This post serves double duty for SOL and the Poetry Friday Roundup.
On the way to school on Wednesday, I let my mind wander aimlessly from one idea to another. Usually, I listen to the radio or to an audiobook. (I just finished “Once Upon a River” by Diane Setterfield and highly recommend it!) In recent weeks, I’ve more often opted to turn off the stories and allow my mind to free range. This is very unusual for me, but I don’t really have the capacity to take in any more information these days. I find that allowing my brain to skip around as it wants is a helpful way to clear some of the debris out of the way before the day begins.
Today, my mind was happily skipping along until…OMG! I suddenly remembered that my critique group challenge post was due this week. And I hadn’t even started. I hadn’t even thought about it. Oops. (Hmmmm….I’ve said that a lot lately.)
So, when I got home from work, I looked up the challenge. It was from Margaret Simon and based on an Amanda Gorman poetry prompt that she called “Book Scavenger Hunt.” The prompt directs you to choose a book, choose three random page numbers, turn to each of those pages and choose one word that appeals to you. Then, with those three words, create a poem.
I opted to use the book “This Book is Anti-Racist,” in part because, despite my best intentions, I still haven’t read it. (To be honest, it was also in part because the book was easily accessible at the moment I thought about working on this.) For no reason in particular, I chose pages 15, 45, and 60. At any rate, I opened to each page and considered my options. By chance, two of the page numbers I chose, were title pages, with very few words. I’m not sure if that was good or bad, but it certainly expedited the process. On the other page, I tried to let my eyes skim the page and choose a word quickly. While I don’t think this is necessary, I liked the idea of the words being somewhat random. Interestingly, my words felt like a set. I ended up with identity, sense, and history. Here’s my very quickly written, drafty poem:
When I write
When I write,
I’m not writing stories.
Instead, I’m trying
to make sense
of my own story–
sifting through my history,
creating my identity,
This is such an accessible prompt and I’m sorry that I had a very limited amount of time and brain power to work with it. I’m looking forward to revisiting it some other time. You can visit the following sites to check out what the others in my group did with it:
This week the Poetry Friday Roundup is hosted by my warm and wonderful Aussie friend, Kat Apel. She’s celebrating the release of her newest picture book, “The Bird in the Herd.” Head on over to her blog for a sneak peek at this newly released treat!