5.02.2014

#EveryDayinMay - Poetry Friday

Pop on over to Write.Sketch.Repeat. for more poetry!

In class this week, we looked at several of Rilke's poems. Afterward, we were told to choose one title and consider how we would write our own poem of the same title.  I have long been an admirer of Rilke's poetry, and the selections our professor had chosen made it difficult for me to settle on the title I wanted to focus on. Eventually I went with Going Blind.

The first stanza begins:

She sat just like the others at the table.
But on second glance, she seemed to hold her cup
a little differently as she picked it up.
She smiled once. It was almost painful.

You can read the rest here.

When thinking about the title, I immediately imagined a blindness much different than the loss of sight. It was interesting to view a title and then consider how I could make it my own. This is something I haven't done with my own young writers, but hope to soon in the future. They never fail to amaze me with their creativity. Luckily we're reading Flora & Ulysses right now, which gives me a good opening to play with some poetry!

Here's my first unedited draft from class. I really like the idea behind the words, but I haven't found the right flow yet. Hoping it will evolve as I play with it more in the future.

Going Blind
Just a moment,
she'd say.
I need to fetch the mail.

An easy thing,
to fetch the mail--
down the walk
and back again.

Just a moment,
she'd say,
I need to fetch the mail.

Shuffle out,
shuffle in,
let the conversation
begin again, coffee cooling
in untouched cups.

I listen to her stories,
once,
twice--
on a yawning spiral afternoon
perhaps a third.

Just a moment,
she'd say,
I need to fetch the mail.

Shuffle out,
shuffle in,
let the conversation
begin again, forgotten coffee
cold on the table.

She laughs,
looks away.
Covers up mistakes
we all pretend
to not see.

Then, again--
just a moment,
she'll say.
I need to fetch the mail.
Be sure to stop by Crystal's blog today and
read all about her adventures in New Orleans!

6 comments:

  1. I like the idea of using titles to craft a poem. Welcome to Poetry Friday! Your poem makes me wonder about her, the life being lived. Love "on a yawning spiral afternoon". There are those days...

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  2. An interesting assignment! Your poem is very evocative, poignant. You present the situation so well that I could place myself there, feel a twinge at the next "I need to fetch the mail."

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  3. Welcome to Poetry Friday, Kelly! Your poem fits right in with a documentary on dementia and Alzheimer's disease that I saw last Sunday. Wonderful personal take on "Going Blind." That "yawning spiral afternoon" expresses well the madness/sadness of it.

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  4. Kelly,
    It's interesting to see something in a new way --- through new eyes (no pun intended). You captured joy and sadness all in the same lines. The joy of time together, yet the sadness as this person begins to change. I guess we can be blind to many things even though we see perfectly well.

    Cathy

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  5. Welcome to Poetry Friday! What an interesting assignment. Your response really makes me think about not just blindness, but "blindness."

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