We Wordle 31

Wordle 31

“The past translates into the future, but in an unrecognizable dialect: all the vowels are changed.”
– Rosanna Warren, “Odyssey”

Greetings! I’ve been away for a while and Irene asked me to host a Wordle prompt this week. MFA studies are going well and although I’m thoroughly busy, I’m thoroughly enjoying myself learning and crafting new poems.

First of all: here are eleven words, selected from poems written to last week’s “Still Life With Oysters/Abalones“:

grit – Debi Swim (poem 1)
spirit – Debi Swim (poem 2)
dying – JulesPaige
parasites – kaykuala h
void – Misky
raw – Hannah Gosselin
legerdemain – Barbara
Bodhisattva – Irene (poem 1)
reflected – Purple in Portland
pulsing – Irene (poem 2)
dusk – Bastet

That was the simple part. Now for the (slightly) harder part. First I’ll give you a phrase. Meditate on it, incorporate it somehow in your poem. It doesn’t have to be straight-on and literal: feel free to weave it or its idea into your poem in some way. Now, the phrase:

“Every song must end.”*

Secondly, here’s an added trick. I’m going to ask you to play with time in your poem. I’m inspired by this concept as we’re currently studying Ghost in a Red Hat by Rosanna Warren in my ENG 631 class.

Warren has a wonderful sense of time. In some poems, she roots the reader firmly within a present moment. In others, she plays around with time, not only through (sometimes unexpected) use of verb tenses but by sliding around to different time periods within the same poem. In particular, one of my favorite effects she uses is writing about past moments in present tense — which make the past moment seem more tangible, immediate, and real. For example, in “For D.” from Ghost in a Red Hat, she begins the poem whilst riding on a plane:

“The plane whips down through rainclouds, streaks
of creamy light through cumulus, and, below,
a ruffled scattering, a mattress’s innards ripped —“

But then Warren begins to play a little trick with time. Take a look at the next two stanzas:

friendship is always travel. How to measure
the distance eye to eye, or hand to hand—as our hands age—
or shoulder to shoulder as we stand at the sink

washing grit from beet greens, our palms magenta,
our voices low, steady, exchanging
gossip and palaver

Notice what begins to happen in the bold text in the second and third stanzas. She slips back to the past, but describes it in present tense.  So in a similar way, try to write about a past moment using present tense verbs. You can stay completely in the past moment, or (if you want to get really timey-wimey) slide from present to past and back again, start in the past and move out of your moment forward in time, or….or….you get the idea.


(*The phrase is a Doctor Who reference. Do you know from where? Spoilers…)


19 thoughts on “We Wordle 31

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