Poetry Exercise #2: Second Chances

Hollywood films are built upon the idea.  I’ve known people who spend their entire lives praying, hoping it’ll happen for them as well.  Maybe that’s you.  Most of us have felt this way at one time or another.  Second chances—with another person, in a given situation, etc.—can be extraordinary stuff.

We sometimes think of our “finished” poems as singular events that cannot be replicated.  That’s dangerous.  They are fluid as thought; not that I’m suggesting you should necessarily adopt William Stafford’s belief that we “abandon” rather than finish poems, rather that poems can be platforms on which to build.  Go back to poems you’ve written; consider the setting, to whom it may be addressed, maybe a set of images on which the poem’s based—anything.  Imagine what else might be possible. 

Want a strange analogue?  On more than one occasion, The Three Stooges used existing footage to fill out short films on which they were working.  They did this to cover Curly Howard’s illness, and again later after Shemp Howard’s fatal heart attack.   But we needn’t have such sad reasons.  We can do this in order (in part) to find out what else might be there.  Examples to follow.


About johnwylam1957

I'm a poet and teacher now living in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
This entry was posted in Poetry/Fiction, Writing in General. Bookmark the permalink.

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