Poetry and 52 Cards

In On Poetry Glyn Maxwell gives a writing exercise where you draw from a deck of cards. Each suit prompts a social situation; each value prompts a setting. Draw a card. Write a stanza. Repeat. Or not.

I drew:

  • Q♣: In bed, in a crowd.
  • K♦: At table, with a loved one and it’s going well.
  • 6♣: Dawn, in a crowd.
  • 3♠: Very cold, all alone.

There are too many here,

No comfort found in company,

Too many competing minds

Laying here next to you.

I spent too much on wine

Meant for Beef Burgundy.

But it was good, impressing

Everyone—your sister, your parents.

The morning I had to leave

Your whole family came

To see me off—left

No space to say goodbye.

New fallen snow—

Crisp frozen silence—

I've nothing now but space

And time to remember you.