Excavating the Mind Round 2: Taming through Framing

photograph of a raked garden plot

Garden Potential (2020) photo by Maria L. Berg

Yesterday, I missed the live broadcast of Rattle Magazine’s weekly critique video, but I watched it after. It was very informative. I found it fascinating how little of the original draft may be the real poem, the gold nuggets that can then be mined.

I’m going to watch more of the critique videos before I post my poem tomorrow.

This morning, I enjoyed the interview with Charles Harper Webb and his powerful poem “Prayer for the Man Who Mugged My Father, 72.” I also loved his poem, “Down the Bayou,” a raucous adventure of the imagination.

I’m enjoying that many of these poets are also performing musicians.

Thoughts for framing today’s drafts

As I mentioned in my last post, I am reading Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within by Kim Addonizio. In chapter 25 “the poem’s progress” I found some exercises I’m going to try as I’m drafting my poem today. I was especially drawn to the first exercise that asks me to think about some truths I currently hold. Her first example is, “People are inherently good.” An old friend and I recently debated this idea.

The exercise proposes writing three poems based on the truth I currently hold: The first in support of that truth; the second disproving the statements of the first; and the third arguing for and against.

I am also drawn to the sixth exercise in which I open the poem with a specific question and write two poems: one in which I come to a conclusion, and one in which I don’t.

These challenges appeal to me as artistic frames in which to approach this week’s observations. Looks like I have work to do, so many poems to draft.

I hope you will join me tomorrow to read this week’s poem.

Happy Reading and Writing!

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