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*Summer journals challenge underway!*


In the introduction to Rock and Hawk: Selected Shorter Poems of Robinson Jeffers, it says Jeffers believed that “poetry’s function is to be an intensification of life, not a refuge from it… It must be rhythmic, and must deal with permanent things, and must avoid affectation.”
What is permanent?  What is impermanent?  Write a poem that explores these questions and focuses on the juxtaposition of impermanence with permanence.

Write poem that responds to any or some or all of the questions Merwin asks in “Questions to Tourists Stopped by a Pineapple Field” or “What Is Modern?”; or like Merwin write a poem that consists entirely of questions.

In “St. Vincent’s” Merwin writes of the hospitals that he’s lived across the street from for years but whose ambulances he’s “learned not to hear.” Use a poem to look again, harder, at a daily sight, sound, presence, feeling, place, event, practice, or situation to which you’ve learned not to pay attention.

In “Dolor,” Roethke writes of “Desolation in immaculate public places, / Lonely reception room, lavatory, switchboard, / The unalterable pathos of basic and pitcher, / Ritual of multigraph, paper-clip, comma, / Endless duplication of lives and objects.”

Write a poem WITHOUT nature; about a scene, an event, an object, or a place that defies nature, opposes it, ignores it, or violates it in some way.