Monday, September 14, 2009

Poetry Train Monday - 118 - A Map to Anywhere



For my found poem today, I've taken an exercise from Now Write!- edited by Sherry Ellis - and fashioned it into a poem.















A Map to Anywhere


Why are you writing this story?

There comes a point
In the life of many narratives
It helps
To think about this question

You are writing

Not that
There should
Necessarily be
Direct correlation
Between invention
And autobiography, but
Any fiction writer needs to
Engage
The stuff of his own
Real-life predicaments
In order to write
Work that's strange
And alive

Why write?

I suggest the following
Exercise
For stories or novels
That strike
You as competent
But tidy
Dull
Or inert

Are you this story?

At the very least
You'll have
A clearer sense
Of why the tale matters
To you, so
You'll be able to
Crack it open
On an
Emotional level

...why you..?

You'll also come to a
Stronger understanding
The power of setting
Individual perception
The interrelationship between
The two

...why this..?

Take a piece of paper

Use the whole sheet

Draw the map
A meaningful landscape
A neighborhood
A park
An empty lot
From your childhood

This story - why you are writing

Take twenty minutes
Fill in as many specific
Details as
You can

Story writing

Mark the location
Three significant incidents
On the map

You write

Imagine yourself into
One of those incidents
Write a list
Sensory details
Sound
Smell
You associate with
The experience

This is why

Using the most
Evocative details
On your list
Write
The incident
As a two-page scene

Why you write

Finally, write
Another version
Of the scene
Reimagine the experience
From the point of view
Of your central character

Why you are writing this story

- Paul Lisicky, 2006

Photo by Charles E. Doucet

For more poetry, Ride the Poetry Train!

Mary the Teach says I like it! :)

Akelamalu says Nice poem Julia. :)

Vita Stunder says Great poem Julia!

10 comments:

maryt/theteach said...

Excellent poetry selection, Julia! I like it! :)

Akelamalu said...

Nice poem Julia. :)

Vita Stunder said...

Great poem Julia!

Dorothy said...

I like the poetry. I like the exercise. I like the way it questions your mind, "why write"?

Linda Jacobs said...

A very clever poem with good advice!

Joy Renee said...

I like the way you broke the original question down into its three components: Why write? Why this? Why you?

Sounds like an interesting exercise.

anthonynorth said...

Some vital words in this for the writer's craft.
Excellent.

Jeeves said...

Nice one.

gautami tripathy said...

Wonderful post!

Poetry book: Magdalene and the Mermaids

Jill said...

That one had me thinking for a while. Nice one!
And I'm still alive, and having a lot on my mind, though