Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poetry Exercises from Last Term: Teaching Writing

Exercise 1 - Number your paper 1 to 15. Open any book or magazine. Choose a starting point on any page in your selection. From that point, choose one word that you like out of every consecutive sentence for 15 sentences. After your words have been chosen, write words around those chosen to create a poem.

from page 1 - by Jasmine
violently SNATCHED from some
FOUND place
the ruby SQUARES giving direction to chaos
you're SCARY, she whispers
that's not FUNNY you reply...because it's not

PUDGY appendages smear grace over a white page
a concrete CATHEDRAL looming above
DEAF ears and broken perspective
colors REFLECTED on grey murals...inspected
like GERMS on glass

his voice SOUNDED gravelly, but riveting
NICKEL-COLORED pennies and dollars at his feet
i wish, SOMETIMES, to be like him but he's empty
an impenetrable FROST suffocating his heart...
the place LEAST recognized

Exercise 2 - Consider where you are from. Interpret it how you will and explain in a few lines.

i am from - by jasmine

i am from a young mother betrayed, cheated-on & abandoned
i am from culture exposed & embraced
i am from simple thoughts & complicated theories
i am from ashes...burnt, humiliated - but salvaged
i am from survivors
i am from blue and green eyes that have my shape, my mouth and my undivided attention
i am from small hands that seek me out in the dark to be warmed and comforted
i am from some far off place where a father watches over me and offers me passage by blood spilt and grace administered
i am from harsh stumbling, blatant error and dumb luck
i am from tender hopes and belief in the power of love
i am from joy & laughter, tears & hiccups
i am from no season...but from every weather

I am more from inside.
I've internalized everywhere I've been - everything I've done.
I've seen things & made decisions about what I want to take from them & become, but it seems despite my choices, the residue of the remnants surface occasionally.
I am influenced by all around me to become a greater i am.