A week or so ago I came upon an old spatula in the back of a kitchen drawer in a home that used to belong to my parents. It immediately transported me back in time to my growing-up years and a poem of memories and sensory description made its way into a rough draft that I posted for Open Link Night.
An object poem can offer a fresh look at something ordinary, something that is part of your everyday life. Or it can allow you to take an unfamiliar object and make its acquaintance. An object may have sentimental value, an unusual shape or texture or it may be something that teases your curiosity, that interests you.
For this week’s Meeting the Bar, I invite you to find some old artifact or even something newer that will tickle your creative muse. Here are some suggestions—a look at how to do that.
You could begin by enlisting the help of your senses. How does it smell, taste, feel to touch? Describe what you see or hear. Does it make you feel a certain way or engage a memory? Where did find it? Give some environmental details if appropriate. Are there any verbs that pop into mind when you see this thing?
Go ahead, take it a step further. Is it possible that this artifact can be used metaphorically? Does that stale bread remind you of a relationship, or the gravel beneath your bare feet the pain you find along life’s journey? Does it, perhaps, remind you of someone or something in your own life? Personify it, if you like.
I can’t resist sharing a fragment of Neruda’s famous poem, Ode to an Artichoke:
bristle their thicknesses,
tendrils and belfries,
the bulb’s agitations;
while under the subsoil
sleeps sound in its
Excerpt from Ode to an Artichoke, copyright, Pablo Neruda.
Another example is, of course, Keats’s Ode to a Grecian Urn, in which he uses the second person to address the object itself.
Finally, here is a poem I have posted previously that allows you to see the transition from the thing to its effect on me:
Alternate Uses for a Steak Knife
I know better
than to dig blindly
in the tool box.
sharp as it was
the day he died
ten years ago.
A bit of rust next
to the handle
crusted with dirt.
I can see him
beside the Sago
years of crap
to get at truth.
Then he would
sharpen the blade.
hear the song
of steel meeting flint.
That last time,
could he guess that
I would bleed?
Copyright, Victoria C. Slotto, 2011
So come on down to the pub, bring someTHING to share and read your fellow poets. For those of you new to this community, here’s how to join:
• Write your poem and post it on you website or blog;
• Access Mr. Linky at the bottom of this post and add your name and the direct URL to your poem;
• Visit other poets who have participated and comment on their work…especially those who have cared enough to read and comment on yours;
• Have fun…and you think about inviting someone new to join us at the pub.
This will be my last post at dVerse for a while. I need a break to bring my second novel and a book of poetry to publication. The novel is ready to go. I just need the time to format it on CreateSpace. I’ve decided to self-publish this time. I do plan on returning in a few months. In the meantime, I will continue to join in with poems, perhaps a bit less frequently, and will continue to post on my blog.
Many thanks to Claudia and Brian for their support and to all the members of the dVerse team—not to forget each of you who, with your poetry, make this poetry community, this pub, the best place to taste poetry and friendship. Au Revoir for a little while.