by K.G. Strayer
Inspired by Gregory Orr’s Essay “Four Temperaments and the Forms of Poetry”
Before you shuffle your deck, determine which direction you are facing. It doesn’t matter which direction it is—only that you know it.
deck against your forehead and draw a card from it. Lay that card down face
down in front of you.
deck over your heart and draw a card from it. Lay that card down directly
beneath the first card.
deck down in front of you. Cut the deck with your left hand. Draw a card using
that hand. Lay it down to the left of the first two cards, tilted outward.
deck down in front of you. Cut the deck with your right hand. Draw a card using
that hand. Lay it down to the right of the first two cards, tilted outward.
card represents how your poem will imagine. The card is the question, and the
poem is also the question. The bottom card relates to the music of the poem.
You might consider how it could represent different uses of rhyme, rhythm, and
sound. The card on the left represents the poem’s story—what is the poem’s
situation? How does it tell a story, or resist telling a story? The card on the
right represents the poem’s structure. What does this card tell you about how
the poem will look on the page?