Friday, February 25, 2011

The One Room of Possibility

Here at my writing teachers’ retreat, one never knows what the next assignment will be. We share teaching ideas with one another, we teach to one another, and we learn from one another. Last night we were given the assignment to write a sonnet. The title was “The One Room of Possibility.” That’s not a lot to go on, but what an interesting idea. The responses this morning were varied and vivid and I’m continually impressed by the talent of my fellow teachers.
Sonnets have a strict form, but there is freedom within that form. Sounds like life doesn’t it? Like any writing assignment, I started with invention (coming up with something to say), arrangement (putting my thoughts in order), and elocution (adjusting the rhyme and meter.) In case you’re curious, I’m happy to share my feeble efforts. I don’t think the subject matter will surprise you.
The One Room of Possibility
A pantry shelf of flour, white and wheat
Cold butter, eggs their treasures to uncrack;
Cream and milk and sugar, fine and sweet
Vanilla, cocoa -richest, darkest, black.
Those mentors teach and guide from pages worn
(I hear the voice of Julia chirping “shoulds”)
A recipe, a note, a clipping torn
My cookbooks overflow with unbaked goods
But spatulas and whisks transform the base
Convecting heat and oven’s fire to bake
As magic elevates raw matter’s place
The grocery list becomes a birthday cake.
What joy to see the hungry soul restored-
To taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
-Renee Mathis 2/25/11

6.26 kitchen after