Nine Bean Rows: Planting “the Divine Detail” in a Poem

Presented by Kathleen Thompson, M.F.A. in fiction and poetry, and writer and editor

Enrich your poetry writing through the use of the concrete image. A simple exercise readily adaptable to all ages can guide you from the blank page to the first draft of a poem. The writing advice of Vladimir Nabokov, “Caress the divine detail,” will be utilized. As an example, William Butler Yeats describes a garden in “The Lake Isle of Innisfree.” “Nine bean-rows will I have there,” he says, in this “bee-loud glade” with “noon a purple glow.” The specificity of his word choices lends universality to the poem. Such details, because they well up from one’s subconscious, are as individual as a thumbprint or a recurring dream. Your own recollected beans might be an Alabama favorite, Rattlesnake. They may curl upward on stakes, crisscrossed at the top and tied with twine. These are the choices that will make your poem, whether it is a traditional form or free verse, come to life as your words fill up the page.

Tables or writing surface, paper and pens, a podium and microphone are requested. A PowerPoint projector, if available, is also requested.

Contact Kathleen Thompson to book this presentation
(205) 981-0911