Thursday, May 25, 2006

How To Throw a Poem

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First wedge the poem by kneading against a hard surface. Pat the poem into a round form, ready for centering. Center the poem on the page, and mold it roughly into a shape. Make the initial depression in the poem. Wet your hands and start to form the lines by turning the page at a steady rate. Never touch the poem unless the page is spinning. Pull out the lines. Grip the sides and begin to form a stanza. Bring up the margins and thin out the stanzas using left and right hands. Continue to raise and thin out, giving a shape to the poem. Form the belly. Form the neck. Use collaring to squeeze and smooth out the neck. Cut out any uneven rhyme. Refine the lines and the phrasing. Finish the lower curve (note how the left hand is steadying the right hand). Remember: the most pleasing poem is not necessarily a perfect poem. It can take years to learn to get the imperfection just right. When you have shaped the poem the way you like, remove it carefully from the page. A sharp wire string is ideal for this. Quickly and evenly bring it toward you while the page is spinning. Allow the poem to dry thoroughly before firing it. Then apply a layer of glaze to give your poem a finished look.



(for Michelle G)

6 comments:

Pamela said...

Peter--this is good.

Raku for haiku, anyone?

Esther's Writing Works said...

nice nice

A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz said...

My favorite part:

Remember: the most pleasing poem is not necessarily a perfect poem. It can take years to learn to get the imperfection just right.

Made my day. Well done, Doc!

Peter said...

Thanks P, E, AJ. I stole the imperfection part from my potter friend. She's an amazing PA.

nate said...

I really, really love this, Peter... very nice work.

jenni said...

I enjoyed this too--especially the last line, which cracked me up. makes me want to put all my poems in a kiln and see what happens . . .