Sometimes the simplest repetition in a poem can bear enormous results. In Aracelis Girmay’s poem “You Are Who I Love,” many of the stanzas start with the word “you,” creating a tapestry of observations. “You, in the park, feeding the pigeons / You cheering for the bees // You with cats in your voice in the morning, feeding cats,” she writes. The poem begins with simple, charming observations and then the lines bloom with strangeness and urgency in both language and subject matter. “You cactus, water, sparrow, crow You, my elder / You are who I love, / summoning the courage, making the cobbler, // getting the blood drawn, sharing the difficult news,” writes Girmay. This week visit a public space and make a list of image-driven observations of people. Use this list to create a poem that serves as a portrait of this place and its visitors.
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Author: Writing Prompter