Charged by Imagination

“The poem is an opportunity to turn from memoiristic transcription of information towards a kind of ultimate artifact, charged and changed by the imagination,” says Ocean Vuong about his approach to storytelling in this interview by Kadish Morris for the Guardian. Vuong offers his poem “American Legend” as an example in which the speaker drives his father to put down their dog and crashes the car, which becomes “a kind of parable for American failure.” In actuality, Vuong does not drive but uses the story to consider relationships between fathers and sons. Inspired by this concept of imaginative writing, write a poem that deliberately alters an event in your life. How can your expansion of this event make for a deeper parable?

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