ENG210: Wk 6

week 6 already and it’s time for me to workshop again. i had completely forgotten about it and you need to submit your workshop on the Friday before the upcoming week. So in just over half an hour I needed to create something workshop-worthy. Not an easy feat.

I tossed up using the poem I did in Week 2 about the Paintbrush but decided to save that for my 2nd assignment. Instead I created a concrete (visual) poem, mainly because it’s not something I have done before and am unlikely to do again.


This week we look at memory as the source and object of writing.

Steps to Follow

Step 1: Read the Week 6 notes
Step 2: Listen to Lecture 3: Memory and Time (accessed from Resource CD-ROM 1)
Step 3: Do the Readings for this week
Step 4: Complete the Writing Exercises for this week


The exercises done for the first two workshops may have triggered or created a piece of writing on an important moment in your personal experience, one which has changed your perception.  Use any of these exercises, or another trigger, such as an image, photograph, object, incident), or the ‘I remember…’ exercise for this week, to create a piece of writing based on a memory.  It is important to focus on details and sensory perception. Tip: using the present tense and focusing on detail creates immediacy in  your writing.

All memory is reconstruction – we ‘construct’ our memory material in order to make sense of it, and often to try to understand something about the present as well. When you write from memory, using it as a trigger for writing, you need not be consciously aware of this restructuring (the brain does it anyway), although you may bring this feature of memory to bear more consciously in the rewriting phase of your writing. However, the forms of memory can be fragmented and non-linear; the links in the structure need not be sequential, nor do they need to form a narrative.

On the other hand, there may in fact be narrative elements in the memory as it constructs itself this way, and you may want to structure your work as narrative.

See also the hypertext example below of creative work using memory, Deep Immersion by Terri-Anne White.


Rushdie, Salman. “Imaginary homelands” in Imaginary Homelands: Essays and Criticism 1981-1991 , Rushdie, Salman, 199 , 9-21

Freiman, Marcelle. “Memories” in Monkey’s Wedding, Freiman, Marcelle, 1997, 27

Henri, Adrian; McGough, Roger; Patten, Brian. “A lot of water has flown under bridge” Penguin Modern Poets, 10:, 1974, 61-62

Also read ahead to Gillian Mears’ ‘Bird O’Circle’

Writing Exercises

Write the words “I remember” at the beginning of a line, and allow a detail to present itself, which you write down (The Stephen Herrick example has been generated by an “I remember…” exercise). After the first line and its details, return to the beginning of the next line, write “I remember…” again, and go on. Allow the details of each line to freely associate and create the next detail or fragment. (You can take out some or all of the “I remember’s” when you go back to edit your piece).  It is very important to use details, senses, fragments, so that you don’t write about the past, but actually write the past.  Don’t worry about deliberately constructing causal or narrative relationships at first, allow them to emerge of their own accord, then you can structure your piece more consciously once you have the material.


4 thoughts on “ENG210: Wk 6

  1. Comments from my tutor:


    the title was self-explanatory, as yuo said, so there were no problems there. Though I did woder when I read the title, if t was going to be vicious, and would there be a sequel.

    I enjoyed the “special effects” of the poem. and the inclusing of the notes was also very well done.

    Visually, this was very pleasing. While many would contest that this is a concrete poem, I do think blurs the boundaries between what is and isn’t concrete poetry. You visualise the words and images, and that is enough for me. Like I said, the visual aspect was for me very pleasing.

    The language was su[erb here, controlled and elegant. Yes, like Di, I liked the rhinoceros image, because can you get any crazier that a rhinoceros on speed riding a tandem bike. Crikey!

    I didnt mind the word ‘turgid’ at all. I think it very nicely exemplified the cataclysmic nature of the death, and its heavy tone is a nice counterpoint to the word “lullaby”.

    If there was an “issue” with this piece, it was the line “What once made sense, no longer does.”

    I didn’t think this was essential. This line tends to direct the reader a little too much, defining how the tepot feels, and how the reader hence should feel. Instead, this state of disorientation could have been dramatised rather than declared. That is why the line does not sit right for me. You could consider either omitting it or reframing it.

    Notwithstanding that, I think this was a fabulous piece, Dec. Thorughly enjoyable!!

    Thank you!

    • Hi Kathy,

      Concrete poetry is designed to tell the story not only through the words but also through the imagery the words provide. Strictly speaking, mine isn’t really a concrete poem (why oh why do they call it concrete???) but it does provide imagery so as my tutor said (posted in the comments) it does blur the lines between what is considered visual poetry.

      Some good examples of concrete poetry IMO would be:
      yacht poetry

      The Mouse's Tale

      Treble Poem



      This one is one of my favourites:

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