Thursday, February 05, 2015

Ways of Looking

Where the stream bends; the grassy bank beyond the tree is where the ducks often take the sun.

The World as I Left It
Wood, cement, steel, polyester
Glass, marble, ink and ether.
Water, ash, asphalt and leather. Plastic.
Stone, fur, copper and silk. Silver, cotton,
paper and clay. Bone, horn, coal, gold,
gas, soil, rubber and cardboard. Mud. Tin.
Wool, wax, lead. Ice, oil, paint and bronze.
Rayon, cork, vinyl and sand. Numbers.
Dust, slate, graphite and glue.
I was almost happy.

Mary Ruefle

Tristimania, Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2004, page 21.

Another task. Try making a poem out of the names of materials, either the types of things used here, furniture, tools, or household objects, or something else tangible. Or list intangibles for another kind of poem. Do the sounds of the named things suggest other words to you? Look at the sounds in Ruefle's poem. 

Were you surprised by Ruefle's last sentence?? Look up the word Tristimania; what single word would be a good title for your book with your poem in it?

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