Here’s your poetry assignment for this week, but it’s also my shameless plug for the freshwater review, v. 24, in which my poem “Considering a Photograph of a Piano Abandoned in a Field” appears. The review is student run and operates out of Duluth, MN (The College of St. Scholastica).
I’m pleased to be part of this eclectic mix of prose and poetry, and our poetry assignment this week is drawn from its pages.
Your assignment is to 1) collect a series of images (I’ll be using postcards), and then 2) write an email to someone—alive or dead, known or unknown (you don’t have to send it)—preferably about a topic you find it difficult to talk about, and then, 3) to use the images from step #1 to rearrange the email into a series of … well, poetic images.
I can almost guarantee that isn’t what Daye Phillips did while writing her poem, but take a look and see if it can’t be reverse-engineered to fit:
The wind roared against the farmhouse all night,
all day, west to east, great, howling dire-wolf
at the door who never ran out of breath,
that scoured the harvested corn field clean
of dry husks, sent them winging through the air
like a migrating flock that came to rest
across the grass—east pasture, barn lot. Husks
the shape of mourning doves, wings folded close,
shape of Dürer’s “Praying Hands,” pen-and-ink,
hands emptied of everything but need.