Sunday, May 03, 2020

The Broken Bones of Hope

I'm taking a poetry course at Coursera called Sharpened Visions with Douglas Kearney.

So far (I'm on Lesson 2), I've learned that poetry is about sound and rhythm. And many rewrites. First assignments are two poems involving images (concrete things) and symbols (abstract things.)

These are first drafts that have not been workshopped yet. We'll see how they progress.

Make A Still Life: Without All of That Messy Paint

In the tradition of the Imagists, write a poem that describes an object. Be as literal and vivid as possible. Pick up the object (if you can), look at it from as many different angles as possible. Consider its color, its weight, its texture, its material and write up a picture!

Object: Red Heart Christmas Tree Ornament

burgundy, claret, merlot, blushing berries
straw, rasp, goose, chokecherry and bittersweet gems
ruby, rosy, glowing crimson bubbly bumps of blown
silica, white dots skipping on the shiny surface
sparking interior depths, slight, light, fragile
glass, brittle but unbroken, uncracked, reflecting 
back to back flames in Braille bumps,
sanguine beats, heart beats, distressed beats
surrounding the clavicle head, smooth neck top
crowned in delicate gold tracery 

Hello, My Name Is…: Title as Poem Catalyst
Think up a poem title structured as such: The [Concrete Noun] of [Abstract Noun]. Then, write a poem based on that title.
The Broken Bones of Hope

Despair is in the air seeping through
The cracks in your defenses, sucking
You dry, emptying you until you become
A husk, dried and lifeless, dust to dust
So you look for the carcass of hope
The throbbing ache of broken bones
A rotten tooth that you wiggle and wiggle with
The tip of your tongue, daring the pain
To linger and keep you awake at night
Banishing the gaping chasm of nothingness


  1. Vivid. I’d be interested in hearing the criticism (and praise).

  2. My response to this wonderful turn of events can be found on my blog tomorrow. I hope you can guess what on earth my poem is about! :)