Monday, April 13, 2015

Why should I . . .

Not a raven, but an off-season American goldfinch
at the feeder that seems to demonstrate the same cheeky spirit
as the bird in Merwin's poem below.

Noah's Raven
Why should I have returned?
My knowledge would not fit into theirs.
I found untouched the desert of the unknown,
Big enough for my feet. It is my home.
It is always beyond them. The future
Splits the present with the echo of my voice.
Hoarse with fulfilment, I never made promises.

W. S. Merwin   (1927-

The Harvard Book of Contemporary American Poetryedited 
by Helen Vendler, Harvard University Press, 1985, page 251.

Here's another task: write a poem or series of poems in the viewpoint of and/or spoken by a minor character or bystander (animate or inanimate) in some famous event. You could even make a series of characters speak on the same event. Look to the Bible or to American History, or Ancient History (or any other thing in which you have a deep interest) for ideas. Saturate yourself in accounts of the event before you start to write. I always love to see anything you try!

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