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#ROW80 Plots for Poems

March 19, 2015 , , , ,

ROW80

ROW80

Our 80 day writing exercise has flown by quickly for me. I planned to write a poem every day, but have managed to do so about half the time. I am not at all discouraged by this result because I have also managed to expand my repertoire of subjects and formats in my poetry.  Last April I wrote daily and all of my poems were inspired by works of art, ekphrastic in nature.  This was fun because I visited artist friends and took photos to use as the subjects.  When I began this challenge all of my poems were ekphrastic, but I created the art myself rather than finding it.  First I tired making the art followed by the words, then I tried it in reverse.  It does not seem to matter which way I do it now, which is sort of silly to me.  If you are inspired by it, it seems like it should exist before you write…but I am practicing both ways, trying them both to monitor results.

Lately I am happy because I attempted very unusual subjects and did some slightly representational drawing about them.  I wrote about a lady who was ditched by her Euro-spy boyfriend in a restaurant.  She was presented with a giant plate of raw meat, steak tartare, and a note saying her boyfriend had never existed.  Now this might seem macabre or in bad taste, and perhaps it is.  What is interesting is that I finally put a character and plot into a poem.  My first attempt at this involved a swarm of ladybugs around a cabin.  These might not have come up if I had not been following my fiction writing friends who work on plot and character all the time.  My desire to make poems from historical figures and history itself lends itself to this practice.  If I want to turn my dead ancestors into epic poems I need to employ some of the devices used to flesh out characters and thicken the plot.  Since I endeavor to bring dream images into my poetry my technique will now expand to outlining plots and characters, then working on lucid dreaming to give me some vivid imagery with which to work.  I can embellish the true stories of my family in my dreams and use the impressions to create poetic versions of historical events.

As the solar eclipse tomorrow brings us a dramatic illustration of light and shadow, I see a metaphor for the known and the unknown.  What is obscured from view is often the most important part of the plot, and revealing it is the point of the story.  What I do not know about my ancestors leaves room for invention and fancy. Here are some of the real people I think can become interesting poems:

I also have a true contemporary story I want the public to hear and remember.  The Emperor’s New Neighborhood Watch is a rap poem about city government running amok.  If I do this with rhyme and humor it will be more impactful.  A good (digital) friend of mine told me this week that hexameter was the form used by Homer in his classic epics, not because it was great language, but so the actors could easily remember it.  I have written about just the facts in this case for years, but what this story needs is some memorable rhyming truth. After the solar eclipse I will start outlining these stories for Poetry Month in April. It is a fun new way for me to paint with words.  I am grateful to my fellow writers for teaching my some of their process.  Check out the diversity of this group here.  There is a lot of talent in this creative group of people.  Thanks for sharing these 80 days with a beginner. Your support has been very inspirational. I aspire to be like you.

reaching higher

reaching higher

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comments

You gave me an agave! Thank you – next month, I’ll reveal why that almost makes me cry….agave are a huge part of my personal history….

I’s been a delight having you as part of ROW80, because your poetic journey is so fascinating.

I’ve learned a great deal from every round I’ve completed – and I seldom finish all of my goals, and that’s OK, because I start our with a wide range of possibilities whicch I filter as i go – in the same way a good story narrows in as it goes along.

That Euro-spy poem sounds disturbing and tantalizing, all at once!

See you on Sunday!

Liked by 1 person

shanjeniah

March 19, 2015

Now THAT is tantalizing..how the agave is part of your history ..I hope it is not tequila related

Like

Pamela Morse

March 19, 2015

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