Story Behind the Poem // day 1

Day 1 // “through the window”

We spent yesterday morning on the couch before heading down to my parents’ house. Ant was…reading and I was scrolling through different things on my phone when I remembered that it was August 1st. (How?!)

I reopened Instagram, found the saved prompt post, relearned how to post someone else’s post using the repost app, and clicked share to my feed.

Through the window.

My favorite part of our little studio we live in (self-dubbed The Hobbit Hole) is the big “front” window that our dining room table sits next to. It’s my favorite place to write and read and eat breakfast, to look out of. Our new Weber BBQ sits outside of it. It’s the main picture on the homepage for the blog. In that moment, I created an expectation for my first haiku.

However, as most lazy Saturday mornings go, I’d remembered the poetry challenge right at the time I needed to start getting ready. In that moment, I felt myself pivot.

You’re driving through the canyon today. What if you wrote through the car windows?

And that is how this haiku was born.

I love the imagery of “winding through the canyon”, so I had that in the original version.

On our end of the canyon, we pass the river first and then on the other side of it, there’s the wide-open, somewhat rolling fields with cows standing out there. And it’s August. It’s hot and already bright at 11:30 in the morning. I’m a novelist first and foremost and I like words–give me all the words!.

How do I fit all of that into 17 syllables?

This was the original version:

through the window the world / streaks by, as we wind through the / canyon

Version 7:

cows in under a sha/ded un/der lone tree / green trees, bright sun, ri/ver peo/ple

What I thought was the final version:

winding through the canyon / cows shaded under lone tree / bright sun, river people

And then I realized the the first and third lines had six syllables!

So Ant and I chanted and counted out different words for “winding” and “cows” and “bright sun.”

And the final version is the picture at the top of this post.

You also have a bonus haiku from Ant. Theme is zombies:

centuries old bones / long buried beneath the stone / bursting forth, a hand

How can you, reader, poetry lover, fellow human being, record these days of COVID-19?


Writing Process Notes:

8-1-2020:

// Writing the poem: 35 mins. 195 words. in the car ride to Mom and Dad’s. writing to first our Spotify’s Release Radar playlist and then Dark Cloud 2 Original Soundtrack (per Anthony’s request)

8-2-2020:

// 29:13 (minutes). Hobbit Hole noises. Blog post words total: 415. Total Total: 458.

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