Poetry Class at The Writing University, Iowa

I decided to take the free, online, six week class on How Writers Write Poetry, offered by The University of Iowa. I do so much duty writing these days, I feel like my creative chops are a little dry (ever get that feeling, writers? It’s a drag!). Anyway– so far it’s really been interesting to flip words around a bit and play with some exercises. I’m not a poet– at all– so this is a real creative challenge for me.

Our first exercise was led by one of my mentors in school, American poet Robert Hass. I highly recommend his books, Sun Under Wood and Time and Materials. He’s utterly brilliant and the most lovely man. We had to write four poetic sketches: one, two, three, and four line bits just to play with technique and get our ideas down. Here’s what I submitted to class this morning.

sugar cookies, death, and broken teeth: 1-4 series.

1.

The coarse sugar cookie grits my teeth as I stare at the floor, waiting.

2.

Two suits sit on the train.

Nodding at the air in agreement.

3.

The left eye beamed brightly still.

Beneath the swelling and scars and smoke-stained nails.

Somewhere, under it all, she was there.

4.

A hidden tongue on a chipped back tooth.

And pangs of want of the world.

He sits flat with his twisted jaw,

and wonders why she left.

 

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