Day 11: From image to revelation

Today’s exercise is from Christine Dumaine Leche’s “Beyond Story: Moving a Poem from Concrete Image to Revelation” exercise in Wingbeats II.

Start by reading Li-Young Lee’s poem “The Gift.”

Now, if you’re writing a new poem, choose an object. If you’re reworking a poem, choose the object in the poem that tugs at you the most (it might not be the one you thought was most important).

Make a list of memorable moments that revolve around the object or that glance at it tangentially. Be generous.

Now free write about the object. Use sensory images, like we practiced yesterday. Ride the stream of consciousness and let it take you wherever it wants to go.

Write a draft of a poem. I realize that you might be revising an existing poem, but for now just go with whatever comes to you.

What has this object revealed to you? What is its role in the original poem? Has the new writing changed the original?