Tuesday, April 19, 2016



"Many years ago, “didactic” poetry was very common – in other words, poetry that explicitly sought to instruct the reader in some kind of skill or knowledge, whether moral, philosophical, or practical. Today, I’d like to challenge you to write the latter kind of “how to” poem – a didactic poem that focuses on a practical skill. "

Working on today's Na/GloPoWriMo nudge allows me to take a break from packing. 

Oh. Wait.

How to Pack

Read every piece of paper on your desk. 
Agonize over what to do with it.
Throw most of it out.

Wring your hands.

Collect all the books you brought,
meant to read and didn't. 
Take them to the bookstore. 
Buy them back next year. 

Wring your hands.

Make copious lists:
     stuff you brought and didn't use;
     stuff you left last year and didn't use but might;
     stuff you're leaving behind this time;
     stuff you ought to bring next year.

Wring your hands.

Debate whether you should bring back 
all the amate paper 
you bought this year
even though you still have 
tons of it at home.
Wring your hands.

Decide firmly against bringing back:
kennel cough;
     those sweet cats you've been feeding
     that survived this long without you.

Wring your hands.

And, finally: 
ignore nips; 
nip back when necessary;
embrace the collar;
learn to love to run. 

Amate paper in all its glory


1 comment:

Judy Dykstra-Brown said...

I need a didactic poem about how not to overpack! Especially when coming to the beach rather than leaving it! Enjoyed your poem, as always...