Monday, September 17, 2007

Poem Spark Sept. 17-24: an oldie but goodie

Hello fellow poetry entrepreneurs,

I've been going through a bit of a dry spell lately with poetry. Sometimes, when faced with a blinking cursor and white page, the only thing that works is to fall back onto my favorite method for sparking a poem: pick ten words at random from your favorite poetry book.

I've been reading a lot of Jack Gilbert this year; his poetry seems to be sticking with me as I go through each day. So, without further ado, here are ten words from his book, "Refusing Heaven":


Jack Gilbert has a tendency towards abstract concepts that remain grounded in reality, or at least, his version of reality. Most of the verbs in his book are simple ones: break, said, wakes, etc. The action and setting revolve around these small verbs, letting the reader create movement in his/her own way from the message of each poem.

You task for this poem spark: borrow ten random words from your favorite poetry book, chapbook, essay, online journal, or use the ten words I found and write a poem. Don't overthink and don't try to hunt for the "best" or most complicated word. Instead, let the words come to you. They're waiting for you to give them a home: a poem in which to get comfortable enough to speak clearly.

Good luck!


Cheryl said...

Well, I guess I'll go first.

You Can't say ANGEL in a Poem

So, what to call the miles of pink
wings bleeding into blue
the shade of eyes when young?

Behind scribbled lids, the woman slips
into sleep. It’s flesh that keeps her
rooted here, permits the meditation
of steepled fingers under the chin.

Above where she has fallen,
brain reinventing clouds that break
into avatars, the future divides
the low blue hush of heaven
from the rolling green fervor of earth.

We won’t name those gods either,
though the woman might have wished it,
her prayers falling in ignorance, unclaimed,
from the round of a dreaming mouth.

Michael said...

I like this idea as a was to jump start a poem.

Mechaieh said...

Thank you for the inspiration.

Christine Klocek-Lim said...

Cheryl, that poem is fabulous. I've printed it to read over again. I'm quite impressed, and feeling especially guilty since I haven't had time to try and write a poem with this spark yet. :-)

Christine Klocek-Lim said...

Michael, I'm glad! Thanks for stopping by.

Christine Klocek-Lim said...

Mechaieh, that was quite a trail of links to inspiration! I'm glad this little spark helped you write your poem. I like the idea of "guardian demon" rather than "guardian angel." Clever image, that.