Dasha Does Poetry

Dasha is a student of mine. She's originally from Russia, but lives in Texas now, and is somewhere around my own age. She's an advanced student. We're working on finding very specific pronunciation issues and developing more advanced writing skills.


We've played with writing a few different things. We did some writing where we pretended we were exchanging business emails. That was useful, but probably a little too easy for her. Fiction is a little more difficult to write, so we mostly write prose. But, we did do poetry one time. It was kind of amazing. It's probably not quite as useful for learning English because the rules in poetry are quite different than normal language, and just too flexible.

I did the first stanza, she did the second, and we kept alternating from there. After she writes her paragraph or stanza then I go through doing some editing while we discuss different options on spelling, punctuation, grammar, syntax, word selection, tense, point-of-view, etc.

Here's how our poem went.

- - - - - - -

What may it mean?
When an arrow crosses your path,
and life and death hang in the balance.
Water, a drop upon a thread.

What do you feel?
When your life depends on something else,
vibes of fear running down your veins;
Wisdom that comes and opens your eyes.

Virtue and vice,
friends or foes?
Veritable rivals,
in a game with bows.

Time that continues
running the game.
Words that keep falling
making no sense.

Looking for meaning and questioning,
existence and all that it contains.
Finding only absurdity,
in a theater of woe.

Shall we continue running in life
May we keep playing
Or shall we withdraw
Questions to ask, meanings to find.

- - - - - - -

It's an interesting exercise trying to play off of what someone else is doing. We could call it playing jazz with poetry. It turned out well.

At some point I might reveal some of our co-created prose as well. We'll see.

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