In looking through my poetry from this semester, I find it very interesting to see what pieces have developed from the weekly exercises. A lot of the time when I would do these exercises, I would get an idea of what to write, but the poem would develop into something totally different by the end. I even felt weird about submitting it as an exercise sometimes because it changed so much throughout the writing process. Sometimes the poems ended up having nothing to do with the initial exercise by the time I was ready to submit them. I guess I felt the need to take advantage of what inspired me rather than following guidelines more closely. Did anyone else have this experience? Or do I just have issues following instruction?

One Reply to “Exercises”

  1. Margot, I definitely experienced something similar to you. Because I refuse to even post exercises until I’ve beaten and edited them to death, they are basically unrecognizable except for ones like the city and state poem where my title is still Rancho Murieta, CA. Anyhow, I also can’t seem to write in guidelines, but I also can’t write in any specified time frame either. I definitely let my poetry create itself and take that as authority of my writing. If a train track was the exercise guidelines, I don’t just derail the train, but tip it over and let all the people climb out and scurry away on their individual paths. I was concerned at first that all of my exercises turned into something totally different, but now I realize that forcing a poem into a specific style or topic isn’t going to bring out something authentic, so it’s not really worth writing in my eyes.

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