THE WORLD OF TURTLES
ON THE GEORGIA COAST
Despite the stink I keep on going back
to watch the giant turtle on the beach.
The sun has not been kind to him
and slowly crabs and gulls are pilfering
the softening flesh from his carapace.
As he is emptied out
: . '.'
This assignment was given to me in 1981 by my teacher Larry
Levis, who said that his teacher, Philip Levine, had once given it
to him. Said Levis via Levine, 'When you can't write, try writing
THE PRACTICE OF POETRY
human emotions. The animal is not a stand-in. The animal is itself.
Look hard at your subject and render it in its strangeness, in its
integrity, wholly animal.
Try, initially, to go fifty lines. Connect descriptions, pieces of
This strange thing must have crept
Right out of hell.
It resembles a birds foot
Worn around the cannibals neck.
As you hold it in your hand,
As you stab with it into a piece of meat,
It is possible to imagine the rest of the bird:
Elizabeth BishopThe Fish
I caught a tremendous fish
and held him beside the boat
half out of water, with my hook
fast in a corner of its mouth.
He didnt fight.
He hadnt fought at all.
He hung a grunting weight,
battered and venerable
and homely. Here and
what is, if not chagrin,
he blunts the fetid air
contains and scarcely moves.
a root, our sourest dream
that one hates in surprise.
the things he lives to do.
elaborate his guise.
Presentation: The Fact of a Doorframe by: Adrienne Rich
A. Unique Wardlaw
Adrienne Rich is a poet from Baltimore, Maryland. Born on May 16th in 1929, Rich
started writing poetry during her senior year at Radcliffe College. Soon after Richs