Assignment One.

First Assignment.

First Writing Assignment:
“I Remember” Poems.

I fell in love with this concept during my sophomore year at Temple University. I was enrolled in this pretty terrible poetry class that consisted of listening to a grad student read his own work to the class and assigning texts that his various professors had written. To my surprise he assigned us a more contemporary text written by Joe Brainard in 2001.


Here is an excerpt –

I remember the only time I ever saw my mother cry. I was eating apricot pie.
I remember how much I used to stutter.
I remember the first time I saw television. Lucille Ball was taking ballet lessons.
I remember Aunt Cleora who lived in Hollywood. Every year for Christmas she sent my brother and me a joint present of one book.
I remember a very poor boy who had to wear his sister’s blouses to school.
I remember shower curtains with angel fish on them.
I remember very old people when I was very young. Their houses
smelled funnv.
I remember daydreams of being a singer all alone on a big stage with no scenery, just one spotlight on me, singing my heart out, and moving my audience to total tears of love and affection.
I remember waking up somewhere once and there was a horse staring me in the face.
I remember saying “thank you” in reply to “thank you” and then the other person doesn’t know what to say.
I remember how embarrassed I was when other children cried.
I remember one very hot summer day I put ice cubes in my aquarium and all the fish died.
I remcmber not understanding why people on the other side of the world didn’t fall off.

Step One: Take some time to write a 20 line “I Remember” poem. Explore how poetry can be made from your own speech patterns and personal experiences. Remain extremely detailed and showcase a variety of experiences.

Step Two: Narrow the poem down to 10 lines. Editing ones own work is the hardest job. Delete the adjectives. Delete the fluff. Get to the point.

Step Three: Be fearless with your work. Post here.


One thought on “Assignment One.

  1. I remember the taste of mint leaves from moms garden.
    I remember collecting glass bottles and filling them with flowers in my forts,
    under the honeysuckle bush.
    I remember truly believing our willow tree was sad.
    I remember Bobby and Cancer and laying in the basement on his dog bed.
    I remember the smell of saw dust and how that meant dad.
    I remember her laugh and age spots on her hands and how afraid I was of the basement and how I smelled the blankets hard at night.
    I remember take your daughter to work day and walking across plywood boards over the foundation of a house.
    I remember being the little girl who said she wanted to be president, but never really knowing what that meant.
    I remember her always saying, “you’re going to be a writer.” and laughing until I saw a box she saved with everything I ever scribbled on.
    I remember packing my pink Barbie suitcase with chips ahoy cookies and vowing to run away, but never making it past the staircase.

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