"Focus!" screams your personal trainer. "Focus!" you scold yourself at work on Monday morning. "Focus" yells the emcee, introducing the ancient Dutch rock band. Focusing is fine, especially when writing poetry. BUT. Poetry is a funny animal. It isn't like prose, or journalism, where we just pop out the facts bam bam bam starting with the most important. No, poetry is more amorphous, almost dream-like at times, and though it can be in-your-face, it is more often subtle.
Picture a room. In this room there is a table, a cat, a bowl of fruit on the table, a window with drapes, a rug, a fireplace, and some books. Sitting in the foreground is a woman with some knitting. She's what we see first. Then we might take in the cat, and all the rest. Suppose, though, that the fireplace hasn't been well tended. Suppose a tiny spark has caused a book left too close to the grate to begin to smoulder (way back there, in the background.) NOW what's the most important thing in this picture of ours?
I want you to try to write a slightly dishonest poem. A little bit misleading. Give us something to focus on--the apparent subject of your poem. But slip in a detail that is really more important. Make it a new poem for this challenge, please. Then link!
One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.