Metaphor-to-Meaning Poem

8 03 2009

A few posts back, I offered the first two steps of a poem-writing exercise:

“For your subject, decide on a process from nature (think of any branch of the sciences to help you come up with ideas: astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology) or technology (industrial processes, demolitions, etc)–note that this will work best if it’s a process you may be intrigued by but don’t know much about (you may need to do some research–that’s fine!);

2) Describe this process in GREAT detail; and then…”

And here are the final steps:

3) Read about the “Metaphor-to-Meaning Structure,” paying close attention to Baudelaire’s “The Albatross” and Kinnell’s “The Bear”;

4) After your description, turn your poem in the manner of “The Albatross” and/or “The Bear” so that your poem concludes by referencing poetry (and so turns your initial description into a metaphor for poetry).

You may need or want to do some revising–perhaps you can/want to now adjust your initial description a little bit so that it more smoothly “fits” its role as a metaphor for poetry.

For those playing along: sorry to keep you in the dark about what you were going to do with your description, but I think not knowing this is an important part of this process–otherwise, one might write too much with the notion that the description is a metaphor in mind, and so leave out a lot of details and specifics that might help the poem to be of interest.

If you tried this exercise, and you wrote something you liked and want to share, send along a copy–!

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