Sunday, April 3, 2016

National Poetry Month Challenge, Day 3

by Dan Bruno

"XXII"

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

I am a big fan of the mentor text as a teaching tool. This poem is one I have taught so often, but still have no clear sense of what I am supposed to get from it. How opaque could it really be? I mean what does it contain: red wheel barrow (check), rain water (check), white chickens (check). I know that the imagist poets were all about precise pared down language, but the language here is so precise as to almost excise meaning. For a great summary of the movement that is accessible to teacher and student alike, check out the Academy of American Poets Brief Guide to Imagism.

So, in tribute to William Carlos Williams, I am going to try this out today using his poem as a model.

"The Red Ink Pen" (with apologies to William Carlos Williams)

so much depends
upon

a red ink
pen

glazed with palm
sweat

beside the marked
essays

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