Craft Talk: From My Hospital Bed, I Remember…

Craft is important when it comes to writing in any form. How do you learn your own craft? You learn from practice, editing, peer reviews, and reading other poetry. Honing your craft is a lifetime experience. Below is a poem I have written. Following it are the original poem and edits of the poem. Each has a craft talk section to tell you changes that were made, but more importantly, why the changes were made. I hope this helps!

From My Hospital Bed, I Remember…

 

giggles from lips pulled in delight.

Swirls of color. Sunlight blazed up trees.

I remember backyard woods—my mane of brown free. I Run

raced friends—dodged downed limbs.

Oh for riding my bike down windy hills, hands

flown in the air—look at me!

Oh for singing at random times in grocery

store aisles as people stared!

 

Here in the hospital I listen to the insistent

beeping of my heart monitor preparing for surgery.

To remove the baby stuck in my tubes.

Give me back Poprocks. Let them burst in my mouth.

Dare to sip a coke? My stomach won’t burst!

Give me back purple cast on my arm.

Not this medical bracelet which weighs more.

I was brave. Not anymore.

 

I Remember (Original Poem for From My Hospital Bed, I Remember)

I remember smiles and giggles.

I remember they came from me.

I remember joy in abundance.

I remember the freedom

 

I used to ride my bike down windy hills

hands flown in the air—look at me!

I used to sing at random times

in grocery story aisles as people stared.

 

Give me back that carefree

world of youthful bliss.

Give me back the yearning for life

of endless possibilities.

 

I remember the freedom

the joy in abundance.

That came from me

full of smiles and giggles.

 

I Remember (Second draft of From My Hospital Bed, I Remember)

Giggles from lips pulled in delight.

Swirls of color. Sunlight blazes up trees.

Backyard woods. My mane of brown free.

Racing friends. Dodging fallen limbs.

I used to ride my bike down windy hills, hands

flown in the air—look at me!

I used to sing at random times in grocery

store aisles as people stared.

Poprocks bursting. Dare to sip a coke.

My stomach won’t burst.

Purple plaster on my arm.

I was brave.

World of youthful yearning.

Life of endless possibilities.

I used to remember the why behind it all.

Give me back that answer.

CRAFT TALK: Both of these two drafts were placed in a course workshop. I had gotten three replies from classmates but all three seemed to resonate around what KayLee Barrios stated: “I think that if you were to combine these two into one poem, you could cut out the first stanza from the second poem and replace it with the first stanza from the first poem. I really liked how these two elements from both poems flowed together.” This provided me with the third draft.

 

Give Me Back (Third Draft of From My Hospital Bed, I Remember)

I remember giggles from lips pulled in delight.

Swirls of color. Sunlight blazed up trees.

I remember backyard woods—my mane of brown free. I run

raced friends—dodged downed limbs.

 

I used to ride my bike down windy hills, hands

flown in the air—look at me!

I used to sing at random times in grocery

store aisles as people stared.

 

Give me back Poprocks. Let them burst in my mouth.

Dare to sip a coke? My stomach won’t burst!

Give me back purple cast on my arm.

I was brave.

 

I remember a world of youthful yearning.

A life of endless possibilities.

I used to remember the why behind it all.

Give me back that answer.

 

CRAFT TALK: Professor Maya Zeller was the only one to comment on this revision in the blog: “All of this is working fine—but would be even more useful if we knew the point from which the speaker writes now, the point of contrast. Maybe she’s sitting next to a the hospital bed of her child, or maybe she’s working a job she hates (in which case, give us the details of that job!). If we get some sense of where she is now, the departure into the past will be even stronger. I think beginning in the present, and then moving into this, and then back to the present, where some image echoes this, would give us a more complete empathy with this.” So I decided to try the present and past echo and created the final draft of “From My Hospital Bed, I Remember”.

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Published by

Whendy Schmidt

Writing has been a passion of mine since my fifth grade teacher, Mr. Grauff, talked me into entering a writing competition. Even though I did not place in the competition, I found an outlet I loved.

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