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Thursday, March 29, 2012

For Real Toads: sketching poetry

Yesterday, Ella (and I thought she was my friend) introduced poet and poetry-teacher Sandford Lyne to the writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads.
Lyne's theory is "poetry sketching" or, as it says above, sketching poetry. The reasoning behind the theory is "artists sketch before they paint" so poets can do the same. He suggests keeping lists of words in different categories, and referring to the list before writing a poem.
This is contrary to all of my own poetry techniques (which I keep to a minimum) and doesn't seem to require major life events, like falling madly in love, or being deserted by the loved one, or war, or even peace. Just a list of words. You look at the list and art springs forth.
So, I grabbed my shopping list, and nothing sprang forth except dog hair.
Try again. Try all day yesterday. Jaywalk across busy streets thinking about lists of words.
Something sprang forth at 2am last night.
I sent my husband out of the room at 7am while I drank lots of coffee and looked at the four words.

flower storm cactus desert

Richard Schear photo, copyright Richard Schear and Kay Davies


Cactus Flower, Desert Storm

elegant flower
with cactus spines;
dangerous storm
wild with wonder --
why does the beauty
hide the danger?
how does the danger
hide the beauty?

Nature hides the beauty of the desert storm,
to protect the wanderer, urge him to safety.
so, too, the beauty of the cactus flower hides the spines
so insects will come to pollinate.
the wanderer, from a window, watches with wide eyes,
sees the beauty of the storm.
so, too, the spiky spines discourage those
who would pluck and eat the wondrous cactus flower.
Kay L. Davies, March, 2012

23 comments:

Kerry O'Connor said...

Ooh, this is good! And what a picture? My word that is a beautiful sight. I liked the idea of the short lead in lines, but the main stanza is just excellent, Kay.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Wow, such a terrific poem. Love the photo too. I much prefer your Desert Storm to the USA's:)

Anonymous said...

Oh, what thought-provoking questions:

"why does the beauty
hide the danger?
how does the danger
hide the beauty?"

rosemarymint.wordpress.com

Fireblossom said...

I like this, but... I want to know what Lindy thinks!

Laurie Kolp said...

I found the prompt difficult as well. This is lovely, though... I especially like the first verse.

Mary Ann Potter said...

You've posed interesting questions here, Kay. So well done!!!

hedgewitch said...

I love the mix of first and second stanza--same concepts yet the whole feel is different--great words, well used to create a real identity for the prickly pear. And Kay, your poetry is always honest and refreshing, and full of a give back of the riches of your life--I'm grateful for it.

And anytime you want to bring that earthmoving equipment by, just let me know. ;_)

James said...

Beautiful words and photo! I'll be in the desert this weekend and I be thinking about this post.

Margaret said...

The desert cactus... you painted it quite well with words! Keep sketching :)

Mystic_Mom said...

Kay this is wonderful. I'm sorry it was such a labour, but it is one of love and is a great read! Love that photo!

Heaven said...

What a lovely picture...I do like the cactus flower and its dangerous beauty ~

Hildred and Charles said...

Beautiful words and thoughtfulness, Kay.

nana_ang_poppaphil said...

Great job Kay, I love the flow of the words and the last four lines especially

"why does the beauty hide the danger?
How does the danger hide the beauty?"

diane b said...

Great shot of the cactus and a neat poem to go with it.

Ella said...

I thought I was your friend, lol
YOU are a rig! Okay, the prompt was a pain, but look at the beauty your created! Amazing, I love it~
I'm late to making my rounds...life is a cartoon for me right now.

Wonderful Kay!

Cezar and Léia said...

Very curious shot, strangely beautiful. :)
God bless you!
Cezar

Friko said...

Well, I'm not sure about a string of words, but you would surely have come up with a nice line in poetry anyway?

Whatever, this sort of thing might be worth a try. Anything to help the grey cells spring into life.

Friko said...

did I just comment or didn't I?

The Chair Speaks said...

Aaah, coffee does wonders!

Thank you very much for the purrs and prayers. EJ's mom's surgery went well and is recovering.

Lynette Killam said...

Oh, wonderful words, Kay...and Dick's photo is grand, as always!

Hope you're having a wonderful Easter weekend...:)

Joyful said...

Very nice! The technique works ;-)

Linnea said...

Happy Easter!!

Regards, Linnea and Ola

Tammy said...

"And nothing sprang forth but dog hair." LOL! And yet it did, just like that cactus flower and just as beautiful. Like the tip about sketching first!