In re. the Reduction of Scoundrels

It’s National Poetry Month!

I’ve been looking forward to it all winter and spring, and it’s only now dawned on me to say so, and only because a writer friend of mine has been posting daily in honor of it. Smart. Why aren’t I that smart? Well, no matter; I’m glad someone is.

My friend has been writing found poems–poems made up of text taken from other places and arranged to the poet’s sensibility. It dawned on me to try the same, but with the things I see around me instead of text. Regardless of how it turns out in the end, there are a couple of things about poem writing: while I was doing it, I was looking hard at real things and not thinking about myself. And, as Ted Kooser points out in a favorite book of mine,* “While you’re writing your poem, there’s one less scoundrel in the world.”

Here’s to that.

April Sunday, Lake Superior

Checkerboard set up and waiting,
Raven flying over.
Aquarium fish dart purposeful,
Worm dies with a silent slurp.
Big horizons out the window,
Small sounds are all I hear.
Filter.
Refrigerator.
Wind rounding corners.

*THE POETRY HOME REPAIR MANUAL, Ted Kooser, University of Nebraska Press

Category: Words 5 comments »

5 Responses to “In re. the Reduction of Scoundrels”

  1. Barbara Hendricks

    It’s always good to hear from you. A blog entry from you is as welcome as the first robin in early Spring. Thanks. I’ve never heard of a found poem so I’ve tucked this idea in my poetry notebook and will try one sometime.

  2. Pat Grasser

    Cool​, Ellen! Miss you and Rick… Hearing of your world is nice!

  3. Linda

    I like it! Maybe try it with some of your own prose? A letter from a cherished friend? What does that howling wind tell you?

    Nice to see you out in public on your blog and Facebook after a long winter. I hope it was a good one. Happy spring!

  4. Dennis Whitley

    You may, or may not have been, a fans I am, but I was wondering if you ever had any run ins, good, bad or otherwise, with Jim Harrison in the years he spent time in Grand Marais. Seems, one way or the other, that might make a good bog entry.

  5. ellenair

    Dennis, I didn’t know Jim well, but did have the honor of knowing him a little. He was always very kind to me. And as a writer, a poet–what an amazing power, a force of nature.


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