Awhile ago, Sara W posted about a letter Kurt Vonnegut wrote in response to some students, telling them to be creative for the sake of creation–to write or draw or sculpt only for themselves and not an audience.

And she suggested, as Vonnegut did, to write a six line, rhymed poem, and tear it up.

I did that.

Little poem pieces...

Little poem pieces…

One of the things that stayed with me from Sarah’s post was what a friend said about the act of destroying the poem–that it wasn’t a waste, because if it wanted to, the poem would end up written, anyway.

Since I see creation as practice–and I write a lot of things in my head, mulling them over for a time, I think that’s true. Here is something like that poem.


On the Fence

Along the rolling, verdant literature hills

rises a fence made with boards of plot.

Twining up those wooden posts spills

ropes of leafy noun-vines thick enough to blot

out wood, verb leaves, and adjective blooms

in vibrant, sweet, soft-petaled plumes.


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

2 responses »

  1. PrairieChat says:

    My daughter had a pottery instructor that destoyed any pot that was less than his best. To me that represents a commercial entreprise rather than an artistic one. To me imperfections are part of life and need to be prized for there uniqueness.

    • Well, you can make a pot that isn’t usable, which I might get rid of myself. But imperfections are what makes life interesting.

      On the other hand, in writing, you do have to cut out some flaws to make the best story/poem. Not perfect, but the best possible. That’s something, right?

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