Archive for July 20, 2012

Me on pony at 4Daryl had us each bring in a photograph of ourselves as a child. We were then to write what we, as that child, would say to an adult. One of my photographs was pre-verbal, of both hands crammed into the icing of my first birthday cake, but I know perfectly well what I’d said shortly after the second. I didn’t want to get off of that pony!

Rob gave us an essay he had published in the Oct/Nov 2000 issue of The Writer’s Chronicle, “On Emotional Investment & the Objective Correlative.” He also recommended “Degrees of Gray in Phillipsburg” by Richard Hugo.

He then gave us this exercise (in class):

Write a one-page description (approx 250 words) of one of the following:

Describe a landscape as seen by an old woman whose disgusting and detestable old husband has just died. Do not mention the husband or death.

Describe a lake as seen by a young man who has just committed murder. Do not mention the murder.

Describe a landscape as seen by a bird. Do not mention the bird.

Describe a building as seen by a man whose son has just been killed in a war. Do not mention the son, war, death, or the old man doing the seeing. Then describe the same building, inn the same weather, at the same time of day, as seen by a happy lover. Do not mention the love or the loved one.

Concentrate on selecting concrete, particular details and images that convey the particular emotion experienced by the character through whose eyes the reader sees the landscape.

Jeanne recommended essays on “How a Poem Happens,’ but when I googled that, the main thing I found was a blog. Jeanne, help! Nine Gates: Entering the Mind of Poetry, by Jane Hirshfield, was easier to find.

She then had us take our list from yesterday on “How to write a Paula Bohince Poem” and try to write one. She also handed out a list of suggestions for our planned afternoon trip to the Georgeson Botanical Garden.


DelphiniuumLunch bites had two readers from creative writing. Jeanne read several poems from her book, Gorrill’s Orchard. I read a scene from the middle book of the trilogy I’m working on.

I have to admit I did more photographing than writing at the gardens. But watch out for blog posts on some of the plants they’re growing!

sunsetStorm Cloud is dead.

I am not sure how to react. Death among my people is so rare that all who know the deceased are shocked, stunned by something we do not expect.

These people see death as an enemy, yes, but as an enemy who will ultimately overcome everything alive. Everyone, they tell me, gets old and dies eventually, and Storm Cloud had lived for many years and had many daughters, daughters of daughters, and even their daughters, like Songbird. They grieve for her death, but they see it, not as a shocking surprise, but as the expected end of her life. Already they accept Rain Cloud as their leader and shaman.

I thought of offering to teleport her into the sun, as we honor our dead, but it was clear that they had their own plans. He daughters have been hidden in her shelter with her since she had died, and the men of the group, led by Rain Cloud, are digging a pit not far from the shore of the lake. A pit to roast an animal? But it didn’t look like that, somehow.

Could they be planning to cook and eat her body?