On Thursday morning, the day of the poetry stand, I gave this assignment: An old widow has just moved to Bloomfield. She plans to make an embroidery or needlepoint and would like a rhymed couplet blessing her house.To some in the room, this was the last straw. They had come to an exclusive arts program, to write eight hours a day for four weeks, and they were being asked to do this? I asked if they thought I had suddenly become some kind of conservative. They knew better. I asked if they thought the prompt itself was too conservative, or just silly, and they said, “Hell yes: a housewarming poem for an old lady’s needlepoint?”“It’s just writing,” I said. “An old lady wants a poem.”“No she doesn’t. You made her up.”“You don’t think there’s old ladies doing needlepoint out there in deep dark New Jersey?”“Okay, but what’s that got to do with real poetry?”
This entry was posted by Ivy
on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 5:39 PM.
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