National Writing Project

Imaging Experience

By: Lezlie Laws Couch
Publication: The Quarterly, Vol. 16, No. 4
Date: Fall 1994

Summary: Laws Couch analyzes her process of creating a poem from a childhood memory, then offers a five-step framework for a classroom writing exercise in reshaping memories into a poem.



This essay is essentially an analysis of the stages that I went through calling up a memory and then moving that memory into a particular discourse form which gives the memory purpose and intent. It occurs to me that in identifying those stages we have the framework for a useful classroom exercise for students who want practice in shaping their own memories for an audience. These stages push the students beyond mere "recording" of the memory and encourage them to think about how the memory is significant or meaningful to them now.

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