Exercises from On Poetry

It’s been quite a few years since I last spent time on poetry. For whatever reason I seem to go through cycles where I read and write none of it, and then it comes back like some kind of need. So, I’m re-reading Glyn Maxwell’s On Poetry and doing some of the exercises this time. The exercises for the first chapter involve taking a number of blank pages and pretending certain things about them. What follows are my just-spit-it-out first draft attempts. Just getting the juices flowing again.

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For Anastasia

for Anastasia

I was wrong to ever try to teach you;

The things I want for you cannot be learned:

Swallow sun and dance upon the waters—

Swallow moon and skip stars across the sky.

—November 15, 2012