Exercise provided by Kamala Platt, author of On the Line
“Mujeres del Rebozo Rojo” could be described as an infinite exclamation, a sunrise anthropomorphized, a brilliant visual image with resonating audible alliteration, rhyme and rhythm—or, it could be a very specific cultural statement about a group of women who wear a particular color of shawl. How would you describe this poem? Does it speak more clearly to women than men? Does it matter if the reader is a bilingual person? Would an artist appreciate this poem better or more fully than a non-artist?
Freewrite a response for ten to fifteen minutes, but focus on one physical thing—an article of clothing, a walking stick, a tool, anything that you associate closely with a particular person. Then, look over what you have written, and analyze the feelings and observations the poem aroused. Choose one aspect of what you have produced and craft your own poem.
Exercise provided by Wings Press
“Mujeres del Rebozo Rojo” begins by asking the question “Who are we?” The same ques- tion is asked again in the beginning of the second stanza. At the end of the poem, the same words are reversed to make a statement about “who we really are.” Poets often use this kind of word play to end a poem because it “feels” final in some way. Can you think of another poem that works this way?
Write a poem that asks a specific question, and then answers it, using similar language in both the question and the final answer.