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.