Tuesday, May 01, 2007

TO WRITE: Simple everyday routines
One way in which writing can help us see ourselves is by bringing the ordinary details of our life into clear view. For example, when you stop long enough to see a daily ritual broken down into its individual steps, you may appreciate it differently -- its intricacies, its roles, even its beauty. Consider this poem by former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser, who, incidentally, was a life insurance executive in Nebraska most of his life.

The Necktie
His hands fluttered like birds,
each with a fancy silk ribbon
to weave into their nest,
as he stood at the mirror
dressing for work, waving hello
to himself with both hands.

Play with this...
Write a poem about a simple routine task or ritual you do. As Kooser's poem shows, this action can be something quite small and ordinary. Describe the routine, considering its meaning to you, and various ways you could express its qualities to others. Take at least 10-20 minutes to write and revise your poem. (If you really prefer prose to poetry, use that, but try the poetic form first.) What does this everyday habit reflect about your life?

No comments: