With wing beats eiderdown slow,
wild geese create a river,
an open sky of feathers.
One drops, a stone,
a twist and it regains control,
stomach up, gliding on its back.
A moment of disorder
and the unpicked skein
weaves into plump
Kim M. Russell, 7th April, 2018
My response to The Poetry School NaPoWriMo Prompt for Day 7: Never Leave a Poem Behind
Ali says that anyone who’s been writing poetry for more than a few days and has a healthy amount of self-doubt has i) a notebook’s worth of abandoned first lines that never went anywhere, and ii) a smaller group of poems that they finished, but which are rubbish. He wants us to go back and rescue them. We have to find 1 x abandoned first line, and 1 x terrible completed poem.
The abandoned first line or phrase will become the last line or phrase of the new poem – something to work towards – and the last line of the awful unfinished poem will be the first line of your new poem.
Ali’s explanation for this is that a lot of awful poems are awful because they finish on a note of certainty and finality — starting with the end will force us to dig deeper, and move beyond obvious answers.