Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Notebooking Daily Exercise July 2, 2014

July 2:

Today we'll look at a short poem by William Carlos Williams called "The Hurricane". Don't feel like you have to write poetry here, any sort of response is just dandy.

The Hurricane"
      by William Carlos Williams

The tree lay down
on the garage roof
and stretched, You
have your heaven,
it said, go to it.

Williams is a notoriously imagistic poet, so it is largely up for interpretation, though poetry critic Stephen Burt did say of this gem:

"Isn’t this tiny poem (among other things) a snapshot of Williams’s suburbs, an emblem for secularists, and a demonstration of how it sounds (curt, confident) to take disaster in one’s stride?"

What you will fix upon for today's notebooking exercise is the concept of an inanimate object dialogue. In this poem the fallen tree speaks to the garage (or, perhaps specifically its roof) after being knocked over by a hurricane. There are many different ways you can riff on this: Another storm-based interaction whether it's a flash flood or a tornado or a blizzard or an earthquake; an interaction that bears the stoicism of inanimate objects not in control of their movements; a rivalry between similar (or dissimilar objects); or however you choose to have your two inanimate objects interact.

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