Skip to main content

Poetry of Place

Poetry of Place

Think back. Think about a place you have felt really comfortable. Think about a place you may have called home.

A cluster of clouds in Cancun, reminded me of when I was boy and would lie on my back in our backyard and stare up at the sky... 




Goerge Ella Lyom responded to this challenge when writing:

Where I'm From

I am from clothespins,
from Clorox and carbon-tetrachloride.
I am from the dirt under the back porch.
(Black, glistening,
it tasted like beets.)
I am from the forsythia bush
the Dutch elm
whose long-gone limbs I remember
as if they were my own.

I'm from fudge and eyeglasses,
from Imogene and Alafair.
I'm from the know-it-alls
and the pass-it-ons,
from Perk up! and Pipe down!
I'm from He restoreth my soul
with a cottonball lamb
and ten verses I can say myself.

I'm from Artemus and Billie's Branch,
fried corn and strong coffee.
From the finger my grandfather lost
to the auger,
the eye my father shut to keep his sight.

Under my bed was a dress box
spilling old pictures, 
a sift of lost faces
to drift beneath my dreams. 
I am from those moments--
snapped before I budded --
leaf-fall from the family tree.



Sometimes, looking at a photograph can spark a memory of place. Maybe it's a photograph of somewhere you have visited. Collect some landscape photos (calendars, magazines). Pictures that make a special connection for you.. Cast your eye all around the scene. Notice every detail, no matter how small. Look for a place within the picture that reminds you of somewhere that has a familiar feel to it.
Link your feelings to the images. The emotional landscape of your life is important in this writing challenge. Consider both your silly and your serious side. 
How might you begin? Some possibilities to ponder.
'I come from...'
'I am part of...'
'I am the...'

A photograph I took of a fire escape in New York, and a conversation I had with a friend (New York born and bred), inspired this notebook poem.




Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Compound Interest POEM

I cannot claim credit for thinking of this idea, but I have had a lot of fun making this poem using compound words. I have used the words to sing the praises of someone special in my life- my wife, Vicki. I invite you to try this simple, yet effective approach to writing poetry. It is a fine example of word play. In this case playing with compound words. Poetry fun to share...



Compound Interest
You are the jingle in my bells The tick in my tock The flash in my light The spring in my time The whirl in my wind The tell in my tale You are the ever in my lasting The ginger in my bread The life in my boat It has to be said








Some Actions That Could Inspire Poetry

Some Actions That COULD inspire the writing of Poetry
Everyday actions can provide rich potential for creating poetry. Here is a list of actions that might prove helpful in finding those special words. Remember, poetry is writing our best words in tight spaces to create some sparks!

Putting gel or wax in your hair Blowing bubbles Trying on an older persons shoes Baking with a Grandparent Reading a whole book in day Snuggling into bed on a winter’s evening Playing kick to kick in the park Riding your bike through puddles Eating a crisp juicy apple Observing leaves falling Watching the effect of the wind Practicing something over and over until you master it Trying to put on clothing that is a bit small for you Falling asleep with your pet nearby Walking on the beach in winter Helping someone without being asked Noticing cold air on your face Finding a long lost treasure from your younger days Discovering a piece of ephemera (ticket, note, etc.) inside a book Reading a book you find yourself lost in Shopping…

Place Name Poem

I have always loved the sound of indigenous place names, -small and large towns with rich sounding addresses, sprinkled throughout Australia. They have a strong lyrical and quite unique sound. Such places have inspired this rhyming poem. My travels may have been stretching belief geographically, but it was fun to make a poem incorporating these great words originating from the languages of Australia's first people. 




Visitations

On Monday
Drove to Chinkapook
Stopped a while
To take a look
On Tuesday,
Zipped to Geelong
Scanned the harbour
-But didn't stay long.
On Wednesday,
Traveled to Boggabri
Bought some cheese
-Not sure why.
On Thursday, 
Drove through Yackandandah
Flowers were blooming
So I took a gander.
On Friday, 
Arrived in Mollymook
Found a shop,
Bought a book.
On Saturday 
Was in Woolloomoloo
Couldn't believe it 
-so were you!
On Sunday
I stayed home.
-Didn't travel
-Didn't roam.