"With the certitude of a true believer, Vellya Paapen had assured the twins that there was no such thing in the world as a black cat. He said that there were only black, cat-shaped holes in the universe."
-- Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Teaching 7th Graders to Write Poetry

What time is it?
What time is this over?
How much time do we have?

Well… how much time do you need?

What if there were no clocks on the wall?
Would you stare at the angle of the sun
slanting through the window
to check the hour?
What if we used an hour glass instead?
Tiny grains of green sand trickling down
with a swish swish swish?
Or a little plastic timer
tick tick tick tick ticking away the time
like a bomb?

Or better yet
what if there was no time at all?
What if there was no
when, later, next
due date, deadline, expiration
end, stop, over

What if we just sat here-- timeless--
no clocks, no hours, no minutes,
and wrote our poems
in the absence of time
until words like
floated through our minds?

How much time would that take?
And what does finished
even mean?

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