Friday, June 19, 2009

Poetry Assignment

The Wesleyan Writers Conference entry promises to be quite long, but I still hope to have it up by Sunday night. In the meantime, here's a poem I did as part of an exercise for one of the classes that I attended. I had to write a self-portrait in which I compared myself to something else, or wrote as another object. To add to the challenge, I had to write in syllabics, which means that each line is dictated by the number of syllables in it, regardless of stress or meter. Haikus are probably the best known example of this.

While I didn't turn this assignment in (one of the benefits and drawbacks of going for only one day), I thought I'd share with you what I came up with just a few minutes ago. As such, I would appreciate any feedback that you can give me, so feel free to comment!

Self-Portrait as a Deer

I was a
Clumsy thing.
Not knowing
Where I stood
When young and
Fragile as
Falling leaves
Now I am
Graceful and
Strong. My long
Antlers touch
The sky with
Truth and light.
My feet scrape
The hard ground.
My body
Has arrows
Poking out
Of soft flesh.
I rest and
Cry for my
One love. My
One comfort.
To me is
Written words
On a page,
Cultures and
Places to
Go. I live
In all of
Them. I am
In Japan,
The U.S.,
And Europe.
I am a
Beast who is
And lovely.


  1. Greg, this is beautiful. "My long antlers touch the sky with truth and light." A truly moving and intimate self-portrait. It really resonates with me.


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