Tuesday, 22 July 2014

My thoughts are the antlers

20:44:00 Posted by Damp incendiary device , , , , , , , 2 comments
Sorry it's a late one today.  As the sun sets on another day of salty underarms, burned lawns and panting dogs, here is an exercise (#3 to be precise) from one of my poetry workshops. 

In touch with nature

Stories and poems which include strong visual imagery are more likely to be retained by the reader.  Use visualisation to put yourself in a scene and make it vivid for yourself.  If you can see what you’re describing you’re more likely to be able to make it clear for the readers.

Exercise 3:

Write down an emotion:

 e.g. worry

Think of an animal to represent that emotion:

e.g. sparrow

Think of a scene for that animal to exist in:

e.g. garden path

Think of an action for that animal to carry out:

e.g. watching

Create your example of metaphorical nature-based imagery:

e.g. She paces at the window
       a sparrow on the garden path
       eyes searching the trees
       for the ill-fitting shadow

And here are some examples of superlative nature-based poetry which should inspire you to look at the details around you and capture them for your own nefarious poetic means.  Enjoy!

The moment Echo saw Narcissus
She was in love.  She followed him
Like a starving wolf
Following a stag too strong to be tackled.
And like a cat in winter at a fire
She could not edge close enough
To what singed her, and would burn her.

Ted Hughes, from Tales from Ovid (1997)

You know me as a turbulent ocean
clouded with thunder and drama.

Carolyn Kizer, from In the First Stanza

I’ll chatter metaphysics with a chimpanzee, now
                        my thoughts are the antlers of the Irish elk,
                                                the wings of flightless birds, peptides
                                                spelling out the phrase
                                                very like a whale

Brook Emery, from Very like a Whale

No lik the past which lies
Strewn around.  Nor sudden death.
No like a lover we’ll ken
An connect wi forever.
The hem of its goin drags across the sky.

Kathleen Jamie, from Skeins o Geese




Peeling veneer said...

Hmm, the example doesn't work very well. The metaphor is about watching but I used someone waiting for a phone to ring as the example. Nicht gut.

Let's pretend I had the woman waiting by a window instead.

There, that's better.

Peeling veneer said...

I remembered about the power of editing. It's as if it never happened.

What never happened.

Nothing. Move on. Go about your business.