Introducing From Tiger To Prayer, a new book of writing ideas and challenges
from the introduction:
I teach many poems, and have, every week for many years. I live a life sustained and deepened by my relationship to the poems of others, and by my own efforts to write poems. It is as natural to me as breathing to read a poem written by another and to imagine myself in to the lines, the images, the possible meaning of that poem. It is natural for me to offer suggestions to my students, to suggest all sorts of possibilities — ways for them to create titles, find structure, track memories, follow a path of images to a place where they can be, and write their own poems.
A small sampling of prompts from the book
Make ten visits to the same window in real time. Write down
your observations. Write your poem called “Ten Visits.”
Look for the poems in the world that seem to have been writ-
ten so that you can write the companion poem. Then write
Practice ranking. Worse than this love was his indifference.
More beautiful than her lies was the truth. If you are willing to
rank, you are willing to judge. And lots of poets make their best
poems from judgements, whether wrong or right.
What never lies? Write that poem, and nine more to
go with it.
Consider the steps needed, to move brilliantly from one noun
to another noun. For example, what is the distance from tiger
to prayer, from deceit to bridge, from graveyard to the river you
love the most? How can you design a path the reader follows,
each step reflecting how correct your choices are — your sense
of perception, of proportion, of structure all work together to
create this poem, and many others.
What has always been a relief to you?
+ The first, limited edition first run of From Tiger to Prayer is sold out.