Assignment #1: Tell a Story in a Poem Thirty Minutes
- Essays, short stories, and novels are where we expect to find stories, but poems also can tell stories effectively. From the earliest epics, right up to the present day, people have built poems from stories--sometimes fictional, sometimes true. Gary Snyder's "Hay for the Horses" is a poem that tells a story.
The Poem That Tells a Story
- To get started on a story poem, begin by quickly writing down a sequence of events from beginning to end. Then add some details, some characters, some tension, some suspense.
- For this poem, select ONE of the following:
- Choice #1) Write about something that happened within the past week. This doesn't have to be a major, life changing event. Maybe you had to change a flat tire. Or maybe you had to work late. Or maybe you you gave your room a long overdue cleaning. The event itself doesn't matter so much as your telling of it. Just start right in and write through a quick draft to get started.
- Choice #2) Write about something that happened at least five years ago. Pick an event you've had time to reflect on, something that stands out now as playing an important part in who you are today. As you write, don't tell why this event is important, just concentrate on getting your reader into the feel of actually being there. Provide plenty of concrete, specific details to make the story come alive.
Writing Goals/What I'm Grading You For
- Write the draft out first as prose, then add line breaks and stanza breaks when you complete your first draft.
Create a short, compressed, to-the-point poem--no more than thirty lines.
- Type this on google docs.
- Print it, front/back, to room 212, and send ONE person over to pick them up at the end of the thirty-minute workshop time, please.
- I've put you in six groups. Mr. Collins will tell you who your groups are.
- You only need ONE iBook per group for this, since you'll be viewing the portfolios together.
- In your groups, carefully follow the directions on the Portfolio Discussion Sheet.
- Complete the Portfolio Discussion Sheet as you work.
- Turn it in to the drawer at the end of the half-hour of work time.
- a minimum of 1 1/2 pages, typed, doublespaced
- You can use prompts from page 11, if you want to.
- You can start a new idea, if you run out of steam on your first idea before you've typed 1 1/2 pages.
- Come early to class if you need to print, as this will be be due, in the drawer, when the tardy bell rings Monday.
ADVANCED CREATIVE WRITING