Monday, March 09, 2009

Monday Poetry Stretch - Opposites

I've been reading Richard Wilbur lately, but that's not exactly the opposite I was thinking of. In The Practice of Poetry: Writing Exercises From Poets Who Teach, Stuart Dischell writes about The Attraction of Titles.
(1) Choose a pair of words with opposite or nearly opposite meanings. Primary choices such as "hot and cold" or "good and evil" might be avoided, although sometimes the obvious can be a good place to begin. Try instead to find a more suggestive or playful pairing such as "calm and calamity." (2) Write a poem titled and based upon the word you have chosen.
So, that's it. Your challenge is to write a poem that uses opposites in poem and title. Leave me a comment about your piece and I'll post the results here later this week.


  1. Not sure this is what you were going for, but it's what I've got!


    The ticker tape parade
    as news, but it is not.
    Instead,what we’ve got,
    is a noisy celebration,
    on polls, bumper stickers,
    twitters, tweets,
    buttons, sound bytes,
    effluvial bits
    that are merely guesses.
    News regresses
    quickly into noise
    when there is no science
    behind it, or math.
    What hath
    God–or at least Hearst
    and the pundits--
    Writing on a dirty wall,
    with graphics,
    the moving hand,
    mene, mene, teckle uparsin,
    and that is all.

    copyright 2009 Jane Yolen

  2. “Love or Loath”

    Lo . . .

    It’s easy to fall in
    Yet the hardest game to win

    I've loved then lost
    and loathed the cost

    It's such a wicked price to pay
    when love is free to give away

  3. Kim--those last two lines are keepers!


  4. Order/Disorder

    To order
    A torte, Sir,
    Isn't a tort, Sir.
    Unless, of course, Sir, you order disorder--
    In which case we need a disorder-
    To make an ordered hors d'oeuvre
    To order.