Sunday, January 15, 2012

Theme: Re-read

Elaborating on the theme of returns and branching out from our usual poetry assignments, I'd like to take time this week to rediscover our favorite poems, and perhaps discover some new ones. It's easy to get stuck in a stylistic rut when then only work you ever read is your own. I think it's important to keep reading poetry if one hopes to write it, but that can be difficult with school and work and then endless allure of novels and histories and all things prose.

This week, our assignment will be to revisit a favorite poem and write something about it. Notice its structure, its central theme - what is it that makes this particular work compelling? If you have the time, you might try to also find a new poem that strikes you in a different way and explore how it has been crafted. Happy reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Returns - Susan

After Christmas

I will not write about home.

You can never go back, that much

is well documented.

Here are the things I can return:

1 T-shirt, too tight around the middle

3 Spiral notebooks, poorly bound

1 Textbook, for a class not taken

One can give back what is useless, or broken.

One can lay claim to something new.

The former cannot re-emerge as the latter.

One can return, but not return to.

There are no stories in objects untouched,

spaces uninhabited, clothes as yet uncreased.

The old stories are gone.

They are in that home, whose doors are locked.

This emptiness is yours to fill –

Friday, January 13, 2012


To return is to
turn into yourself.
As an archaeologist
carefully brushes years
of dust aside
to uncover the pieces
of symbols of life
left behind,
I parse my way
through odd things;
crumbling relationships,
disintegrating memories
seeking some fundamental truth--
only to find that the heart
of the substance
is the dust.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

New Year, New Theme: Returns

For this week's exploration, we are going to delve into the idea of 'returns,' a common idea this time of year.  Whether you are wishing someone many happy returns, returning a sweater that just isn't you, returning home for the holidays, or returning to your daily life after a holiday trip, returns are popping up all over the place. 

A many happy returns to you!