Places & Faces

The places we've lived exert a terrific pull on us, whether our memories of them are pleasant or not. Make a list of every place you can remember having lived: houses, apartments, hotels, trailers, cars. Name the street and town if you can, and the approximate dates you lived there.

Pick two of the places and write down thoughts and impressions that come to mind when you think of them. Write in images: "orange tree in back yard," "empty swimming pool," "mean German Shepherd next door," etc. Make your image list as long as possible.

Now see if you can write a poem that travels back and forth between these two places (and times). Who lived there with you, or were you alone? Were there animals? What colors come to mind? If the poem you write is effective, you won't need to tell us how you "felt" -- the images will speak for you.

Up the ante: Pick another two places and write the image lists for them. Now write your poem in form: sestina, pantoum, villanelle, etc.