Perception

MANY WAYS OF LOOKING AT . . .

Look at Wallace Stevens’ “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird.” Write a poem that looks at one object (probably a relatively innocuous object) from varying perspectives through a number of short, linked poems.

Kristin’s Entry:

French… pedicure
Polite and pretty dressed in light leather, for strolling.
Clean.  Definitely clean.   Memories of cake, frosting specifically.
Vanilla.

Upon one there is balance.  Upon one there is dependency for stability.
Extremities of the extremity blanched, drained.  Clawing into to get out of,
Stumbling.
Spread outward, release, let colors rush back in.
Flying there upon one.

Silly toes practical
Heels padded
Wrinkles and more wrinkles when I look down.  My whole life scrawled there.
   pulsing aches from walks and heels and balance
charcoal dirt from tossing aside shoes to DANCE.  reckless.   Play
    solid.  Climbing up rocks over twigs onto branches, bare and exposed. Exploratory.

big
and deadly

Tabby’s Entry:

I
Rough and rigid
he stands
homeless eyes pleading for money
for warmth. for
oblivion.

II
I wait, trapped by this homeless man, stiff… eyes gazing down
avoiding eye contact. If I look into those eyes
I am obligated to give
when I have nothing
and I’m not asking

III
He is the single most entertainment I get in a day. I watch as he provokes, sweet talks, and otherwise pleads with false declarations. He doesn’t even believe in God. What do the homeless know about God anyway?

IV
I hold him up, a thin layer of protection between the ground and him. I’m happier to be here than in the junk yard. At least I can protect him here more than there. Homeless is better than junk.

V
He walks, cursing the ground with each step. Homeless, alone, and insane. He knows no other world but knows he hates this one.

VI
His homeless hungry heart will never be put together again. Not in the right way, anyway

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15 Responses to “Perception”

  1. Denise Says:

    Whoa those were good!

  2. Maxima Says:

    I don’t have a secret when it comes to the sound of it.
    I strike it…..I let it ring…..I listen…..I strike it again, then I choke it. It sits in my room and catches the sun rays, turning them in a silent glare.This cymbal is growing on me!

    Suspended on a stand, crashing away my frustrations…
    I spin it sometimes….for luck; is it a symbol of it?
    Then…what kind of cymbal is it?

    “This comedian is half funny……he’s tall though, but the only funny thing about him is the way he’s built. He’s got the name of a sailor…..Sinbad”. I’m enjoying my pop corn, so…for the time being, I’m not switching the channel….I’m flickering some burned corn right on the cymbal next to me…it makes quite a dull sound.

  3. Emma Says:

    I
    Fluffy, lovable, watery eyed
    Goofing his way about
    Tilting his head to one side
    Gazing at me with a pensive expression

    II
    Anxiously he places a ball infront of me
    Hoping for a reaction
    Craving a game to satisfy his hunger for attention

    III
    Splashing in the waves and sniffing the ocean
    Taking in the gloriousness of nature
    The sand clings to his fur
    as struts along the beach as though in procession

    IV
    Alarmed by the sudden noises,
    His places his paws over his eyes
    And waits for a moment to howl in response

    V
    this Border Collie dog
    So regal and graceful
    He brings a smile to any face
    And a charm so playful

  4. Emma Says:

    I just spotted 2 typ-os in my entry. Vs III should be, As he struts along… etc and Vs IV should be, He places his… @ Tabby/Kristin could you guys tell me if Im on the right track with my poem pls? I found this one prrriiity challenging on my brain, but I absolutely loved attempting it! x

  5. skahahoo Says:

    I.
    When the last leaf
    kissed the earth
    the Heavens sighed.

    II.
    Powder drifting down
    no louder than
    a cloud’s whisper.

    III.
    A blanket laid
    slowly, softly
    against winter’s whip.

    IV.
    Night passes
    leaving behind
    frozen starlight twinkling.

    V.
    Keeper of secrets
    so fragile they’re etched
    six times in symmetry.

  6. skahahoo Says:

    @Maxima – oh yeah Maxima? workin’ the wordplay? “is it a symbol of it? Then…what kind of cymbal is it?” woot woot! 🙂

    @Emma – i think you did a great job! did you read wallace stevens’ poem about the blackbirds? i did, and i liked yours better than his (not that i’m dissing wallace stevens or anything! go blackbirds! whoohoo!). the reason being that after reading yours i was like, “awww…what a great dog!” (and i’m not a dog person!) and i could see his personality in your poem, whereas with stevens’ poem i was like, “ummm…” lol. so in my humble opinion, i think anytime you write something that connects with people on some level, then you should pat yourself on the back. 🙂 plus, you did present different sides of the same thing, which i think is what the prompt was about.

    @Kristin – i liked the flow and imagery of “Polite and pretty dressed in light leather, for strolling” and i thought “big and deadly” was funny. 😀

    @Tabby – as a new yorker, i feel you dude. 😉

  7. Emma Says:

    @Skakahoo
    Thank you so much for your feedback! So sweet of you to say you can see his personality! xx really appreciate that! His name is Max actually! I’ll post a pic of him sometime.

    I must say, yours is pretty impressive:
    ‘last leaf kissed the earth’.. that is such cute ‘personification’ .. and the other one ‘blanket laid slowly, softly against winter’s whip’… is such a sweet image.

  8. Emma Says:

    @ Skakahoo
    ooh and Yea I did read Steven’s poem! but I still felt stumped when I started writing mine..hit a blank moment.. but I’m glad you like it!

  9. skahahoo Says:

    @Emma – lol…i felt the same way after reading Stevens’ poem. 😀 most of my inspiration came from reading what Kristin and Tabby had written.

    and thanks for the kind words. 🙂 i actually wasn’t totally happy with the last 2 verses. i think my subconscious also wasn’t satisfied, so stuff was clunking around in my head today, and i think i like this version better:

    IV.
    Night passes
    its path twinkling
    with frozen starlight.

    V.
    Fleeting secrets
    preciously etched
    six times in symmetry.

    anyhoo, i like these writing assignments. it keeps my mind off the more stressful parts of life. lol. 😉

  10. Marie*Andree Says:

    *mirror *
    —>reflecting the face that only by you I can see.. I ALWAYS have wonder if you are tricking me and people see me different as you do or it´s just product of my point of view?
    Because when I reflect you to the light all I can see are millions of colors in the atmosphere..
    I have a secret to tell you ,when i look at you is like I have found my other half ,you are just like me but in the inside all I found was emptyness.when I touch you I JUST FEEL COLD and when I hear you all I HEAR IS Myself.. and then i´m alone again it was just you confusing myself.

  11. skahahoo Says:

    @Marie*Andree – heeeey…i LIKE it! your first verse has a nice rhythm and rhyme to it. and i like the idea behind “when I touch you I JUST FEEL COLD and when I hear you all I HEAR IS Myself.” nice job! 🙂

  12. Marie*Andree Says:

    thank you very muuch!!

  13. Marie*Andree Says:

    @skahahoo 🙂 from were are you?

  14. Marie*Andree Says:

    Ps: skahahoo i like yor poem too..

  15. skahahoo Says:

    @Marie*Andree – I’m from New York City bay-beeeeeee!!! Maybe not as cool as Guatemala, but we do our best to rock it. 😉

    And thank you for the kind words about my poem. You keep up the writing, ok? 🙂

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