Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Foraging for wood on the mountain

This time the wooded

mountain gave up words. Wild,
unbridled verbs thickened the air.
Nouns feathered the ground. It was clear
the leaves were distressed, by the harshness,
the unveiling, as if secrets and belief
were meant to hide forever. No one knows
how the trees’ bark peeled, how to distinguish
the truth among so many naked trunks. Versions
differ. Too many adjectives were lost. What is
disaster, anyway? Words can only describe sorrow.

© 2006 Christine Klocek-Lim
Inspired by Jack Gilbert's poem.

Flurries and wind

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Quotation fun - Do you save all your drafts?

The Hand of the Poet: Poems and Papers in Manuscript, by Rodney Phillips, Susan Benesch, Kenneth Benson, and Barbara Bergeron, is based on an exhibition (in two parts) of poetic manuscripts at The New York Public Library in 1995, 1996, and 1997.

The book contains an introduction by Dana Gioia titled, "The Magical Value of Manuscripts." Here is an excerpt:

Dana Gioia wrote:
The manuscripts of a poem can be divided into three general categories — the working drafts, the final manuscript, and fair copies. Each type of manuscript affords certain insights into the author and the work. The working drafts (or worksheets) of a poem reveal the author's creative process. If all the worksheets survive, they track the poem's development from the author's initial impulse to the text's final form. Many authors, however, discard their drafts.

Do you save all your drafts?

I have a file cabinet filled with scraps of paper and whole sheets of countless revisions from the past 27 years. I don't know what initial impulse moved me to keep my drafts when I was a teenager, but after seeing an exhibition of Sylvia Plath's crayon scribblings at the Morgan Library in the early 1990's, I began to save everything.

Go here to see what other poets have said. . .

After rain. . .

. . . comes sunlight.

Monday, December 25, 2006

One more cookie

If I eat one more cookie I will explode.

Merry Christmas!

Tea on Christmas morning. What could be better?

Friday, December 22, 2006

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Autumn Sky Poetry - Number 4 available


The fourth issue of Autumn Sky Poetry is now online.

Read poems by Robert Bolick, Laurie Byro, Jeffrey Calhoun, Lacie Clark, Laurel K. Dodge, Guy Kettelhack, David LaBounty, Duane Locke, Corey Mesler, and Cynthia Neely.

—It's all about the poetry.

Christine Klocek-Lim, Editor

Monday, December 11, 2006

Poem Spark Dec. 11-18 - the Ode

Greetings fellow poets!

Today's sunrise swept over the land quietly, highlighting the yard and bare trees with delicate shades of rose and grey. A few stray cirrus clouds broke up the light behind the horizon. Perhaps the only way to describe how beautiful it felt to see the sun come over the windowsill would be to compose an ode. has a lovely little explanation of the history of the ode and the most well-known forms of this particular form of poetry: Poetic Form: Ode.

However, what struck me most after reading through the page was the intent of this particular type of poem, "the ode can be generalized as a formal address to an event, a person, or a thing not present" This is too dry a recitation of definition. When I think of an ode, I think of my last bike ride, or my grandmother's funeral, or the strange feeling that swept over me when my son's first smile crept across his face. It is the lyric joy or sorrow of the moment or thing that inspires one to write an ode.

This week's spark: write an ode. Don't worry about fitting the poem into a formal robe, instead, write an irregular ode. Write an ode that is completely free, or that rhymes, or that feels like a sonnet, but isn't quite. Let the poem choose its own way, and focus instead on the thing, the reason, the person for which the ode exists.

Here are some examples for you to use as a guide:

Robert Creeley America

Mary Oliver The Black Snake

Dorianne Laux Girl in the Doorway

John Keats Ode on a Grecian Urn