Monday, September 28, 2009

Poetics 1

My process for the object poem was to, either real or imagined, leave my body and focus on my object as it is in its seemingly SEEMless entirety. I attempted to remember to forget, or not place emphasis or conscious effort or attentiveness to the fact that the pretense to my 'doing' of the poem was SEEMingly that of an assignment beyond the realm of "complete freedom writing." I, instead, brain washed myself, washing away afterthoughts and preconceived notions from my brain, and delving into the object FURther and ‘FARther’ (somewhat mistakenly to the point of object subjectivity--- perhaps a misTAKEn identity?). I made lists of the objects qualities, details, features, and what have you. I collaged the chosen pieces of those lists, piecing them together into a completed puzzle, considering word plays, sequential orders, and synonymous ways of putting them. I thought of what the chosen synonyms and other written devises brought fourth that the un-chosen ones did not. Yet, I attempted to not attempt, and/but simply do; to not 'think,' not feel; but something else that is no more/no less than simply what it is (or was). I embraced contradiction, at times reaching peaks in which I did not meta-cognize (thought thinking of itself). I got INTO IT; BEing INTUITive. I was 'be' or 'is' (ism?) as opposed to 'becoming.' However, even those distinction (i.e. be/becoming, not meta-cognizing/meta-cognizing, not attempt/attempt, preconceived notion/afterthoughts/NOWness, etc.) are SEEMingly laced with a dualistic relationship that SEEMS removed to me; removed in ways that I did not wish upon to divide my attention. I wanted to allow the object my undivided attention. And so, I wished/willed (free willed? or mechanistically? probably both?) away these DISTINCTions; detoxing, forgetting to forget, remaining mindful yet out of my mind (in terms of my OBJECTional METAtation). I tried to be straight forward (but open to non-linear forms), concise (but open ended) and true (but with the notion that 'the truth would come back if I let it go' in mind) to the assignment and to the purpose of the poetic style (object poem). I desired to be engaging to the point of pivoting beyond simply telling; instead showing to the point of engaging (except: "showing note telling"). (Note: I was in and out of these extremely intense states of being of which I have spoken of thus far and of that which I will continue to speak of)
Honestly, when it comes down to the point of discussion at which, how "challenging" the production of this poem was for me, I would begin with stating my claim that: I do not necessarily find it necessary to equate learning or poetic process, product, and what more I can say and what have you, with "challenge," "difficulty," “WORK” or "unpleasantness." In fact, I often times find that when thinking of my self and the creative WORK which is being exposed to me or through me as the product, not of what its inner most source is, but instead of any assortment of outer judger or definee, that that creative WORK is stifled. In accordance with this idea, I wanted to engage the poem in such a way that the poem was as easy as it could get/be. I wanted to let loose, let my guard down, be unreserved, unafraid but open to my flaws, and so on and so forth; genuine/authentic/honest; derivative ('of deriving').
It seems as though much of this intentional process of becoming a being that is non-intentional, ended up quite successful, somewhat through the means of mystification (putting the mind in a state of CONfusion, inquiry, wonder, and uncertainty; pushing buttons and comfort zones).
I learned a great deal. I had never approached a poem quite like this before; so focused upon an object to the point of that object and I becoming reflective surfaces of one another, then reflections, then one in the same (either real or imagined).
With the risk of redundancy, and the hopes of further clarification, as a final note it should be noted that, although I was not held back (for the most part, seemingly) by “preconceived notions” and “afterthoughts,” I also embraced them simultaneously as a means of playing off of the truth that is already known/done and twisting that truth a bit. I wrote liberally on the grounds of conservatism. In other words, I experimented, improvised, and riffed off of tradition and form. Perhaps this brought a nice tension to my piece; a tension which sets the occasion for a metaphorical friction between conservatism and liberalism to bring rise to an energy source that is reSOURCEful, energetic, and that is hopefully engaging to the reader in some way.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Poetics 1

Initially, I thought deciding what to write was the most difficult part of the process. I didn’t want to write about anything that was, in my eyes, meaningless. My belief is that all poetry should speak to the human condition. Not the canine condition or the lemon condition, but the human condition-- seeing as how we are the only ones who can read, interpret, and internalize the poem. The object poem seemed to go against my idea of writing for the human condition. It felt as if we were asked to write for something that is completely unaffected by poetry. What I didn’t understand at the time is that the object poem can speak to us humans about how vital a particular object is to our existence, society, etc.

My mothers aloe plant became the object of my attention. I sat at her kitchen table, sunlight streaming through open blinds, and tried to use my five senses. I touched the aloe plants leaves, waxy and slick with small “pricks” on them. I smelled the plant, snapped the leaves in half, and tasted the aloe juice. I took time out to admire God’s architecture, looking at all the crevices and blemishes. I tried to think of the meaning of this plant, and why it was in my household. I thought about what this plant meant to the human condition. This was more difficult than other poetry I’ve written because I felt somewhat unaffected by the object. I usually write about things that impact me in some way.

I learned that I have to guide my imagination. I can let it be wild and free during my brainstorming process, but once I begin to put pen to paper and words together, it needs to be lassoed in. My imagination took me into another world, wondering what this plant meant in ancient times before Neosporin and Tylenol. Through my imagination I was able to travel the history of this plant. I was a great process. However, I am not completely satisfied with the piece. I will continue to work on it. It seems object poems work better when the author has a deeper connection with the object.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Poetics 1

I like to read poems. I have read the poems of the early 20th century. Of course, the almost all of the poems are written by Koreans. At that time, Korean was under the big trouble, so many poets could not write their poems freely. The government inspected all of the writings. Therefore, the poets wrote many symbolic poems. A word could have several meanings. A sentence could be understood in different ways. I am interested about that. For this object poem assignment, I would like to choose a common object that we can see everywhere and anytime. Then, I would like to put some surprise and deep symbols to it. That was not easy because I should focus on to the object. Too many or too strong symbols can cover the main object. I worried about that part very much, and I have revised the poem several times. However, the more important thing is the sympathy with readers. If nobody know my intentions, that would not be fun.

Poetics 1

When thinking about what item to choose for my object poem, I knew that I wanted to use something that I was familiar with. I chose my diamond ring because I thought that I could effectively describe the item and relay the message of how much it means to me.
While writing my poem I tried to keep my focus on the ring and its details. I wanted to make sure every part of it was described in such a way that would help the reader easily visualize its beauty. It’s funny to say that I was able to complete the poem while I was working. I had enough time and peace to really look at my ring and find the words that would effectively describe it.
At first I thought that it would be difficult to write about the ring. I didn't think that I could talk about it and its features without going off and rambling on about how much it means to me. Once I started talking about it, I found it easier to go deeper into detail. I learned a lot about myself and my imagination through this exercise. I believe that usually once people get older, their imaginations seem to dissipate. Once I was able to sit down and really think about the object, I was able to see the ring in ways I had never seen it before. It actually became even more beautiful to me.

Poetics 1

While searching for an object to write about I was thinking: don’t be too cliché, don’t pick something too small or too big, and don’t over think any object. I went into the bathroom and found my razor. I knew I would easily be able to create an object poem about my razor because there was a lot of room for creativity. While writing my object I tried to keep my own personal attachment to the razor out of the poem. Instead of simply describing the features of my razor, I decided to describe the “life and death” of a razor. My own imagination gave the razor it’s own life. “It”—the razor—became “Her” while examining the characteristics of the razor. When I finished the poem I wasn’t sure if there was enough there to let the reader know what the object is. So at the end I added “Dispose of Her” in order to create a connection to disposable razors, but also to illustrate the death of the razor. While drafting I intend to add one or two more physical descriptions of the razor, and also a stanza break.

Poetics 1

At first the object poem had prove itself to be difficult. Orignally, I had planed to write a poem about a mouse trap. My excitement over it, was than reached quickly with defeat as I ended up realizing i had no clue how to work a mouse trap. After hours of snapping the trap on my hand, and finally throwing it at a wall, I had come to what came to be the object of my poem, a frame. I ended up staring at it for an half and hour, attempting to find out what it would feel like to be a frame. I tried to think outside the conventional terms of what a frame is, and then thought about how one buys a frame and why. Then I began to realize how I hardly look at it. How it seems not vital to my room's appearance. I began to feel sad for it and this when I began to flesh out my poem through trying to sympathize with my frame.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Poetics 1

When I first set down to write my object poem I ended up just sitting there and staring at the object for a good hour. My object was an old photograph and at first the only thing that I could focus on was the deep emotions my object elicited. At first I wanted to cry and then laugh at how different everyone looked. That was the hardest part for me not writing about the emotions I felt but rather looking at the photograph from an outside perspective. When you write about something with deep emotional meaning such as a picture it’s hard to remain just an outsider looking it. What worked for me is I would just write anything and everything that came to mind and later picked the things I thought were more focused on the object as an object.

I have written many different kinds of poetry and honestly this was the first object poem I have ever written and the process was defiantly different. I have never had to stop myself because I thought I was being too emotional or getting off topic. When I write my poetry I usually write whatever comes to mind. Since poetry to me is a form of expression I never had to worry about what someone else will think and whether it’s good enough. However, this was a great exercise for my creativity even though it was hard at first to just write about my particular object, I later learned that you can direct your creativity to flow in different ways. Even though at first this process seemed limiting it did show me my abilities to focus on something and that thing alone.

Poetics 1

My object poem was about a pencil. I chose to write about a pencil because I wanted to focus on a simple object thats detail tends to go unnoticed on a daily basis. I titled the poem "Matita," which is Italian for the word pencil, to generate some curiousity and intrigue when the reader sees the title. Someone unfamiliar with the Italian language may not immediately know what the poem is about while others may just question the reasoning for a foreign title. I find that using its foreign name makes the pencil a more interesting object from the very start. I wrote the poem using the pencil I was examining. The poem is an examination of the pencil as I write with it, from what I see first to what attracts my attention next. Its shape and size are most notable, and so that detail is found in the first stanza. As the poem ends, its description is focused more on the result of its use. The challenge writing the poem was observing the pencil as a whole. I didn't want to drift from the pencil as an object so I avoided focusing on what the pencil does. I also didn't want to use words like "eraser" and "lead" because they alone are objects that make up the pencil. Writing the poem and my word choice came naturally. I didn't force anything or try to substitue a word or phrase for another, I just wrote it as it came to me. I think the most interesting thing about the assignment was just that so much can be said about something so simple by just giving the object some attention.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Poetics 1

My object poem focused on a glass pendant that I hand-made. I adore this piece of jewelry and love looking at glass art. Needless to say, it was very easy for me to stare at the pendant for a long period of time. I literally sat down in the park and fixed my focus to the pendant. I started with my eyes closed; feeling its curves, the shape it took in my palm, and its smooth edges. I reminisced on how the pendant was made and the process that brings to life a completely organic, hand-made, piece of art. I opened my eyes and stared at the pendant's colors and tried to name them so that I could evoke some sort of warmth from the charm. I originally wrote the poem in lines, and then ran with the idea of a calligram, which shaped the poem as the leaf-like pendant. I did not find this confining, but rather saw it as an opportunity to use words that were full of meaning. I ended with the poem in a place where the pendant is worn, on a woman’s collar.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Poetics 1

For me, writing poetry is freedom. When I write poetry, my mind is able to wonder and tap into thoughts, feelings, and emotions I usually do not acknowledge. When I was constructing my object poem, I thought about the object in a different way than I normally would. Instead of simply looking at the adorable newly born puppies, I actually looked at them. I studied their movement and really put thought into how new they were to this world. I observed their personalities and formed a poem that reflected my deep thoughts. I have never written an “object” poem and found that focusing on the object at hand was a little difficult for me. After I focused my train of thought and looked deeper at the puppies than just their surface, I was able to expand my imagination and my poem literally just came together line-by-line thought-by-thought.


I like to laugh a lot and I only thought it would be appropriate to write my first poem using humor. The object I picked was a bagel with ketchup on it instead of the normal cream cheese or butter. I thought it was a unique object, at best, to inspire a few laughs. A challenge I faced while writing this poem was not being able to explain how this object came about or why it was so funny to me. However, the last line of the poem pulled it together with reference to the case of miller. I thought it was funny how I rhymed middle with describing the walls of the bagel to a fiddle. Even though it sounds a little silly and might be a stretch, the brown layering color of wood and smooth surface did truly remind me of the side of the fresh plain bagel. For a science major writing her first poem ever, I don't think it was terrible.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


Langston Hughes discussing and reading "The Negro Speaks of Rivers":

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Object Poem - The Fish

The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop

I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of his mouth.
He didn't fight.
He hadn't fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and there
his brown skin hung in strips
like ancient wallpaper,
and its pattern of darker brown
was like wallpaper:
shapes like full-blown roses
stained and lost through age.
He was speckled and barnacles,
fine rosettes of lime,
and infested
with tiny white sea-lice,
and underneath two or three
rags of green weed hung down.
While his gills were breathing in
the terrible oxygen
--the frightening gills,
fresh and crisp with blood,
that can cut so badly--
I thought of the coarse white flesh
packed in like feathers,
the big bones and the little bones,
the dramatic reds and blacks
of his shiny entrails,
and the pink swim-bladder
like a big peony.
I looked into his eyes
which were far larger than mine
but shallower, and yellowed,
the irises backed and packed
with tarnished tinfoil
seen through the lenses
of old scratched isinglass.
They shifted a little, but not
to return my stare.
--It was more like the tipping
of an object toward the light.
I admired his sullen face,
the mechanism of his jaw,
and then I saw
that from his lower lip
--if you could call it a lip
grim, wet, and weaponlike,
hung five old pieces of fish-line,
or four and a wire leader
with the swivel still attached,
with all their five big hooks
grown firmly in his mouth.
A green line, frayed at the end
where he broke it, two heavier lines,
and a fine black thread
still crimped from the strain and snap
when it broke and he got away.
Like medals with their ribbons
frayed and wavering,
a five-haired beard of wisdom
trailing from his aching jaw.
I stared and stared
and victory filled up
the little rented boat,
from the pool of bilge
where oil had spread a rainbow
around the rusted engine
to the bailer rusted orange,
the sun-cracked thwarts,
the oarlocks on their strings,
the gunnels--until everything
was rainbow, rainbow, rainbow!
And I let the fish go.

This is an object poem because the author foes in to great detail about the fish that was caught. It describes the actions of the fish, and how big it is, as well as its features and physical details. The author also goes into detail about how she could sense the vulnerability of the fish, and how superior she was to it. This poem had very descriptive vivid details that helped imagine everything that has taken place and was seen.

Object Poem "Mushrooms", Mary Oliver (1/2 way down the page)

Mary Oliver's Mushrooms, is a great example of an object poem. The concentration on the shape, habitat, and stigma, embodies the characteristics of mushrooms and sheds light and explores these objects that are normally looked past in everyday life.

debbie pakstis object assignment

This would be considered an object poem because it decribes the lemon throughout the whole poem. He also describes the lemon inside and out, as the oyster poem by Francis Ponge does, which we went over in class. The poem begins with the lemon and toward the middle he is describing what the lemon is like after it has been cut open with a knife.

Morning Specter

These coffee beans,
crushed to small flecks,

forgot their former shape and texture,
but rise at daybreak to the glass observatory

seeing flashes of light
in geysers of hot water,

percolating, rising lively,
saying, "Wait, wait," wanting

to float in the spectrum,
stretch the wavelengths

before sinking, pulled by undertows,
to the filter for rejuvenation,

where color and character
sweep through porous membrane,

flavoring the warm ocean,
where they willingly surrender
to new vessels.

–Jari Thymian

This piece about coffee is an object poem because it is thoroughly describing the coffee itself in an objective manner. I think it could have been easy for the poem to become subjective by elaborating about what the coffee does to the writer and vice-versa, but the author does a good job of separating herself from any sort of relationship with the coffee.
When it seemed to me that whatever was holdingme there pretending to let me go but then bringing me back each time as though I had never been goneand knowing me knowing me unseen among those rockswhen it seemed to me that whatever that might be had not changed for all my absence and still was not changingonce in the middle of the day late in that timeI stood up from the writings unfinished on the tablein the echoless stone room looking over the valleyI opened the door and on the stone doorsillwhere every so often through the years I had comeupon a snake lying out in the sunlight I foundthe empty skin like smoke on the stone with the daystill moving in it and when I touched it and liftedall of it the whole thing seemed lighter than a singlebreath and then I was gone and that time had changed and when I came again many years had passed and I sawOne day along the doorsill outside that same rooma green snake lying in the sunlight watching meeven from the eyes the skin loosens leaving the colorsthat have passed through it and the colors shine after it has gone--W.S.Merwin

I believe my connection with this poem comes from the depth within it's words. Merwin isn't merely talking about a snake, but also something much more grandious and this evokes emotion in me.

Lauren Siliani

The Fly

by Karl Shapiro

O hideous little bat, the size of snot,
With polyhedral eye and shabby clothes,
To populate the stinking cat you walk
The promontory of the dead man’s nose,
Climb with the fine leg of a Duncan-Phyfe
The smoking mountains of my food
And in a comic mood
In mid-air take to bed a wife.

Riding and riding with your filth of hair
On gluey foot or wing, forever coy,
Hot from the compost and green sweet decay,
Sounding your buzzer like an urchin toy—
You dot all whiteness with diminutive stool,
In the tight belly of the dead
Burrow with hungry head
And inlay maggots like a jewel.

At your approach the great horse stomps and paws
Bringing the hurricane of his heavy tail;
Shod in disease you dare to kiss my hand
Which sweeps against you like an angry flail;
Still you return, return, trusting your wing
To draw you from the hunter’s reach
That learns to kill to teach
Disorder to the tinier thing.

My peace is your disaster. For your death
Children like spiders cup their pretty hands
And wives resort to chemistry of war.
In fens of sticky paper and quicksands
You glue yourself to death. Where you are stuck
You struggle hideously and beg,
You amputate your leg
Imbedded in the amber muck.

But I, a man, must swat you with my hate,
Slap you across the air and crush your flight,
Must mangle with my shoe and smear your blood,
Expose your little guts pasty and white,
Knock your head sidewise like a drunkard’s hat,
Pin your wings under like a crow’s,
Tear off your flimsy clothes
And beat you as one beats a rat.

Then like Gargantua I stride among
The corpses strewn like raisins in the dust,
The broken bodies of the narrow dead
That catch the throat with fingers of disgust.
I sweep. One gyrates like a top and falls
And stunned, stone blind, and deaf
Buzzes its frightful F
And dies between three cannibals.

This is absolutely an object poem. This particular poem takes a very close look at a fly. Unfortunately. this poet has a strong hatred for flies and describes just how he and others mistreat the small “snot-sized” insect.
Winter Trees

by William Carlos Williams

All the complicated details
of the attiring and
the disattiring are completed!
A liquid moon
moves gently among
the long branches.
Thus having prepared their buds
against a sure winter
the wise trees
stand sleeping in the cold.

This is an object poem as it stands to describe the trees of winter. This is described explicitly in the last few lines, and the previous lines add description to the trees as they are in nature.



When it seemed to me that whatever was holding
me there pretending to let me go but then bringing
me back each time as though I had never been gone
and knowing me knowing me unseen among those rocks
when it seemed to me that whatever that might be had not
changed for all my absence and still was not changing
once in the middle of the day late in that time
I stood up from the writings unfinished on the table
in the echoless stone room looking over the valley
I opened the door and on the stone doorsill
where every so often through the years I had come
upon a snake lying out in the sunlight I found
the empty skin like smoke on the stone with the day
still moving in it and when I touched it and lifted
all of it the whole thing seemed lighter than a single
breath and then I was gone and that time had changed
and when I came again many years had passed and I saw
One day along the doorsill outside that same room
a green snake lying in the sunlight watching me
even from the eyes the skin loosens leaving the colors
that have passed through it and the colors shine after it has gone


It represented a snake.

It explained about snake's movement,

the color, and what the poet felt.

Therefore, this is an object poem.

Blog Posting #1: The Sloth

The Sloth

In moving slow he has no Peer.
You ask him something in his Ear,
He thinks about it for a Year;

And, then, before he says a Word
There, upside down (unlike a Bird),
He will assume that you have Heard—

A most Ex-as-per-at-ing Lug.
But should you call his manner Smug,
He’ll sigh and give his Branch a Hug;

Then off again to Sleep he goes,
Still swaying gently by his Toes,
And you just know he knows he knows.

--Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)

This is an object poem because it focuses specifically on the sloth and movement. The poem also discusses the sloth's thought process and response time. It also forces the reader to understand the slow pace of the sloth by hyphenating the word "exasperating".

April Rain Song

Comment on this Poem
April Rain Song
Langston Hughes

Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain.

Devon DiMatteo- The Fish by Elizabeth Bishop

The fish tells of an encounter the writer had with a fish. It is an object poem because it describes the fish in such detail that it is as if you are there during the encounter. It does not provoke any certain emotion, it just tells of a fisherman's story of victory, sympathy, and loss all by simply describing the fish.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Poet Dances with Inanimate Objects

Poet Dances with Inanimate Object


for Jim Schley

The umbrella, in this case;
Earlier, the stool, the
Wooden pillars that hold up
the roof.

This guy, you realize,
Will dance with anything—
—He likes the idea.

Then he picks up some lady’s discarded sandals,
Holds them next to his head like sea shells,
Donkey ears.

his body states,
Is safe from the dance of ideas!

This poem is a great example of an object poem, not because it is in the title, but because of how the poet dances between many types of objects. Despite the multitude of objects in the poem they all relate to the characters childlike demeanor.

Bryan Zebleckes


Rain, and then the cool pursed lips of the wind
draw them out of the ground—red and yellow skulls
pummeling upward through leaves, through grasses, through sand;
astonishing in their suddenness,
their quietude, their wetness, they
appear on fall mornings, some balancing in the earth
on one hoof packed with poison,
others billowing chunkily, and delicious—
those who know walk out to gather,
choosing the benign from flocks of glitterers, sorcerers, russulas,
panther caps, shark-white death angels in their torn veils
looking innocent as sugar but full of paralysis:
to eat is to stagger down fast as mushrooms themselves
when they are done being perfect
and overnight slide back under the shining fields of rain.

--Mary Oliver

Object Poem "The Milk You Pour"


The milk you pour encroaches
The bowl is mine I know the slant
Soggy is my enemy your spoon shant stir
Under his strong impulsive spin
The rainbow’s foot is not more apt
To have the centaur lover
So steal bran not O rabbity wind
But leave but still savor
For if the gods would love
Theyd see with eyes like mine
But should not taste like I
Your sweet inducive bran
And raven raisins.

- Dylan Thomas

This is an object poem about a bowl of cereal and milk. The poem begins by describing milk poured into a familiar bowl of raisin bran cereal. The milk is the enemy that "your spoon shant stir" in that it is the cause of cereal becoming soggy. Although, the cereal looks the same to the eye soggy as it does when it is not soggy, it does not please the palate in its soggy state. Words describing the cereal such as "sweet inducive bran and raven raisins" evoke a the taste of the cereal that should be uncorrupted by milk.

Object Poem - Lighter


Silver dome

silver case

tarnished innards

burning grace

It’s life is short

and it quickly dwindles

but again replenished

the flame rekindles

by Joel Brouwer

The Stoli bottle's frost melts to brilliance where I press my
fingers. Evidence. Proof I'm here, drunk in your lamplit kitchen,
breathing up your rented air, no intention of leaving. Our lust
squats blunt as a brick on the table between us. We're low on
vocabulary. We're vodkaquiet. Vodkadeliquescent. Vodka doesn't
like theatrics: it walks into your midnight bedroom already
naked, slips in beside you, takes your shoulders in its icy hands
and shoves. Is that a burglar at the window? No, he lives with
me, actually. Well, let him in for Christ's sake, let's actually get this
over with.

This is an object poem about vodka. It begins by describing the physical presence of the bottle as it sits on a table. The focus then shifts to the vodka's aroma where it is then transformed by the use of personification.