Today we bring you a new craft resource, in the form of this essay by Josh Roark exploring engagement of the senses, and of the notion of embodiment, in the poetry of Ocean Vuong. Roark argues that the key to the success of Vuong’s poems is his particular ability to make the reader feel a poem as a visceral object, and not one that is removed or merely intellectual. If you’d like to check out some more of Vuong’s work, you might look at this poem that, fittingly for our purposes, is titled Essay on Craft.
And now for our prompt (optional as always). Taking our cue from today’s craft resource, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem that includes images that engage all five senses. Try to be as concrete and exact as possible with the “feel” of what the poem invites the reader to see, smell, touch, taste and hear.
Here’s mine for today:
The weekend’s over
Bright, Sunny morning,
A gentle breeze blows, flutters the clover
Musk in her hair; 2 days to the wedding
He ‘s washed his face, he’s had a shower
A platinum band she picked, 3 whites stones shimmering…
Blue, checked shirt, cargo pants, he looks sober
She’s wearing a pink hat, a white cotton dress,
Hands in his pockets, a cap on his head
Mint in her mouth, a skip in her step, bouncing her tress
He walked the same path that to his school had led
Bless this day, Bless the man she loved, Bless…
Mewing, mewing to himself, not a word he said
She hears a mew, she doesn’t turn, she couldn’t care less
Lifts himself into the white van, standing.
There he is, the scent of musk…waiting
And starts driving…
The traffic light red…he looks dashing
At the pedestrian crossing…
Into the pedestrian crossing.
Blood spilling, she sees him fall, dying…
Then into the side-walk, he comes ramming
She does not scream. She does not cry
Knocks her off. He isn’t even looking
In a pool of blood, she’s left to die…
He doesn’t stop to watch. He couldn’t care less
The platinum band, 3 white stones shimmering
Bless their souls, bless the country, Bless…
Crushed… In 2 days was the wedding.
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Note: pictures from the Internet