On Writing Monday’s Poem

Robert Frost Cabin

Image by origamidon via Flickr

On Monday, I posted a poem written in the style of Robert Frost. This post is about the process of writing that poem.

It’s harder than it looks to write in another poet’s style, and keep the poem on track — true to mood and rhyme. My first draft of the third stanza veered away from the mood I was trying to achieve as I worked around the rhymes I wanted to incorporate. The voice of the poem was no longer aiming for Frost’s style.

I changed the rhyme scheme and steered the poem closer to what I wanted the voice and mood of the poem to be. Coming to the final two stanzas, I struggled to do what I feel Frost is so capable of — show the madness and passion hovering just below the surface of the female character. Examples of this in Frost’s work are Home Burial and The Fear.

And struggling with the very end of the poem, realizing the inadequacy of my words to match Frost’s genius, I found an unrhymed couplet that, while not genius nor wonderful, at least was an adequate end to the poem.

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The Day

Under the brilliant sky
The land stretches out with no trees by
To support the heavy, blue weight.
Tucked into the curve of the hill,
The little cabin sat, still.

She looked out the window
No neighbors today.
There never would be, below
This barren hill away
From the mines and churches of town.

What did Jessie want here,
She wondered. Not much of a farm,
Not much of a mine. A shiver
Crossed her arms.
How long could she go on?

The cabin door banged open.
Jessie barged in. “What, no
Dinner ready, and the fire stone
Cold? How can I work the farm like this?”

She turned, heavy on her feet,
And walked out the door.

Another poem in the style of Robert Frost. This one is finished. Come back Wednesday for a post on the writing of this poem.

In the style of Robert Frost

I’m trying something new — reading a poet & then writing one or a few poems in his or her style. Today I want to share some lines in the style of Robert Frost.

We went to Bozeman in the green valley
Past the canyon where the river doesn’t shilly-shally
But leaps and roils in great passion
Carrying the huge logs and trying to refashion
The banks.

The New Year

The road
Ahead is a
Mystery, curving through
The new year – two-thousand-eleven
The adventures are hidden from me still
And I look forward eagerly
To the first bend in the
Track of the road
Ahead.

Inspired in part by L.M. Montgomery, the hymn Woyaya, and Robert Frost.

Posted for Monday Poetry Potluck.

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