20 January 2010

Forest Poems

It's been warm in Charlotte.  Like, late June warm.  Today was 70, and humid.  In January!  I took my three dear cousins to the forest behind my Gramma's house last week for a poetry lesson.  They're being homeschooled this year, so I volunteered to try my best at sending along some knowledge.  It was so much fun.  We perched on boulders, examining the dancing trees overhead, the veined leaves creating a brown lake around our seats, and explored the various textures, colors, smells, and emotions that come with being in the woods.  Their poems were very cute, and pretty funny.  They're city girls, so the concurrent theme was creepiness.  Goons.
We also flipped through Natalie Goldberg's book Writing Down the Bones.  There are some great exercises and ideas in there.  One idea that particularly caught my fancy was the one of having a poem booth.  Set up a little table somewhere, and charge something minimal - a quarter, a dollar, something along those lines - for a poem concerning the theme of a person's choice.  For example, middle aged man saunters by, pays you a quarter, says he wants a poem about trimming one's fingernails, and you write a poem, whatever comes to mind.  It would certainly take guts, and improve your writing for sure.

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