School · writing

I Am Writing a Poem

But before I tell you all about it, I’d like to thank Cally Jackson again for awarding me the Versatile Blogger award. The reason I’m not doing the whole post on it is because I remembered I already had it, and as I only know about ten bloggers, I’d end up awarding it to the same people all over again.

Must read more blogs.

But thank you very much, Cally!

As I was saying, I’m writing a poem for my Intro to Creative Writing class at school. Along with the poem, I’m writing a paper all about how I wrote the poem. And then the poem will be going into my portfolio. I’ll probably also read this poem at the end of semester reading. I’m getting a lot of mileage out of this thing.

I am not now and have never been a big poetry writer or reader. I have every respect for poets and poetry, and there are some poems I really like (for instance, “In Winter” by my teacher, Jeff Hardin), but I’ve always been more of a novel type girl.

So… I’m pretty nervous. Writing poetry is just not my thing. It’s like ice cream. I like it, but I certainly don’t need to try to make any. But if I did make some, I would most definitely enlist my friends and family to try some and tell me what I needed to fix.

See where I’m heading with this? Will you guys PLEASE help me with this poem? I’m desperate. I mean, my teacher can’t really fail my poem, but I want it to be good, because it would be quite the bruise to my ego if it was horrible.

Before I show the actual poem, a brief back story: it was written in response to a prompt in which we (the students) were to write a poem that used similar phones/sounds scattered throughout the piece without falling back on the use of rhyming couplets or stanzas.

Without further ado, I give you…

The Smiles in Picture Frames

Do the smiles in picture frames

Wane when nobody watches?

And piles of laundry, like a stack of paint swatches,

Do they become sentient when mothers don’t wash them?

Are the houses nobody lives in

Skeletons of old lives and wives and

Paved driveways? The cars that no longer

Drive on highways, do they dream of gone by days

When they took children to soccer games?

Does soap get dirty when chores are shirked

And nobody works and dust gathers?

Does the rust on metal rafters cry when it’s left un-scrubbed?

Do insects have parties in unused showers and tubs?

When garbage towers and weeds overtake the flower beds,

Do pillows still hold the dreams from sleeping heads?

What do you think? Should I scrap it and start over? Is it okay? Worth pursuing? SUGGESTIONS?

10 thoughts on “I Am Writing a Poem

  1. From the description of the writing prompt you gave, I’d say you’re right on — you’re avoiding a rhyme scheme, but there’s still a rhythmic quality to the way you hit the sounds (I especially like “Does soap get dirty when chores are shirked / And nobody works and dust gathers”). Keep going in this direction!

  2. I like the first 2/3 of this one. It seems that the idea of dirty things gets a little too much emphasis. I agree that the “does soap get dirty” part is fitting. You could re-position that earlier in the piece. The introduction of the cars is quite good. You might consider what their rear-view mirrors see
    when no one’s watching. Something like this, or the reflections of pictures or window panes would better convey the title from my perspective. Hope this helps along with the other feedback you receive. – Cbass

    1. You’re right! I didn’t realize the emphasis on things getting dirty in the latter half of the poem; it does make it feel a tad lopsided, considering the variety in the first half. Thank you!

  3. Quite worth pursuing, Gabriellan. I think your bloggers gave some excellent advice and encouragement. I like it and think it’s cool.
    How am i supposed to feel when i finish reading it? I felt like this person (authoress) is very talented, rhymically and rhythmically with some cool ideas and quite interesting wordplay.
    Just not quite sure how to feel at the end…
    I quite liked “skeletons of old lives and wives and paved driveways, the cars that no longer drive on highways.” Brings a little bit to mind when i say it out loud one of my all-time fun poetic heroes, the inimitable Seuss. Love e.e.cumming too.

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