Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Ring/Drum/Blanket Poem by Kelly R. Fineman

In my Interview with Janet Wong, Janet spoke about her experiences as a student in the master class in poetry that Myra Cohn Livingston taught at UCLA. One of the writing exercises Myra gave her students was to write a poem that contained the following three words: ring, drum, and blanket. It doesn’t sound so easy to write a poem that must include three words that seem to have no connection in any way, does it? Well, the talented students in Myra’s class came up with inventive and varied ways to use these three words in poems. If you can find a copy of Myra’s book I Am Writing a Poem About…A Game of Poetry, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Janet and I extended an invitation to readers of that interview to write their own ring/drum/blanket poems. So far…just one brave blogger has taken up the challenge—the talented Kelly R. Fineman of Writing and Ruminating. Kelly wrote an outstanding poem! Here it is:

Inside the Fairy Ring
By Kelly R. Fineman

Inside the fairy ring,

awash with silver light,

sprightly dancers caper

on a blanket of dew-dappled flowers.

When grassy pipes and acorn drums fall silent,

all will fade away

to dawn.

Is that lovely? I’m so impressed—and so is Janet Wong! Here's what Janet said about Kelly's poem: What a fine poem! I love the image of acorn drums, and the “p, p, p, p” in “sprightly” and “caper” with “dappled” and “pipes”…”p, p, p, p,” might well be the sound that this tiny fairy festival would generate (to clunky human ears)!

Invitation to Write a Poem

Here, again, are the ring/drum/blanket poems that Janet and I wrote. We’d like to extend the invitation once more to everyone reading this post to write ring/drum/blanket poems to post at their own blogs--or for me to post at Wild Rose Reader. If you post the poem at your own blog, please send me the link. If you’d like me to post your poem at Wild Rose Reader, type it in the comment section or send it to me via email.

Oh, Brother!
By Janet Wong

The little squirt,
begging for boiled eggs and toast,
circles me like a wrestler in the ring,
bouncing on my bed,
and when I try to hide my head,
he dives under the blanket,
to drum my stomach
until it surrenders
a growl.

The Early Sixties: A Summer Day
By Elaine Magliaro

On an old army blanket,
a rough, khaki-colored island
floating on a sea of sand
at Devereaux Beach,
we sit in a circle…
a ring of friends
playing kitty whist,
drinking cola,
talking about boys, and
listening to rock and roll music…
to the sexy sound of the sax
wafting over us
moaning about love,
to a drum beating
like a young heart in overdrive.

You can read three more ring/drum/blanket poems here.


Anonymous said...

What Kelly wrote is excellent, and I'm not at all surprised.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Elaine, Janet (!) and Jules for your kind comments.

Tricia said...

I have been trying to fit these words into my stretch this week, but to no avail. I did, however, come up with a poem. Thanks for making me stretch.

Tricia said...

P.S. - Feel free to post the poem here if you like.

Andromeda Jazmon said...

Kelly's poem is fabulous! I want to be there in that fairy ring.

I managed (with a great struggle) to work the three words into my Friday Poetry kyrielle. What a work out! Thanks for the inspiration.

Anonymous said...

Dragon Boat Festival

Blankets are laid,
zhongzi is waiting
but the drums insist-
brimming with sound
they call us to
wake the dragons.

We gather in rings
embracing the boats
as monks make magic
with prayers and poems
then paint the eyes, a dab of red
that brings the boats
to life.

Anonymous said...

What I'm enjoying most about these poems is their diversity--from Cloudscome's long formal poem about nature to the short free verse poems by Tricia and Kelly on topics as far apart as war and fairies...

Elaine Magliaro said...


It really is interesting to see the different kinds of poems people create when given the requirement of having to include those three words in their poems.

Tricia said...

I too love that these poems are so different. When I read the words the first thing that came to mind was "drums of war." Unfortunately, I put myself in a bit of a poetry straight-jacket, because I couldn't get this one idea out of my mind. I'm going to play again and see what I can come up with.

Anonymous said...

Good Job! :)