Sunday, May 03, 2009


Simone (Muench, workshop prof) has given us the option of writing imitations instead of annotations for the poets we're reading this quarter. Wright, Komunyakaa (told you I could spell in my sleep), Kristy Bowen (I have no idea if that's spelled correctly), Robyn Schiff. . . I'm missing one, I think. Anyway.

An annotation is a two-page paper that focuses on one element of a poem: line breaks, punctuation, repetition/phrases, etc. They're required by the program.

An imitation is a poem that imitates the language and structure of another poem. You keep the form and use the same parts of speech, but the idea is to get away from the original language to create a new poem.

Almost everyone has been writing imitations. I tried my hand at it. I felt awkward and I couldn't seem to get far enough away from the original subject of the poems. Sigh. So I have been writing annotations.

This has brought up a whole new concern for me. There's a few poets I like to read to inspire me, but while I want to write as well as those poets, I don't want to write like those poets--where is the line? Is there a line? Should I go looking for new inspiration? Or should I just go one step further and try using Simone's imitation idea?

What do you think?


Mr. Fob said...

Do any of the assigned poets write dirty limericks?

sven said...

that's the trap i fell into with billy collins. but that's okay cuz i dig him.

"In the way . . ." said...

Can you do both? Combine an annotation with a partial imitation to explain your point???

Anna B said...

have you addressed this concern w/ your prof? (or with a previous prof like K?)

dyanna said...

I like your blog.I'm waiting for your new posts.

Ginsberg said...

I love Emily Dickinson but I couldn't for the life of me write a Dickinson poem. I once wrote an "in the style of" poem as a tribute to Sylvia Plath (which you may remember) but even that was pretty infused with me. Ditto Ginsberg. I mean the real Ginsberg. I don't think you should be worried if you can't "imitate".


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