Intro to Poetry: Day 2

Poetry is hard work. I’ve successfully avoided writing poems most of my life. But to improve my writing, I need to paint word pictures. No one in the world does so better than a true poet. I don’t expect to get good at it, but I would like poetry to work for me as I continue to tackle prose.

The Day 2 assignment is to write a poem about a face. As an enhancement, alliteration is encouraged. Both of these are, to my mind, major challenges to my abilities, meager as they are. It is possible for me to tackle one or the other, but I doubt that I can put both together into a single poem, especially one on faces. But all I have to do is sneak one little alliteration into my poem…

So here is what I did. I played around with alliterative phrases–one for each letter of the alphabet. By my rules, they didn’t have to make sense so long as these phrases had words that started with the same letter or sound. I came up with things like “icy ink on night’s indigo canvas,” “another ancillary axiom,” and “puckered pouches of purple blooms.” And those are just for three letters. There are at least 23 more to which I won’t subject you. Then I wrote a short poem–not about faces– that I share below.

Next, I went to work on the subject of faces. I could probably do a decent description of someone’s face in prose, but we can all do that. Writing a poem about a single face was not coming to me, so I finally decided to skirt the issue.


The Face

To write about another’s face

Escapes my pen; and yet I trace

Mere words to conjure up the place

From which to pluck from random space

The one face.


The tangled mess of memory–

Twined, twisted bits of sensory

Pieces of my hidden thought–

Yields the key which I ne’er sought

Of that face.


And so I cobble, portrait-wise,

Some words to muddle and disguise

My weakness, set to floundering lies,

That I have buried all the ties

To one loved face.


And here is the result of playing with alliteration.


Scarlet Sunset

Light-rimmed rings of wrinkled waves

Meld with shallow crab-filled caves

On creamy, colored coast-bound planes

As scarlet Sunset’s shimmer wanes.


Before tomorrow, I want to tackle the html coding modifications to control space between lines within a poem’s stanza. I don’t like all the space between regular lines. I put in asterisks to delineate stanzas and the end of a section, but that looks dumb and the spacing between lines looks even worse.

On to tomorrow!


About DrEMiller

Certified Zentangle Teacher (CZT). Home: Sint Maarten. K-12 teacher for 13 years (Special Education for 10 years); Post-secondary educator since 2002; Education consulting since 1995. When teaching, held teaching certificates in K-12 special education, reading specialist; and secondary social studies. Doctorate: Educational Psychology Programmer/analyst for 10 years, including project management and training of corporate execs.
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8 Responses to Intro to Poetry: Day 2

  1. poet31 says:

    Love your poems. I love the way you tacked your face poem. And your alliteration poem is lovely. I write poems but struggle with descriptive writing. I feel I can’t draw a picture with words or indeed draw a picture in real life! I think you do very well with both poems and tackle both criteria really well! Well done. 👍

    • DrEMiller says:

      Thank you. I struggle with both poetry and description, though. Neither come easily. So, I am spending more time on the poetry class than I would like. Thank you again for your kind words.

      • poet31 says:

        I think you did a great job. I found the water prompt a bit of a struggle as I wanted to include more description but it didnt quite work out. The day 2 prompt I actually found easier. I’m posting that later. Well done again and thanks for the follow.

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