We often discuss being objective about our poems when we edit and refine them (of course, we all know that real objectivity about our own work is next to impossible). Last week we wrote about pieces of furniture—this week, we’re going to spin the word objective and use an object as inspiration—let’s take a fresh look at something to which we don’t generally pay a lot of attention. (Some might call these "object poems.")
1. Take a look around your living space and select an odd, unusual, or taken-for-granted object—something that speaks to you about its unusualness, a special time, someone who gifted the object to you, or a memory associated with the object. Remember that this must be an inanimate object.
2. Free write about the object and its associations. Or, make a list of things that the object calls to mind.
3. Establish your connection with the object.
4. Working from your free write or list, begin to draft a poem using the object’s name as your working title (remember that a working title can be changed later on).
5. Don’t make this a personification or persona poem. That is, don’t ascribe human characteristics to the object. Write from your point of view, not the object’s.
1. Think about possibly transforming an unusual object into something familiar.
2. Describe your chosen object, reference it, give it a sense of movement and trajectory.
3. Think in terms of the senses, especially colors and textures.
4. Create a second subject in your poem by thinking beyond the object itself to what it means to you (or what it might mean to someone else).
5. Don’t just write a flat description of an object; your poem should be based on imagery rather than philosophy or psychology to underscore the poem’s meaning(s). Be sure to go beyond the obvious!
6. Be as objective as possible when you edit and refine your poem (imagine a big smile here)!