Monday, August 27, 2007

Something Extraordinary in the Ordinary

Students often say that they can't write poetry because they can't think of anything important to say. They assume that poetry requires a profound theme to be good. They don't realize that a good poem can focus on ordinary aspects of daily life. The poet's job is to show me something extraordinary in the ordinary.

To help students do this, I give them a list of ordinary mundane tasks, such as walking the dog, ironing clothes or washing the car. They select a task and write a poem on that aspect of daily life. Here are two poems on taking out the trash.

Ransford Laryea, grade 11

Wheeling out the garbage the rubber tires
lock against clay lumps
set against the dark line of dry hills.

Time ticks toward daylight
and a flying Avon catalogue hits my porch:
an undergrad's tedious job.

Later that day thick girls
giggling beside me
turn my face clown nose red.

Tuesday Morning
Matthew Morgan, grade 11

My mind maps Tuesday morning.
I drag out the trash
through air like ice cold beer;
a shocking time of tossing out
and pulling together
pieces from dreams and waking.


Ellie said...

I absolutely LOVE the poem Tedium. I wish I had written it.

Alice C. Linsley said...

It is a good poem! Ransford Laryea has true talent. I hope that he is continuing to work at his craft. He is an excellent basketball player also and that may be eating up most of his time in college.