Saturday, August 15, 2015

Tu Fu, Poems XIII-XVII

During the past few weeks, you've talked about various ways in which Tu Fu's poems trigger an emotional response. We've mentioned word choice (simplicity of nouns, for instance), point of view (first person, present tense), links to other writers (Shakespeare, Hemingway) and forms (haiku, sonnets). You've considered the endings of his poems, their line breaks, and the translator's decisions.

With all of that conversation murmuring in your mind, I want you, now, to write your own poetic response to the reading you've been doing. My prompt is very general, very open: take it where you will.
Who are you, right now, at this moment in time? And what are you looking at?
I suggest that you stay in the present tense, keep your sentence structure simple, and use I. When in doubt, describe what you see/hear/touch/smell rather than what you feel. The emotions will seep out on their own. Refer back to Tu Fu's poems as models, focusing in particular on how he talks about the seasons in this set.

When you're ready, post a draft in the comments or, if you prefer, email it to me privately.

1 comment:

Carlene said...

Here goes!

After Tu Fu


I have pockets of sand and sugar
Collected in the creases of my fingers.
Almost equal parts sweetness and grit,
I cannot distinguish which one is which.
Each is a gift from the beach.
Yet, there is more: Why sand? Why sugar?
I know the literal causes.
Each sticks to my hands in itchy lines,
Glued by sweat and sunscreen. Between them,
there is also salt.
Is not this my life as well?
Grit, salt, and sweetness.
Why would I wash this all away?