Word as Image

I’ve been reading Kyle Vaughn’s Lightning Paths: 75 Poetry Writing Exercises, which inspired me to delve into another book study of poetry forms and responses. I’ll be making my way through the exercises and prompts between now and the end of the year.

In today’s exercise, Vaughn encourages writers to write a poem in which a word or words are used to paint images.

Gwendolyn’s Dad

lingering blood stains
on Highway 46
at the scene
took her 27 miles
out of the way
for a year
after the fatal wreck

Made with Padlet

7 Replies to “Word as Image”

  1. Oh. This poem. It’s haunting. As someone who’s held hands with Grief at various points in my life, I identified with the need to avoid the places that stir trauma within the body.

    Just beautiful.


  2. “lingering blood stains” certainly creates an image in the mind…and when it’s blood that you know…well I can certainly understand a 27-mile detour. The language is simple, but the effect is powerful, and the hard sound of the final consonant fits the hardness of the poem.


  3. Heartbreaking! I often use this grim analogy to explain that this very scene is what comes to mind when a person casually asks a person who has been adopted internationally, “Have you ben back to [the country of your birth]?” It’s extremely jarring and personal.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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