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
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.
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.
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.
Be fearless with your work.