Last spring I enrolled in Holly Wren Spaulding’s Poetry Spring Apprenticeship. During the first week of class, she reframed Julia Cameron’s Morning Pages for me. For those of you unfamiliar with Morning Pages, they are part of a practice from the book The Artist’s Way designed to jump start your creativity. You write three pages by hand of whatever comes to you, first thing in the morning.
Holly suggested that instead of writing three pages, we write a poem. She suggested we bring emotion, experience, or other concerns normally written in the morning pages into the poem through concrete means like metaphor, simile and descriptive images. She also suggested we use something to spark the writing like two squirrels playing in the yard, the cat catching a mouse, or the numbers on the thermometer.
This poem by Alison Luterman does just that. She describes all the obstacles she encounters while swimming laps, making the idea of the obstacle concrete.
This poem first appeared in The Sun magazine in January 2010.