
of the rose
the I of prose
who turns the
ideas around to catch
the sun of inspiration
with a smile,
a sigh,
and my eternal thanks

Poem 4 of 30

I know of
sentence, word, morphemes
cell, atoms, nucleus
what parts lie with in the slices of
what is the calcium rich skin of a
the thin walled segments of juice
in the belly oft bell-like
sound of humor
ah, now it rings back to me
and below that?
in the base
electron, the drop of juice
so tiny the wetness
doesn't register
I know...

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