I recently bought Mary Kinsey's book A Poet's Guide to Poetry, and I've decided I'm going to do the poetry-writing exercises she posts in every chapter. The first exercise is:
>Minimum twenty lines of blank verse
>Use the three-part organization of the poems by Wordsworth, Coleridge, Larkin, Nemerov, and Gunn: that is, first a description of a scene, which then triggers a meditation on something in the speaker's experience, which enables the speaker to return to the initial scene with a sense of resolution or understanding. The poem should close by turning to the place where the meditation began, which has been implicitly altered during the poem.
And so I decided to write 21 lines of blank verse, based on what she recommends. This is what I came up with:
I found, one day, amid the mountain heights
As I was climbing, through the craggy peaks--
I found, to my surprise, a placid lake
That laid amid an alpine meadow there.
Amid the cool green grass of those tall heights
The lake sat, placid, deader than a corpse,
For no breeze there disturbed its mirrored film.
I think on that now, as I sit and wait,
And hear the breezes, blowing to and fro
From mouths uttering voices, and from thumbs
Typing aggressively on this or that.
I think on that dead lake, posted so high
At peace—as if deadness a virtue was,
For in dead stillness there, at least, is calm.
I think, and wonder, if perhaps I could
Learn from that lake, which I see in my mind,
See there, the clouds reflected on its face
As they passed overhead. It mirrored so
Because its stillness meant it could reflect
Without disturbing. I think on that now
And find a lesson in it I can learn.