This past week, my Third Thursday Poets had its regular meeting. For two hours each month, we write, share, and critique. We take turns facilitating, and the person in charge gives a homework assignment for the next session.
Since I was in charge last month, I gave the assignment for this month. I got the idea from Writing Poetry (Second Edition) by Barbara Drake, the textbook for a correspondence class in poetry I was taking from the Hadley Institute. The prompt was to write a six-line poem, using the following instructions.
Line 1. Write a line, a sentence, with a color in it (or two colors).
Line 2. Make a one-line statement about a town.
Line 3. Say something about a time of year, a season, or the weather.
Line 4. Finish a sentence that begins “I wish.” Line 5. Say something about a friend or a famous person.
Line 6. Finish a sentence beginning with the words, “Next year at this time.”
When we do these assignments, we each make copies to pass around and read our poem aloud. When I read mine, everyone thought it was funny, and no one offered suggestions for improvement. I guess that goes to show that you have to have a sense of humor about these things, and that there are times when a poem needs no improvement. Here’s what I wrote.
With blue sky, white clouds,
Sheridan, Wyoming, is the place to be
in summer when the sun shines,
far away from Donald Trump,
where Bill Cosby fades into the sunset.
Next year, I’ll be where I am now.
Now it’s your turn. See if you can write a six-line poem, using the above instructions. As you’re writing this, follow the instructions and don’t worry about it making sense at first. You can always go back and revise after you finish it.
Please feel free to share your results in the comments field. If you prefer, you can write about the best thing that happened to you this past week. In any case, I look forward to hearing from you.
We Shall Overcome
How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver
That’s Life: New and Selected Poems
My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds
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