Friday, September 29, 2006

TO WRITE: Sounds and sights that heal
The poet Jane Kenyon had bipolar disorder and wrote about it beautifully and evocatively. (She died in 1995 of leukemia.) Her book Otherwise: New and Selected Poems is a favorite of mine.
In part six of her poem Having It Out with Melancholy, she wrote:

In and Out

The dog searches until he finds me
upstairs, lies down with a clatter
of elbows, puts his head on my foot.

Sometimes the sound of his breathing
saves my life -- in and out, in
and out; a pause, a long sigh....

Good poets create vivid, memorable images in the reader's mind. But these "images" need not be visual. I love the auditory details of this poem -- can't you just hear the clatter and the breaths?

Play with this...
Think of a sound you love or that soothes you, and write about it in either a poem or in regular prose form. Describe it so that a reader can "hear" it, and detail how it makes you feel.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's a great reminder for all communication. Thanks. JWS