Wednesday, February 25, 2009

galimaufry gang

Last night's Poetry Group meshed together beautifully. We were seven, all ages, a galimaufry gang. See, I used the word! We wrote a Moebius strip poem - one continuous line on a twisted loop. Our topic was an unexpected turn in our lives. The exercise was fun and helped us become better acquainted.

Next, we "unpacked" Longfellow's "The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls." What a great discussion! I was impressed by the insightful comments as we looked at word choice, connotation, repetition, alliteration. Our sharing really helped us discern what the poem is about, or what we think it's about! This technique that I learned in poet Baron Wormser's workshop is really valuable. It forms a solid foundation on which to write our own poems.

The Tide Rises, The Tide Falls
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveler hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveler to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.

I had asked participants to bring a photo, and we began to write our way into a poem that should end with a revelation we had not thought of before. The exercise comes from In the Palm of Your Hand, The Poet's Portable Workshop by Steve Kowit. The poem will be homework, and I can't wait to hear the results.

I share my work-in-progress poem that resulted from last week's exercise. Leading this group is helping me to produce more work, which is good.

A raspberry mousse plum
waits for the brightest star
to whisper waves lapping sand.
Foreign fruit, you dangle in my
willow branches as they sway and sing
laments of losing.
Meanwhile, a periwinkle bug
hops gurgling brooks
in search of an elliptical moon.

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