Traveling Nouns

In his fourth poetry collection, Chariot (Wave Books, 2023), Timothy Donnelly uses form to contain the expansiveness of philosophical and artistic inquiry. Each poem is confined to twenty lines and uses long, syntactically complex sentences to connect seemingly disparate things: from the Milky Way to the polluted green color of the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, New York, and the blue of periwinkles and rainclouds to the ordinariness of a Staples office supply store. Inspired by Donnelly’s use of form and connection, flip through a few books from your shelves and write down all the nouns you encounter. Then write a twenty-line poem that attempts to connect these words as seamlessly as possible using your unique perspective.

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