Start with the basics. The opening line
should introduce the tone. Remain
faithful to the voice you have chosen
for at least six sentences. This will make
the later moments of lyric departure
more striking. It may help at this point
to mention the light. If your reader
can picture you writing, all the better.
My desk looks something like the one
your uncle used when he built those
wooden bi-planes you would fly around
the kitchen until your mother told you
to leave her alone to finish the dinner.
I am lit by a black Anglepoise lamp.
Eventually you will need to include
advice that seems odd or unimportant.
If it is winter, why not take a cup of snow
and raise it in benediction to the absent
summer, whose compacted memories
are stored there like honey in a hive?
Do not be tempted to increase the tempo
in an effort to create tension. Instead
suggest a journey; this will achieve
a similar effect. Address the reader,
for they will appreciate the complicity.
Now follow me, we are nearly at the end
of the poem and look how the landscape
begins to rise. Perhaps this was not
about writing a poem at all. Do you see
that mountain up ahead? Could that
be the true subject? The height of it?