105 Ways to Give a Book

Poetry Friday: Packing

This week I was inspired to write a list poem in response to the weekly challenge of Miss Rumphius and based on my own upcoming weekend (well, weekend-ish) getaway to Las Vegas. This was one of the few poems I’ve written that I feel like I truly crafted. I started with a train-of-thought list based on my own packing. Since it felt too long, I culled out the least important parts and side notes. Then I liked the way the lines were forming a shape, so I worked within that structure, taking out or changing words to make it fit. Honestly, I can’t believe how much time I’ve put into this poem. “Um, yeah,” say you practiced poets. But it was a revelation to me that working on a poem can be such fun.


Start with
A carry-on bag
With a noticeable tag.
Black pants to dress up
The essential black T-shirt.
A jacket adds color or slims in black.
A cotton dress cut just above the knee
Easily goes from daytime to evening with
Comfortable heels and versatile accessories.
(Colorful bangles for day, silver chains for evening.)
Shorts and shirt to sleep in provide emergency clothes.
One interesting shirt that can start a barstool conversation.
Undergarments, socks, belts, extra shirt, and toiletries.
(Liquids in a plastic bag on top, for airport security.)
Two books of different styles, and the guidebook.
Don’t pack pinchy shoes, no matter how cute
No organizers, calendars or work numbers.
Leave behind preconceived notions about
sushi, planes, or talking to strangers.
Wear the really flattering jeans.
Slip on walking shoes.
(Black is best.)
And go.

You’ll find today’s Poetry Friday contributions hosted at ayuddha. Continued Poetry Month extravaganzas are at Check It Out, Gotta Book, Liz in Ink, Miss Rumphius, Pencil Talk, Poetry for Children, Read Write Believe, Susan Writes, Wild Rose Reader, Writing and Ruminating, A Wrung Sponge, and A Year of Reading. Whew!


Bill said...

Not only is the poem great, but it serves as a handy-dandy reminder that I'd better get finished with my own packing...

Sara said...

First off, I love your revelation that working on a poem is fun. It is! It's that tweaking/crafting/shaping part that rocks my world.

And you pack much better than I do . . . even thinking about which shirt would make interesting barstool conversation. I'm usually too busy trying to fit in one more pair of those pinchy shoes, which I will wear for only an hour.

ToniAnn C said...

I think poems were what kept me interested in reading. To this day most of things I right about my own life are in some sort of poetic form.

Anonymous said...

I loved your poem! List poems are one of my favorites. I really need to start doing the Stretches.

Welcome to our world of tweaking and playing with words.

And thanks for the shout-out!

Peaceful Reader said...

Black is best for traveling...I like your list poem. It could be a shape poem as well, pointing you to go that-away!

Carol said...

Wow! What a list! And what a poem! It's pretty amazing to me, a rudimentary poet at best, that you can craft such clever words and also have a shape!

Beth said...

I like your poem!

The shape reminds me of the extra pleasures of flying while pregnant.

CindyD said...

I love your poem
You're headed to Las Vegas.
Black is hot (literally)! Khaki is better.
Don't forget your hat!

Andromeda Jazmon said...

This is a really great poem. I love how you've crafted it with such balanced progression. The center line leads to so many interesting thoughts it causes me to pause there before the downward slope.

I think I ought to print this out and put it near my overnight bag so I'll know what to pack next time.tackingi

Mary Lee said...

Very fun! I like the poem even more when I read the behind the scenes thinking that went into it!

Have a fun weekendish!

Saints and Spinners said...

This was fun to read. I'm glad it was enjoyable to write, too.

Vivian Mahoney said...

This is great! And very cool.

Have fun in Las Vegas!