Sunday, January 20, 2008

Piaster 002

Previously we talked a wee bit about imagery, and we offered an exercise that required description of a physical act but had a list of words that could not be used. The purpose was to illustrate a way to keep the image open. Open is good, open means the reader can understand and still has room to interpret and wander around a bit inside the poem to make it their own. This is a critical attribute if you want your reader to share the experience. Here is an example: Let’s say I want my protagonist to go down into a cold windowless basement. I could say:

“It was black as night and the damp cold reached into her core.”

Sure that works, but the first problem is we have all read those exact words used that way before. The second problem is the reader can do nothing but observe. Consider:

“Her eyes useless she searched with numb fingertips.”

The second sentence probably brought an image to your mind while the first one did not. The second sentence begs to continue the first not so much. This is what I mean when I say open. With further thought I know you could write a much better line than I did.

Piaster 002

The scene:

A person walks down into a dark cold basement.

Write a free verse poem 25 words minimum begin your poem with your variation of the demonstration line. Be conscious of word choice keep it open for the reader. Remember your poem must have a beginning, middle and end. Avoid cliché and have fun.

For those that did the first Piaster now is a good time to go back to that poem and note how you used imagery. Is it open? If not try rewriting it.

A word about the images we use: They are a kind of extra piaster to help jump-start your work. Do not describe the image but use it as a door, look past it, imagine what happened before and after the image. Don’t let the image influence you. You influence the image.

Post a link to your work in comments. Do support each other and provide feedback to your peers. When commenting, try to say more than you like it. Mention something you specifically like and say why or ask a question. We're not looking for in depth analysis but we are looking for useful feedback as well as encouragement. Have fun.

13 comments:

ThomG said...

Susan, I ended up rolling both prompts into one post. See what you think at http://thomg.blogspot.com. Thanks for doing this, both got me to reach deep within myself.

Christy said...

my humble attempt

http://a-mus-ing.blogspot.com/2008/01/proceed-with-caution.html

Plain Foolish said...

Thank you for these prompts. Here's my attempt at both.

two poems

paisley said...

no feed here either... keeping the feed accessible will make it easier for us to keep up with the prompts... i suggest feedburner... it has always worked for me.....

paisley said...

yeah feed!!!! i am so thrilled... i will be able to work on my entry later tonight or tomorrow... this is wonderful.....

Noah said...

I did the second one. (Funny thing is that I sleep in the basement.)

http://noahthegreat.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/basement/

I don't necessarily think you should avoid the cliche. If you can bend it to your will, you can create chaos.

Thomg- I really liked the images provoked, but my head really isn't working.

paisley said...

this was fun....

"her descent"

susan said...

Okay I tried:

http://blackeyedsusans.blogspot.com/2008/01/draft_5844.html

tumblewords said...

Here's mine -

Treads

Christy said...

feeling the need to just write, to keep my mind off real things

here is my second attempt at this prompt


http://a-mus-ing.blogspot.com/2008/01/step-by-step.html

Noah said...

I decided to do the first piaster.

http://noahthegreat.wordpress.com/2008/01/24/disturbed/

SA said...

Susan & UP

This is hard but fun. I couldn't fight the image or the intent of the first line so I just rolled with it.

The Monster Under The Bed Relocates

...deb said...

Late, but here is something.

http://stoneymoss.blogspot.com/2008/01/for-last-piaster.html

I'll be back to read a little later...