Timing and sequence:
This class will take about 40 minutes, though the timing will depend on how thoroughly one discusses each task, how many students there are in the class and whether the students bring their draft poems to workshop at the end. If there are plenty of drafts to discuss, it will take longer.
Show Don’t Tell is the keynote lesson in a programme of creative writing. It teaches fundamental principles, principles which form the basis of all re-drafting of writing thereafter, so if you wish to use it to launch a series of poetry workshops, you could plan it in as the centre-piece of your sequence and see Follow-ups for other work. Follow-ups, at the end, makes suggestions for developing the themes of the lesson and for extending the writing programme. Since this lesson works through examples of the haiku form (though the principles could equally well be taught through other forms), it is probably advisable to introduce the class to haiku beforehand. Use Master Basho’s Spirit, also on this website, to introduce haiku.
This lesson approaches creative writing by distinguishing between the abstract and the concrete, academic language and literary language, the general and the particular, so children are unlikely to be ready for it before the age at which they think in abstract terms and are becoming academic - thirteen or fourteen years old, perhaps. It certainly works well with fifteen year olds and college/University students.
You will find that there is very little need for this learning in younger children! The vices this lesson warns against are vices of over-intellectual sophistication and too much academic cleverness. Young children will not, we hope, be suffering from these curses.
1. Read through the self-study unit and do the tasks, so that you understand the material thoroughly.
2. Read more information on aspects of haiku, if you wish, by jumping to the articles in the Reference section, in order to be more fully informed when it comes to discussion of the poems in class. Form, Metaphor, and The Two-Image Haiku are all relevant to the concerns of this lesson.
3. Download the Photocopiable formatted Source Pages in the file at the end of the lesson, and photocopy sufficient numbers of each page for your students. You have our permission to copy copyright poems and translations for teaching purposes, but you may not re-publish copyright poems or translations without the express permission of the writers or their publishers.
4. Take your students through the stages of the lesson as shown in the self-study unit, leaving enough time at the end (about half an hour) for them to workshop their drafts (or keep this for the next lesson).
5. If you still have some time and energy left, go straight on to the Follow-ups. Otherwise, follow up in a subsequent lesson.
Accordingly, the lesson below is set out in the form of a self-study unit. At certain points there are Notes for Teachers on how to manage the material in the classroom.
SHOW DON’T TELL
By the end of this lesson you should
» know the principal characteristics of poetic language and
» be able to distinguish poetic language from academic language
» be in a position to apply your learning to redrafting your own poems
Poetry works through images, not explanations. Let us identify images and explanations.
You know what explanations are. Here is a working definition of "images:" An image brings some scene, object or observation alive, and presents it to your imagination, so that you can picture it, or feel as though you experience it.
Identify the image.
The following are set out as haiku poems, in themed pairs, but some of them are explanations, which are not really suited to be poems and would be more appropriate as sentences in essays. Which ones are images, and which are explanations? Write "image" or "explanation" next to each one.
Nature and religion
To live is to suffer;
religion offers comfort
eyeful of haze,
You can’t always
find what you seek,
as you’d hoped.
with my shopping: muddy leeks,
the weight in the base.
It is a pleasure
to buy good food
and plan a meal.
What are the differences between the images and the explanations,
1. in relation to the senses (are there sounds and smells and sensations in the poem) ?
2. in relation to concrete things and named objects?
3. in relation to the space for the readers to take part in the poem and draw their own conclusions?
You will probably have noticed that, of the two pieces headed Nature and religion, "To live is to suffer" is an explanation written in the form of generalisations. The words "suffer" and""comfort" might make some appeal to the senses, but arise here in such general terms that they are too vague to be vivid. "Temple bell" and "winter wind" are named things. Both appeal to the sense of sound, and "winter wind" also to the tactile sense and the visual sense (one sees swirling trees and leaves). Although the only additional information we are given is that they are "contending," the whole scene comes dramatically alive and we shiver at the implications of this hostile relationship between nature at its fiercest, and civilization. "Contending …" is a particularly potent image. It is completely "open-ended" in the sense that the reader can have any attitude to the threat of the winter wind, and any attitude to the culture represented by "temple bell," and bet on either of them to win, at any odds. "To live is to suffer," on the other hand, tells you what to think and leaves little room for argument. You cannot draw your own conclusions.
Under the heading Looking, "Telescope …" obviously appeals to the sense of sight and gives you three concrete things (telescope, eyeful of haze, and three pennies). It leaves you free to draw your own conclusions about the comic ironies of the situation. It is an image (a vividly hazy one!). "You can’t always …" has no objects vivid to the senses, no sense experiences, and closes down the options for drawing your own conclusions by assertion. It is an explanation.
Of the two Shopping pieces it is clear that the swinging muddy leeks are a very concrete image, with a particular weight, appealing to three senses (sight, smell, tactile) and "It is a pleasure …" is a generalised explanation with no detail vivid to the senses. The leek poem positively entices the reader to speculate on what might happen next, and to visualise the preparations for eating. It is full of imaginative space for the reader.
("Contending" is by Kito, translated Stryk; "Telesope" is by Issa, translated Stryk; and "Swinging homeward" is by Hirai Sachiko, translated Marsh).
The image SHOWS, and the explanation TELLS.
All forms of imaginative literature, including drama and film, follow the same principle, which can be summed up in the slogan, "Show, don’t tell." Think of television drama, or your favourite films, or novels: they show you a character in a difficult situation, and leave you to judge. They do not tell you what to think (that is propaganda), though, of course, moral people are likely to reach similar conclusions in many cases.
Poetry also works through images. In the case of haiku, the images are not "imaginative" in the sense of invented, fantasised or fictionalised. They are usually closely observed aspects of nature. They are real experiences. They are images in the sense that they give the reader pictures (and sounds, textures and smells) with which to recreate the experience as a whole. They show the experience, in the vivid present; they do not tell about it, reporting on something that has passed and summing up the judgement to be made about it. The reader is in the middle of it, not being told about it second hand.
Thoughts and ideas: If mental events are the subject matter of a poem, then they are expressed through the strong feelings they arouse, or through images or experiences, not baldly, as thoughts. Essays (in philosophy or journalism, for example) are the right forms for the direct expression of thoughts, ideas, analysis and judgements. Creative writing is different, and works the opposite way.
Academic language has a tendency to generalise; literary language has a tendency to the concrete. This is why haiku are more immediately grasped by younger children than by sophisticated students in an academic environment. Academics have to change mind-gear to do creative work which is not academic.
Essays use generalisations, abstract language, theories, explanations, analysis, judgements, and sum up what conclusion is to be reached. They tell. None of these things is right for a poem.
Poems (and other literary forms) use concrete situations, named objects, fully imagined scenes brought to life in vivid detail at a particular moment in time, avoid abstractions, and leave the reader to draw the conclusion. They show.
Can you tell a phoney?
Write by each of the lines in the following statements set out in haiku-like form,
"concrete" or "abstract,"
"general" or "particular,"
"sensation" or "idea"
and "conclusion," where it is appropriate.
When you have finished, put a line through the "poems" which are obviously essays masquerading as poems, and are not real poems at all!
1. I always feel
that life is so sad –
we are alone.
2. On the dewy grass
to one side of the path
a single footprint.
3. Wasp nest
perfect, in the rafters
of a ruined house.
4. Insect architecture
is intricate and beautiful,
a marvel of cooperation.
Here is a more difficult case: it is partly about a thought, but it is set in a definite place at a particular time, and the thought is a kind of sensation, is it not?
5. Walking at night,
sound of the cold river,
thoughts of sleep.
Poetry also sometimes enacts the experience which is the subject of the poem. This is another way in which the tendency of poetic language is to make things concrete, to be the meaning, using the rhythmic possibilities of language.
Which of the following haiku-like forms shows you the experience by enacting it, rhythmically (how does it do this?) and which tells you about it? Write shows or tells next to each poem, and say what it is about the sound quality of each of the shows ones that rhythmically enacts the subject.
Walking the snow-crust
In deep snow
one can be uncertain
about one’s footing
crow follows crow;
a hedgesparrow hops on a
I saw a sparrow;
its quick little movements
as the summer season ends.
They sting no more.
Summer’s end nears –
now the slow bee allows
stroking of fur
Note to Teachers:
In discussing the poems with your group, keep referring back to the principles of "Show Don’t Tell" and the questions set. There are good reasons why one version of a theme or poem is to be preferred to another; do not let the clever debaters in your class get away with the argument that it is "all a matter opinion, of taste!" It isn’t.
You should have crossed through numbers one and four. They are generalisations more suited to the essay form than poetry. Numbers two, three and five are all highly specific images, vivid to the senses, and good poems which are suggestive and resonant, leaving plenty of room for metaphorical interpretation by the reader.
In "Walking the snow-crust …" one is there! The reader hesitates, heart in mouth, teetering, between lines two and three, and thus enacts the action which is the subject.
"Crow follows crow …" uses long-vowelled, heavily-accented slow syllables for the slow crows, and a scatter of short-vowelled syllables, many of them unaccented, for the quick hopping movement of the hedgesparrows. One feels the contrast enacted in the process of reading. Try reading it aloud.
"Summer’s end nears …" is full of buzzy s and z sounds. It has a series of soft murmuring vowells. Lines two and three are a succcession of open o sounds. It creates an appropriate sound-world for the drowsiness of the subject: tiredness, tenderness and approaching death.
The other "poems" ("In deep snow," "I saw a sparrow," and "Insects die") are phoneys. They tell, and should be cast in some other medium (a bin, for example).
Can you save a poem?
Rescue these poems by cutting them, writing an alternative line, and/or re-arranging them.
Waves hollow the base
of the great high cliffs –
water can wear down rock
The ultimate centre-point
of the snail’s spiral –
mystery of the soul
Waves. The issue here is: trusting the image to speak to the reader, and trusting the reader to get the point. The image of waves hollowing the base of a cliff shows you all you need to know about erosion. To tell the readers, in the last line, what the conclusion is that any attentive reader will already have reached is insulting and unnecessary. How did you rescue the poem? Give yourself a prize if you cut the last line.
Then, what did you put in its place?
You could have put almost anything, except the "summing up" in the third line as given. Add to the picture of the scene with wheeling seagulls, flying spray, a fishing boat or summer clouds. Or pick up another image of time or erosion: fossils in the rock, or smooth round pebbles, or "my wrinkled hands." Give yourself another prize if you had a good solution to the problem of the last line.
Snail: The same issue arises with this example. Drawing attention to the point at the centre of the shell's spiral is an interesting and suggestive observation, but it is only suggestive and interesting if you don’t tell the reader what it suggests. To do so, closes down the reader’s imaginative space to nothing. The windy, phoney profundity of the last line ruins the observation. Give yourself a pat on the back if you cut the last line.
Then, what did you put in its place?
You could have put almost anything concrete. You could have simply added to the picture of the scene with a line giving us the weather, or some detail to suggest the place or time or season. Or, more ambitiously, you could have picked up on the implied themes of shape, centre or spiral with a line about a wheel, bowl, pared apple-peel or staircase (but not a DNA double-helix spiral, which is too much of an idea, not an observation we can make). Or perhaps you would decide to use a contrasting shape: something square, perhaps, or something hollow, without a centre, like a Henry Moore sculpture or an old tyre. Give yourself a pat on the back if you found a good image to go with the snail’s spiral – and something as simple as "Spring rain" would be perfectly good enough.
The rule you have learned here is:
"Don’t sum up for the image!"
Control your language
Can you give your reasons for preferring one or the other of these versions of haiku?
The bees are agitated,
and pointy ripples
rush on the water
The bees pirouette
and multi-faceted shimmering ripples
dance on the sparkling lake
The proud golden rays of the sun
fiercely batter the parasol –
but in vain!
by the parasol
The A and B versions of "The bees" are clearly written by people with quite different ideas about what is "poetic." B uses a much grander, more attention-seeking, more glamourising (and more Latinate) choice of English words. A is plainer, more conversational (and more Anglo-Saxon). But what is the effect achieved?
A seems to be about a change in the weather, and its mood is threatening. A storm is coming, the wind is getting up and the temperature will drop dramatically, one guesses. Whatever one thinks of the elegance of the diction, the little poem has a real subject and records two precise observations.
B seems to be about its own language preening itself. One could not guess from this what the change in the weather might be, though it seems to be sunny and the bees are enjoying themselves. This is, of course, a caricature of what was once thought to be a "poetic" style and is now usually seen as a camp, sequined, over-rouged cliché.
A and B of the "Sun’s rays" poems also show contrasting word-choices. In A the language is trying too hard, perhaps, to be dramatic and becomes melodramatic. It personifies the sun with a character like one of the Greek gods, which is more pompous and overblown than we usually like in this democratic age. B might not appeal to you much either, if you like your language elegant – the first line seems to come out of a science-fiction comic – but it has at least the virtue that it gives the reader a little shock of surprise that such powerful rays could be stopped by a parasol. The A version does not succeed in doing this because it over-eggs the emotion and consequently muddles the effect of the observation.
Note to Teachers:
Make it explicit to your students that you are not seeking some fancy ideal of "poetic diction." They should not show off with multisyllabic words, and glamourise or sentimentalise the subject out of a mistaken belief that that is what poetry requires.
Can you rewrite this haiku in a consistent style of language?
Two hands to scour my wings,
two to scrub my eyes
and two to establish a relatively stable foothold.
Flies do not speak like civil servants, of course. They use street slang! As you will have noticed, the phrase "establish a relatively stable foothold" is not in the same direct and monosyllabic language as the first two-thirds of the poem. It appears to have crept into the fly’s speech patterns from some official report. If you changed the last phrase to something more direct and punchy, like "and two to grip," or "and two to hold on," you are on the right lines and should congratulate yourself.
Did you want to change "hands"? Both "hands" and "feet" seem to me equally non-insect words, though the six limbs of a fly are usually called "legs" and the ends of them therefore ought to be "feet," perhaps. Make your own choice. If you don’t like either you could do without, and just say "Two." This gives the reader more to do, which is often a good thing.
Write an original haiku of your own in the voice of a creature or an object.
Is creative writing full of adjectives?
How terribly sad –
our cruel fate is to end
as crumbled, rotting compost
How sad it is –
the way a person ends
as compost for caneshoots
As the great old trees
are marked for felling, the birds
build their new spring nests
As great trees
are marked for felling
birds build their nests
Pure white plum blossoms
slowly begin to turn
the colour of dawn
begin to turn
the colour of dawn
Lying ill on a journey –
my feverish dreams ceaselessly
roam wild waste moors
Ill on a journey –
There is a thoughtless old myth around that you can "improve your style" by injecting lots of ambitious adjectives and adverbs into your prose and poetry to spice it up, to make it "more descriptive." This is a grave error. Examine the lovely prose of Jane Austin. There is hardly an adjective or adverb anywhere. No. The strength of good style comes from nouns first, verbs next. Adjectives and adverbs get in the way and clutter it up, blunting the effect, unless used very sparingly.
"How sad …"
In the first pair of A and B translations, "How sad …," (a poem of Basho’s in two versions) what is the effect of adding "terribly" to sad, "cruel" to fate, and "crumbled, rotting" to compost? It might be supposed that it would make the experience of reading it more intense, more moving and more vivid. Words like "terribly" and "cruel" are intensifiers, after all, whose function is to wind up the emotional temperature. Words like "crumbled" and "rotting" should bring our fate sharply before the eyes of our imagination in all its awful vividness. But it does not work, does it? The B version is more moving. The subject stands out clearly and in simple elegance, without breast-beating and wailing and gnashing of teeth, and is all the more effective for it. At least, I think so!
"As great trees …"
The second pair are also translations of a Basho poem. The point of the poem is surely the sad fate of the nest-building birds, which they know nothing about. Adding "new, spring" to nests in the last line distracts the reader from this theme by going off into an imaginative focus on the nests themselves. It does not seem to me to be an improvement. What did you think?
"Plum blossoms …"
What could be more lovely than the bare essence of this delicate observation, in the B version? The adverb "slowly" adds little, and muddies the clear water of the statement. The adjectives "pure, white" officiously give information only needed by readers who do not know what plum blossoms are. I think the second version is to be preferred.
"Ill on a journey …"
Here perhaps there are good reasons for using more adjectives and adverbs: the feverish and wandering state of mind is enacted by a restless tumble of words. I still prefer the very short version, but I concede that you could like A and still be a person of taste of judgement.
We have been considering the contribution of adjectives and adverbs to clarity and vividness, and discovered that they often have disadvantages that outweigh what they can add in the way of colour and precision to the image. We have not considered the rhythmic issues in the examples given, but there is obviously a judgement to be made by the ear in these examples. Do you want the restless tumble of words, or do you want the despairing torpor of the four heavy unrelieved stresses in the last two lines of the B version? I would vote for the four leaden beats, but a good case could be made for the alternative kind of rhythm.
The conclusion, anyway, is that …
Lots of adjectives are not necessarily a Good Thing
Re-sequencing the lines
Look at the following versions of a poem.
On bare branches
two grey doves
(by Francine Plunkett)
What happens if I switch the lines?
two grey doves
on bare branches
And look at these two.
over the deserted funfair
a gull, soaring
(by Michael Gunton)
If one switches the sequence of the lines, how does it change the emotional effect?
A gull, soaring
over the deserted funfair
The last image tends to dominate emotionally, doesn’t it? If the last line is "soaring," the whole poem is more upbeat than if the last line is "wintry sun." If the last line is "fluffed up," the whole poem is more upbeat than if the last line is "bare branches." Remember this when you are stuck on your own poems: you can often move lines from one place to another and it will change the effect (this is particularly useful in rhyming verse; you want the strong rhyme in the last line of the stanza, and the weaker one earlier, to prepare for it, so, if they are the wrong way round, switch them).
CONCLUSION AND FOLLOW-UP
The implications for your writing.
By now you should be able to
» recognise the principal characteristics of poetic language,
» distinguish poetic language from academic language
» explain the significance of "Show, Don’t Tell"
» re-draft the language of your writing sensitively, according to good stylistic principles.
We shall now try to apply your learning to redrafting your own poems. Look again at your own writing, bearing in mind the principles you have learned, which I will crudely summarise in the following broad-brush advice:
» Abstractions are dangerous to a poem. Any abstract noun in your poem should be like a flashing red light. Two of them is horribly excessive.
» Use close observation, unusual detail and all the senses to bring the scene vividly to life. The readers should know where and when the poem is set, and feel as though they are present. They should be able to smell it or hear it or feel it.
» Use adjectives sparingly. The haiku is too small for you to describe everything fully. Choose the right detail, and do not otherwise overcrowd it with description.
» It is often good advice for beginning writers to cut the ending. One is apt to sum up, make judgements, draw conclusions, or repeat oneself at the end of a poem. Trust the image. Let the poem speak for itself. Do not sum up for it.
» You have many alternatives to choose from, for each word that you write. It is great to be clever and do unusual things with the language, but do not be flashy. If your reader is marvelling at the words instead of marvelling at the subject, then you are undermining your own poem by showing off, which is not in the spirit of Master Basho.
» You have alternative sequences to choose from too: see if it works better with the first and third lines swapped, or the second line first. You can control the surprises, and the emotional impact of the image.
You can control your language. You have choices.
Haiku poems are very suitable for learning how to take control, because the form is small, shapely, and clearly focused on creating a sense-impression of a (usually) natural scene. May your writing flourish!
NOTES TO TEACHERS:
If you are leading your class through a re-drafting workshop, there are various ways to organise it. In my experience, I am sorry to say that it is not enough to leave it to the students to advise each other in pairs or small groups. It takes a long long time, with plenty of specific attention to the aims of group-work, for them to develop the skills of evaluative reading and the skills of giving positive but critical feedback. Nevertheless, it is one of our aims that they should develop these skills, so it is worth doing paired and small group re-drafting. Just don’t expect it to work brilliantly from the start. They will need plenty of good examples of how to do it well, which must be provided by you as the teacher, or by a guest poet, if you can get one. And they will need to have it pointed out to them how the feedback is working. Use a mix of whole-class discussion of examples written on the board, or photocopied for all participants, and small group student-led syndicates.
Establish with the class some understandings: the criticism should not be cruel; it should be constructive; and it should not be insistent – the final decision is always with the writer.
But these considerations should not lead the class to bland uncritical praise of everything and everybody. Nobody will learn anything unless the criticism is critical, and praises only the finest elements of the writing. The best and most intelligent students will switch off if there is no "bite" in the sessions. There will be no development, and the writing programme will wither.
There is no need to point out all the faults in students’ writing. Much more important is to fully praise all the virtues. Students must learn to recognise what works and why it works. Examine closely every successful line of poetry and relish all triumphs. But do not necessarily find something to praise in every lame effort! Refer to the principles of this "Show Don’t Tell" lesson to explain why the good writing has an impact, and stay resolutely silent about the duff stuff that is heading in the wrong direction.
Establish a routine of checking with the writer before the discussion of his or her work
» whether the writer has any questions for the readers
» whether the writer is presenting the writing as strong finished work, or vulnerable first draft.
During the first two-thirds of the discussion of the writer’s work the writer should remain silent. The idea is that the writer should hear how readers have understood, or misunderstood, the poem. It is not useful for the writer to spend the time defensively justifying him or herself.
At the end of the discussion of a piece of writing, establish a routine of asking writers if they got what they wanted. This is where you guard against blandness. If the writer did not get any useful feedback, or did not understand what people were saying because they were too polite, or unclear, or felt that the readers were giving lazy responses and not being helpful enough, the writer can demand more. The teacher should encourage writers to demand high standards of feedback from the workshop. Everybody has to see it as an important enquiry. The writing workshop is not just a nice easy chat-session. We are engaged in the serious and energetic pursuit of elusive truths and barely-expressible insights into the world of nature and our emotional response to it. We are using metaphor and imaginative combinations which work in ways we do not understand. The writer has done the work before the workshop. It is the readers who have to concentrate hard and be creative in the workshop. If they are fully engaged in the enquiry, then, of course, it will be far more rewarding and exciting for all concerned, in their switching roles as writers and readers.
As in most forms of education, it is good practice to make the learning conscious and to record it. Students can keep notes on what they learn about creative writing, on what feedback they got on their own poems, on how the work has developed through drafts, on how their reading and cinema-going has fed into their understanding of creative processes, and at the end of a course they can write an evaluative project commentary examining their creative practice and what they have got from it.
You can follow this lesson up with any of a variety of activities developing aspects of the writing-awareness principles:
» A series of writing workshops in which your students learn to make constructive criticisms of each other’s drafts, and to redraft according to the principles they have learned here. It is worth having a clear structure to the workshops,as described more fully in Notes for Teachers above: the writer says what he or she wants from the readers; the writer listens to responses without replying, in order to hear what parts of the writing are not being taken in the right way by readers; the workshoppers check the writing against the Show Don’t Tell principles; the writer says whether he or she has received clear guidance from the readers or not; everyone keeps a notebook showing the development of drafts.
» Workshops on other genres. Apply the same principles of Show Don’t Tell to story-writing and drama or film. Write a piece of film, for example, which shows that someone is in more danger than they think they are in, without using any spoken words. It has to be shown. Or write a dramatic scene for performance showing that one person is more strong-willed than another, or more perceptive than another, without using any spoken words.
» Explore literary stylistics by making pie charts and bar charts of the parts of speech in various short extracts of text. The charts can be computer-generated, of course. Compare, for example, the numbers of abstract nouns and concrete nouns in a leading article in a broadsheet newspaper, and in a passage of good modern poetry. See if it is true that poets avoid the abstract. Compare the numbers of active verbs and passive verbs in different kinds of texts. Compare the numbers of adjectives and adverbs in a passage from a Mills and Boon Romance and a passage from a good modern poem. Is it true that adjectives and adverbs are used more sparingly by disciplined and sophisticated writers? Make charts of the relative incidence of all the parts of speech in different kinds of writing, from tabloid journalism to philosophy, from comics to classics. This would make a good "language" project for some students.
» Do "translation" exercises, to show students that they can take control of their style, get a grip of their language. Here is an example of what I mean: give them the following information and then set them to write two English translations of the Japanese poem, in two different styles. The choices are: plain style; mock "poetic" style; a style that dramatises the importance of the "awakening" as a profound event; and a style that emphasises the painful and lonely qualities of the image.
Kame waruru yoru no kori no nezame kana is a haiku by Basho. In word-for-word literal English it is:
Jar / breaking / night / of / ice / of / waking / kana.
Kana is an emphatic word, with an effect like an exclamation mark.
The scene is a winter’s night, obviously, and a water jar cracking from the expansion of the ice. This has some relationship to waking, but in Japanese grammar it is unclear who is awake, or woken. You could choose to say "I", and you could choose to be awake in the night (lonely and unable to sleep), or suddenly awakened by the cracking of the water-jar. There is plenty of scope!
"Contending…" is by Kito, translated by Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto, from The Penguin Book of Zen Poetry 1981
"Telescope …" is by Issa, translated by Lucien Stryk, from Of Pen and Ink and Paper Scraps, Lucien Stryk, Swallow Press, 1989
"Swinging homeward…" is by Hirai Sachiko, translated by George Marsh, from My Green Wife, Waning Moon Press, 1997
"On the dewy grass…" is by Dimitar Stefanov, from My Green Wife, Waning Moon Press, 1997
"Wasps nest…" and "Walking at night…" are by Cicely Hill, from The Earth Drawn Inwards, Waning Moon Press, 1997
"Wintry sun …" is by Michael Gunton, from Echoes in the Heart, Waning Moon Press, 1997.
"Walking the snow crust…" is by Anita Virgil.
The lines of "Crow follows crow" are taken from bluegrey by Martin Lucas, Hub Editions, 1994
"Summer’s end nears…" is by George Marsh, from Salting the Air, Waning Moon Press, 1997
Copyright: Please note that you are welcome to photocopy the source poems here for classroom use, but you may not re-publish copyright poems in any form without the express permission of the author or original publisher.
Downloading the Source Material
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