AREA OF FOCUS – Simple Story Telling

Through Sidewalk Futures, Forgotten Fathersand Catalina the Brave, I wanted to tell a story. My goal in these stories was very different since I wanted Sidewalk Futures to be humorous, while my poems Catalina the Brave and Forgotten Fathers needed to be sad.

In Sidewalk Futures, I used a lot of enjambment to both slow down and speed up the story. This worked really well for the poem since I needed a very small moment to build up and then explode into a poem that lasted a bit longer than the actual occurrence would have. By using a number system (4-0 & 4-0), I was able to count of both what was happening in this small story and I was able to give the poem a simple pacing. Although it was suggested to me that I flip the second numbering (4-0 & 0-4), after experimenting with a few different methods of doing so, I realized that I liked my last line too much to ruin it. I felt that the end of my story was too important to let the numbering throw it off. I wanted it to end with the reader realizing that nothing had truly taken place between the two characters.

In Catalina the Brave, I employed a different form of storytelling. Rather than allowing humor and inner musings to take over the narrative, I chose a strict point of view and stuck with it. I felt that this story was best told from a teachers point of view, instead of a parent or even the child. I made this decision because I was moved by a situation I had seen in my own life and wanted that perspective to be seen. I knew that writing from the perspective of a three-year-old was not concrete enough since I needed Catalina to be innocent and almost oblivious to what was happening around her. I did not write from the perspective of the father because I wanted him to be initially misunderstood as being neglectful, I felt that his character could change and be far more impactful if she was first introduced to the reader as a father who did not make his daughter the lunch she likes or who is late to pick her up.

In Forgotten Fathers, I wanted to subtly tell two stories. Although the main story is about a little girl, I also wanted to include a few things that could be seen from the mother’s perspective. I wanted to show an abusive relationship and how it affects children. Often times children with fathers or mothers who abandon them will fictionalize their memories to include happier times with that parent. They often will make up things. I wanted that to be seen in this poem. That is not to say that the playhouse was not real or that the father was not kind to his child, but I wanted it to be clear that these things may not necessarily be as innocent as they first appear.