The Pit

Happy Poetry Friday! Welcome, everyone! (Wondering what Poetry Friday is? Click here.)

Our Poetry Princess challenge this month was an overheard poem–a poem inspired by or somehow using words we overheard.

I am a bad eavesdropper–not only am I not usually close enough to other people to overhear things, but I’m good at tuning out extra noise so I can write. I came to our live writing session uninspired, with just these quotes:

  • My car won’t start. (our daughter)
  • One game at a time. (a Packers fan before the game when asked if the Packers could beat Tom Brady)
  • Those are creepy. (a teen looking at a giant snow sculpture of what looked like–but weren’t supposed to be–demonic children–amen, kid)

None of those did anything for me. But Kelly shared her overheard, which was people talking about relationships ending: “They end gradually and then all of a sudden.”

That got me thinking about the pandemic, and I started drafting. My first draft was very meh, and I got this second draft Monday morning. Somewhat happier with it, but the pandemic is just too…everywhere…for me to write about it. Oh well. As we reminded ourselves, it’s about the practice, not the poem you end up with.

Here’s my second draft.

Check out what everyone came up with!

Mary Lee

And click here to see all our previous Poetry Princesses collaborations. 

Want to play? In February, we’re going to try one or more Exquisite Corpse poems. We’re not sure exactly how we’re going to do them, and there’s a lot of wiggle room. Read about them, and then figure out how YOU’d like to use or be inspired by the game. We’ll share our poems on Feb. 25th, and you can, too! If you share on social media, use the hashtag #PoetryPals. We can’t wait to see what you (and we?) do with this! Have fun!

The Poetry Friday Roundup this week is with Irene Latham at Live Your Poem. She always has so much inspiration to share!




24 Responses

  1. Laura, wow! What a great metaphor for Covid. I resonate with your poem; in fact, I think most people will, also because you’re correct it has been like a pit. I agree with Buffy about “wondering if there’s a bottom.” There have been some good things that have happened because of Covid. One positive thing I noticed is people reaching out thanking health care workers in many ways. A personal positive for me is at the beginning of the pandemic, I decided to reach out to more Poetry Friday Blogs, and I have been warmly welcomed by all of them. I have gotten to know amazing people, who are poets, teachers, authors, and artists all over the country that I consider new friends. These bloggers have helped me to cope with the pandemic and they have brought me inspiration and joy sharing their posts. My poetry has improved because the community of Poetry Friday are generous and great mentors. Thank you, Laura for being one of them.

    1. Thank you, Gail! And there really have been many silver linings, haven’t there? I tried to imagine myself as an 11-year-old girl writing about the pandemic, probably in early 2021. But the truth is, many amazing things have happened, too, both despite and even because of the pandemic. I love your new poetry connections and practice. That’s a wonderful result–so glad you’re here, Gail!

  2. The question that goes on and on…

    The exquisite corpse poems sound intriguing. And I may even get a chance to play with these in a group, early Feb. Thanks for the idea — will see if we can pull it together!

  3. Laura, I am in for the Poetry Sisters’ challenge that will be revealed as soon as I get my poem uploaded. Your take on the challenge is imaginative. Thanks for the words of wisdom: “It’s about the practice, not the poem you end up with.” I do like your draft because it is a realistic look at the world at large and the world at our table. Like Buffy, I like the last line. Each day the news drops another thought. How far down does the bottom go?

    1. Dear Laura, thank you for sharing your draft with us! I must have dogs on my mind because when I read “pit pulls” I thought pit bulls” ????It’s such a “true” poem, Laura.I’m particularly affected by how Grandma falls in too. xo

      1. Hahaha–yep, my title is lame. Label titles don’t do much to excite the imagination. Love that you thought of pit bulls :>)

  4. I could feel my stomach dropping as I read, Laura. Your poem expands and expands and we are pulled in. Every day I think about all the ways our connections with each other have changed. I’m grateful for our poetry sisters, and for Poetry Friday, and for everyone who intentionally battles that awful pit.

  5. Oh, Laura! I honestly felt myself tipping, falling in. This was so true and surprising. Thank you.

  6. Oh, Laura. This is so good, and so true, and the pit is so very, very, deep… so much feels like it’s falling in, and you captured it PERFECTLY. Ugh. How can we be in year… two? Three? I think one of the first things the pit swallowed was time. UGH.

    This is SO good.

    1. Thanks, Patricia. This one wasn’t that satisfying because it was like trying to pull an ocean of fish out through a pinhole. There’s just so much there. Way too big of a topic for me. Ah well. I did at least like this draft better than the first one :>)

  7. I really like this, Laura! That one line: “Grandma falls in.” And it’s just right to leave it there and not elaborate. Ruth,

  8. Oh, wow. You have shown us how to write about something too big to write about — in poetry, with a powerful metaphor. Just…wow.

  9. Laura, your poem gut punched me with that standing on the side of the pit. Oh, no! Don’t go in.

  10. You really captured that feeling of the ground caving under our feet, pulling more and more things out from under us. Like a giant sinkhole. This is so powerful and reading it leaves me feeling unsteady. Your pit feels like it has its own terrifying gravitational pull.

  11. Laura, this is such a great metaphor and illustration of gradually and then all at once. My goodness…the voice and the feeling of watching a horror show are so clear. Keep going with this one. Please?

  12. I love the metaphor of the pandemic as a pit, swallowing up the experiences of our lives. It seems surreal that it has gone on this long, with still no certain sense of when it will end. Thanks for sharing this with us today.

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