Lyric Landscapes

“Fish / fowl / flood / Water lily mud / My life // in the leaves and on water,” writes Lorine Niedecker in “Paean to Place,” a long lyric poem that meditates on the region of southern Wisconsin where she was born and lived most of her life. Written in short sections, the poem goes in and out of memories and pastoral descriptions of marshlike landscapes, altogether serving as a testament to the impact a place can have on one’s poetic sensibilities. This week write a pastoral ode to the landscape you grew up in. Whether an urban sprawl or a rural town, try to use the poem’s form and idiosyncratic language to paint a portrait of your experience in this formative place.

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