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Consider titles—of the book, of its three sections, and of individual poems such as “The Way the Dark Opens Out into Light,” “Falling,” and “Stone.” Look at the titles of your own poems and find one that might be more suggestive, simpler, or less obvious. Try ordering a group of your poems for a chapbook of 15-25 pages. Consider line breaks when reading the poems in Stumbling.

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What brings you back to your childhood or to a time when the world seemed very different? (I can see Woody Allen being me.) Friends have told me I did not succeed in this, but I rather think that is because they know me and feel bad about the whole affair. I wrote, in part, because my fine therapist had said that the dreams I wrote down for him were well written, and that made me feel I could do something beside make a plausible meatloaf. Signs on the road near Franconia, New Hampshire used to say Old Man Viewing a quarter mile ahead.

Concentrate on specific details that are personal to you. I think if it were about someone they didn’t know, a fellow named Ralph Roisterdoister, say, they might grin now and then. And I wrote in part because coming out of the blackness into the blindingly beautiful world made me want to write and write about it, in terms both black and bright. The Old Man in the Mountain came crashing down one night and lay tragically in bits of rubble that rangers discovered at dawn. There were plenty of old men at the Walmart and the VFW but the signs insisted so cars turned off and people stood around looking dutifully up at the craggy mountain’s weathered face. He never developed a wattle or those brown spots that crop up on the back of people’s hands.

How does the use of this form enhance this exploration? In fact, feel free to criticize the fact of it, too, if it's boring, or tasteless, or boring. The other reason for telling the audience my poem was true was because my poems are true. If it's someone else's idea for a poem, I’m like a toad attempting to suckle a mourning dove. Once I tried writing a play, and all the characters sounded like the same person—me. I might be a narcissist—all this writing about myself and my life—but I rather think it's that I lack the ability to invent. Sometimes I condense or combine the literal truths. and what the weather was doing when I swallowed them.

How does the author vary the end words and what is the effect of that variation? Consider how imagination functions in each poem, how it shapes the poem, how imagination might also shape the life of the poet.9. I've tried writing poems about paintings or about subjects suggested by books on writing, but they have always been bad poems. They were all talking to each other, and it was like one actor holding forth in front of one of those department store three-angled mirrors. I can paint a real scene or recount a real situation, but I can’t create. In the title poem, “Report From the Banana Hospital,” I have changed two names. Grimakis is a combination of a nurse and a doctor (who, hopefully, have found new careers). Anyway, all this is to say that "The Banana Hospital" is true, critique it as you will.

(Note that the photograph in question is the one that appears at the beginning of the book’s first section.) Try writing a poem based on a photograph of you as a child, perhaps pictured with one or more members of your family. I keep a diary (day-to-day stuff), and I keep a journal (ideas, opinions, observations), and I write down any dream that might provide me with a helpful insight if only I could figure it out. One morning a few years ago, public radio hosted an interview with a man who spent his time recording his life—every minute of it in minute detail—so that he no longer had time for anything else.

See if you can imply more than you state in the poem, perhaps some sort of family dynamic. It is interesting to look at “The Short Way to the Beach” from at least two points of view: a) its relationship to the book’s title and overall theme, and b) its use of form. You might want to read a formal translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Robert , for instance) to see a rather famous use of the form. For another use of the same form, read Robert Frost’s “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening.” Now try your hand at this form, perhaps in a poem that describes a child’s perilous journey, short though that journey might be. Consider the ending of “Souvenir” in which a “gentle sway of blue” vanishes “into the flowered meadow.”What, for you, is the psychology of the child’s act? Try a poem of your own in which a child (perhaps you, perhaps not) performs an act inspired by the same sort of feeling present in “Souvenir.” 8. He wrote and wrote and wrote, with no time to live or work or even think too much.

Praisner Sometimes When Something Is Singing Bruce Pratt Boreal Diana M.

Rabb Listening to Africa Ellen Rachlin Until Crazy Catches Me Permeable Divide Geri Radacsi Tightrope Walker Jarold Ramsey Thinking like a Canyon Kenton Wing Robinson The Water Sonnets Kenneth S.

Draw connections between memory, the world you lived in, and the things that trigger memory involuntarily. I guess if I did get to make my speech about mental illness now, I would tell people that the cruelest adage in the world is, "God does not give you more than you can bear." Because, of course, some folks are given more than they can bear. Wandering back to my theme of True Poems, "Lucy Dancing" and "The Seal In the Wave" are the only "untrue" poems in the book, though the men in "The Seal in the Wave" are certainly men I have known. They clicked their cameras, picked up postcards, felt they’d been somewhere, seen something remarkable, made of stone. They say he’s ashes now but that box of dust has nothing to do with the man he was.

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