Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe: The end of a week of poetry prompts

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Reading and Writing and the Occasional Recipe

The end of a week of poetry prompts

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today is the final prompt in my series honoring my teacher, Ricky (Ottone Riccio) and his new book of poetry assignments, “Unlocking the Poem.”

Ricky is known for his poem-provoking assignments and I hope you've tried some of these. In the time I studied with him there was always that moment at the end of the workshop when he would say, “For next week...” And what followed was often something that sounded impossible, involving both form and content, and eliciting groans around the table. But, invariably, we returned the next week energized by our efforts, eager to share our poems, and enriched by the challenge to step outside our comfort zones and try something new. And, strangely, if he gave us a few weeks off to just write whatever we chose, we’d often ask for an assignment.

For today, I’m feeling benevolent, so no villanelles based on complex text, no Shakespearean sonnets on Sumerian goddesses. Just a free verse poem of 25 lines or a prose poem of 100-120 words on the subject of “year’s end.”

Did you have some fun with these prompts? Let me know.

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2 Comments :

Blogger Ellen Beth Siegel, co-author, Unlocking the Poem said...

Hi Ellen, I hope others have enjoyed your week of poetry assignments as much as I have! I've been following along--and though I don't yet have a poem in hand, I found that where my unconscious was taking me in response to your assignment about "year's end" was: spiderwebs! We'll have to see where that goes . . . Meanwhile other people, with their own imaginations, will come up with different associations--and different poems!

One of the things about "assignments" is that they are tools, to get the unconscious started working. They don't "require" that everybody write the same thing--far from it! As was always evident in Ricky's classes, the poems that came from any given assignment were as individual and unique as the people presenting them.

I hope you hear from lots of other poets--I'll stay "tuned in"!

Ellen Beth Siegel, co-author, Unlocking the Poem
www.unlockingthepoem.com

November 21, 2009 at 9:30 AM  
Blogger Ellen Beth Siegel, co-author, Unlocking the Poem said...

Ellen Beth Siegel, co-author, Unlocking the Poem said...

Hi Ellen, I hope others have enjoyed your week of poetry assignments as much as I have! I've been following along--and though I don't yet have a poem in hand, I found that where my unconscious was taking me in response to your assignment about "year's end" was: spiderwebs! We'll have to see where that goes . . . Meanwhile other people, with their own imaginations, will come up with different associations--and different poems!

One of the things about "assignments" is that they are tools, to get the unconscious working. They don't "require" that everybody write the same thing--far from it! As was always evident in Ricky's classes, the poems that came from any given assignment were as individual and unique as the people presenting them.

I hope you hear from lots of other poets--I'll stay "tuned in"!

Ellen Beth Siegel, co-author, Unlocking the Poem
www.unlockingthepoem.com

November 21, 2009 at 9:36 AM  

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