“Like a snail with a shell of sticks // — she loads them on her back — // Like a camel with a hump of sticks // — on her back, on her back — // Like a horse with a knight of sticks and a stick for a sword,” writes Valzhyna Mort in her poem “In the Woods of Language, She Collects Beautiful Sticks” published in the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day series. In her description of this poem, Mort explains how an inability to write another poem she was working on made her “feel homeless in language and in poetry” and that writing this poem became “a bit of homemaking” for her. Write a poem that reflects your own process when your mind wanders away from writing and you must find a way back into the home of language. Does it involve the vocabulary of domesticity, construction, or helpful creatures?
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