(See post “First steps to writing about your life”)
It’s not too late to send me your effort for posting or my comments. Here’s the poem I wrote years back that I used to generate this prompt:
My daddy’s hands
Could take a ball of twine
And deftly tie a trotline,
Hooks spaced exactly eighteen inches apart,
Hanging twelve inches below a perfect knot,
His only measuring tool his eye.
Then he’d wind the line
Around an empty one-pound coffee can,
Tucking the hooks beneath the line,
Around and around,
In perfect, unvarying movements.
Later, in the boat,
He’d pull the end
And all the hooks would unwind smoothly,
Never changing rhythm.
Chin in hands,
I’d watch enchanted.
It could have been written as prose as well:
My daddy’s hands could take a ball of twine and deftly tie a trotline, hooks spaced exactly eighteen inches apart, hanging twelve inches below a perfect knot, his only measuring tool his eye. Then he’d wind the line around an empty one-pound coffee can, tucking the hooks beneath the line, around and around, in perfect, unvarying movements. Later, in the boat, he’d pull the end and all the hooks would unwind smoothly, never catching, never changing rhythm.
Chin in hands, I’d watch enchanted.
Why did I write is as a poem instead of prose? The answer is simple. At that time, I was writing a lot of this loose kind of poetry. I found it easier to tap into my creative side. I had a tendency to over-explain when writing in paragraph form; my analytical side kicked in.
Either way, I think it works. You get a picture of my dad, who loved to fish and who did things in a very structured precise way to get the results he wanted. It also shows you that I was highly impressed with my dad, whom I thought could do anything. I could give you twenty more examples to show those characteristics of the two of us, but you’d get bored in a hurry.
Go ahead. Try it. I give you permission to fail or to surprise yourself with something really good. Have fun.