Today’s poem was written by Write Practice blogger Joe Bunting, and we’re bringing a little bit of the Write Practice process to Writes & Rights. This is Part I of a two-post dialogue about what makes a poem good. Tomorrow I’ll share a new poem I’ve written over at Write Practice, but for today, we’re looking for constructive criticism on Joe’s piece. So share your thoughts- what parts of Joe’s poem stick with you, resonate and tap into your innermost thoughts? Or does it? What parts of the poem are effective, and what parts need work? Do the imagery and message behind it speak clearly through Joe’s language? Join the conversation about good poetry.
Where are you?
Do you see that white bird
in the red branches of the shrub?
pushed into a ditch from a parking lot
sprinkled with soda cans?
flower quilted hill—did you look close?
Did you notice each flower is the size of an ant?
Did you notice each is shaped like a stretched out bell?
Did you see the millions of ant-sized yellow bells?
If not, where are your eyes?
Did you dance while God played the pipe in those red branches?
Did you weep when God played a sad song in that pile of leaves?
Or the old woman wheeled against the wall?
He stares dead ahead. Drool drips down her lip.
Old woman will you teach us to weep?
And will you teach us to see that white bird
Singing sad dance songs in the red
branches of a shrub I do not know the name of.
(Maybe we’ll learn to see too.)