Poetics 3 - Brian Boyle
For my walk poem, I walked from my house on 17th and Arlington to Temple’s Tech Center on 12th and Montgomery. I have walked this route many times and that was part of the reason why I chose it. I wanted to find something deeper in the same walk I take everyday. I wanted to take notice of the things that I usually pass by without another thought.
I took advice from the assignment sheet and brought a notebook with me. On the way I jotted down things that I saw, or phrases that popped into my head when I looked at something. This was incredibly helpful when I sat down because it gave me many different ideas that I could start with. I settled on a pair of shoes that hung from the telephone wires. The more I thought about the shoes however, the more I realized that they weren’t just some inanimate objects. The shoes had history. They were on a pair of feet once that went places, and did things, only to reach their final resting place on the telephone wires.
This was very different from writing an ekphrastic poem because it is left up to the writer to create an original piece of art. The walk poem was more comparable to an object poem. Instead of focusing on just one object however, I took notice and focused on many objects and wove them all into a single story. It was a lot of fun and allows the writer to exercise a great deal of creative freedom.
I would absolutely recommend that a younger poet try his or her hand at a walk poem. It helps you to take notice and truly appreciate your surroundings while exercising your creativity.
beneath the shoes
that hang from wires.
They knew feet once.
Feet that leapt over left over puddles
as the half moon rippled in its reflection.
And oh the light!
Not by day but by night.
Like mini suns,
left no shadows,
no place unexplored.
Still the feet searched on…
Outside perpetual day and into the night
until the rain wrinkled their toes.
Where the streets were all one way,
the cats malnourished, strays,
and everything was in its right place.
Here, there was no stopping anytime,
no left turn,
no right way.
So the feet walked back.
Back through the junkyard of lights,
over the left over puddles,
and up the one way street.
Shoeless now the feet grew cold, colder, coldest.
And as the feet walked away,
the shoes told stories of past battles won and lost.