Missing the Point

I wrote a really, really crappy poem this week. I mean, so bad, I’m not even going to post it here to let you judge it. See, Dorianne Laux likes to do this thing in our poetry writing workshop, where she gives us a list of ten words, a color, and a phrase, and fifteen minutes to write a poem with them. Then we all have to read our poems out loud to the class to get feedback on them. I am not very good at this.

We did that exercise in our last class. My poem, as I’ve said, was horrible. My cheeks burned as I read it out loud. I couldn’t even look up from my desk. “It’s terrible, isn’t it?” I said to Dorianne. “I can’t believe I wrote that.”

Dorianne took her glasses off and studied me. “It’s not very good,” she admitted. “Not yet. But you’re missing the point.” She drummed her pencil on the desk. “You just wrote for fifteen minutes. That was the point. You wrote something, and so, one way or another, you just became a better writer. I don’t care if it was good or bad. I just care that you wrote it.”


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