The Daily Details

Challenged by a new practice: Writing a Detail every day. Kind of a Small Stone of observation. To help me notice, stay awake to the world, practice putting a few words around what I see. I invited my Wednesday Writing Group to join me. The idea is to really SEE something in the world around us, to name it, describe it, find the words.

As I write my Detail this morning:

See how the dull green moss grows over the reddish weathered brick where the gray mourning dove pecks for seed.

I’m reminded of the form Allan Ginsberg used he called The American Sentence. It was his American answer to the Haiku: a sentence of 17 syllables. So I rework my detail:

Screen Shot 2016-05-15 at 8.49.24 AM

No necessary information is lost but only condensed.

Here’s an article from writer and teacher Paul Nelson who I follow for our August Poetry Postcard Project: Where you’ll find some great samples of the form and as well as a lively discussion of The American Sentence.

I also think of Dave Bonta, a blogging writer I’ve followed for years at The Morning Porch where he posts a daily observation. It often sparks a poem in his readers.

We live in a culture now learning to communicate via text and tweet using very brief sentences to communicate. I wonder if we can capture full detail, make the Detail vivid and still use a minimum of words to say it? I’m going to give it a try. See if I can put my Details into 17 syllables. No guarantees I’ll always pull it off. Feel free to check me out by counting them! 🙂



About wrensong

I am a poet who collects stones. I am a wanderer of creek beds and forests, canyons and high desert who, coming home, sometimes finds words to tell the story. I am a companion with others in the search for Deep, Wild Soul. I shape containers in time and space for others to come together to write, to tell their stories, to hold each other in the telling. I am a grandmother and the companion of a cat named Alaya. I often travel out into open country with a man who calls himself Dunewalker who has hung his hammock in my heart.
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