05 Apr Slice of Life: Trying the Observation Door
What are you doing?
Taking pictures. I am trying to see things in new ways.
We continue walking down the beach.
I have been trying to write more poetry for the Slice of Life challenge this month and I am having a hard time. I never go in the observation door. Even when I try I end up back at the heart, memory, wonder or concerns door. All month I have been looking at daffodils. I love daffodils. Daffodils signal spring for me. I look and look and look. After 30 days, all I see is a daffodil.
I laugh catching Tammy’s play on words.
So I am moving from Georgia’s doors to Georgia’s rooms. I am using her Six-Room Poem exercise to help me find the observation door – except for Room 5 – I am trying to stay away from the feelings room.
How’s it working?
So far… still just a daffodil!
Later that evening I began using the Six (Five for me) Room Poem exercise with some photos I took:
Room Number 1: Think of something that you have seen outside that is amazing, beautiful, interesting, or that has just stayed in your mind. Close your eyes and try to see it as clearly as a photograph-notice all the details about it-and describe it as accurately as you can in room number one. Don’t think about writing a poem, just try to describe your object as specifically as possible.
I look at this series of photos I took on our walk today. I write:
Standing on each others shoulders
Supporting each other
Alone so small, together so strong
Room Number 2: In room number two, think about the same object/image, but focus on the quality of light. For example: Is the sun bright? Or is it a dull, flat day? Are there any shadows? If it’s unclear what the light is like you might have to use some poetic license and make it up. You can also describe colors.
In room number two, think about the same object/image, but focus on the quality of light.
Room Number 3: Picture the same object/image and focus only on the sounds. Are there any voices? Rustling of leaves? Sound of rain? If it’s silent-what kind of silence? Empty? Lonely? Peaceful?
I think I hear something. I hear voices. Asking questions. Responding to each other. Not loud, but clear. There is a sense of connection, unity.
Room Number 4: Write down any questions you have about the image. Is there anything you want to know more about? Or wonder about?
How does it feel to be so close? How did they get ordered in this way? Why don’t they just collapse? Are they stronger against the waves when they are together?
Room Number 5: Write down any feelings that you have about this same object/image.
Staying out of this room for the moment…
Room Number 6: Look over the five rooms you have already created and select one word, or a few words, Q phrase, a line, or a sentence that feels important and repeat it three times.
Standing on each other’s shoulders
I have an idea for a poem… it is a bit crazy, but I hear the voices of my friends Lynne Dorfman and Rose Cappelli from Mentor Texts: “A mentor text is a scaffold. Writers practice again and again. . The writing they produce may or may not become a finished piece.”
So –here is what I see –vertical alignment.
Peak into Process:
I used two of Georgia Heard’s poetry exercises.
First 5 Doors of Poetry to open my Observation Door:
The 5 doors that will invite all students to step over the threshold:
o 1. The Heart Door: poetry is the genre of the inner life, therefore, the first, and most important, poetry door is the door of our hearts
o 2. The Observation Door: “the door of our eyes;” what we observe, what we’re amazed by, what’s beautiful in the world
o 3. The Concerns About the World Door: poems can be about what we read in the newspaper or about world events we watch on television—what we are concerned about: war, people who have to live on the streets, or floods in the Midwest; poetry is about telling the whole truth of what we see happening around us
o 4. The Wonder Door: questions can be a lever for a poem; poets are the most curious humans alive
o 5. The Memory Door: memories drift in and out of our minds all day long whether we are aware of them
Then I used the Six Room Poem exercise described above.
Once I had my idea I studied Linda Baie’s poem The Lonely Wastebasket to understand how she structured her poem and how she personified and brought her object to life. I liked how she used this object to send a message –to bring layers of meaning to the purpose it serves. I wanted to see beyond what I first saw on the beach. This poem gave me some ideas to play with and experiment.