12  April  Posted by admin

April 13th Mom’s Poem a Day Challenge 2013


What Berryman Said to Merwin


just one time he suggested

changing the usual order

of the same words in a line of verse

why point out a thing twice

W.S. Merwin

in  “Berryman”


(he said)…you can never be sure

you die without knowing

whether anything you wrote was any good

if you have to be sure don’t write

W.S. Merwin

in  “Berryman”


tumblr_lc046kDqce1qb068ko1_r1_500Write a poem that messes with the expected word order in your lines to the effect that sense is not totally obscured but that the poem’s mystery is enhanced.    You might write your poem first in a more conventional linear language and then experiment with minor jumbling and omissions.  Work with one of your earlier April poems, if you wish, to create a tangled twin. (exercise credit Janet Cady Hutchinson)


At the top of the veins I hear

the finger on the bowstring

I hear my feet continuing

upward I hear you

hair in wind

I learn from you of the bare slope

where you are nowhere in sight

so we climb the mountain together after all

even with it between us

W.S. Merwin – from” Kore”



A second option would be to write about not knowing the worth of your creations in this lifetime.


I don’t need to know, do you?

we write just because we do —

same as we climb out of bed

or pull on socks.

jch 3/13/13c

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