Day 20: Tell me a story

Narrative or lyric?

I’ve been telling myself that I shy away from writing narrative poetry–especially narrative poetry situated in the past. I am concerned that it will be too linear, too much like prose, or that it will get mired in nostalgia.

Other people have pointed out that my poetry isn’t actually lyric, that it doesn’t push far enough into that space, that it isn’t song-like enough to be considered a lyric–post-modern or otherwise. (I also recently received a suggestion to try putting more of my poems in past tense.)

While I continue to sort that out, let’s look at the kind of narrative poetry that tells a story–the narrative poem in which something happens.

Today’s exercise: Write your poem as a story. To help you get going, you can even start it with “Once upon a time.”