Scaffolding Poem : thoughts on procrastination

Thoughts on the poem “Consolations after an affair” by James Tate

My impulses whisper to each other: they plan something

for the week, no doubt devious plots to distract me.

I have plans on my mind and ideas

who think they are still going to happen.

They know nothing of computer games and TV-series.

For they are the gullible crowd

mesmerized by the eloquent speaker.

I’ve discovered that I don’t need

a calendar to plan, a plan to forget.

I wear my intentions on the outside

as if a cloak of post-it notes will keep me warm.

No matter how much I say it aloud, the plans simply echo

on deaf ears, alone in this mind I love.

This poem is written using a technique called scaffolding. This is where you take an existing poem and use its preexisting framework, by replacing names, descriptions and so forth with writing of your own – but you stay true to the form of the original poem.

Original poem:

Consolations after an affair
by James Tate

My plants are whispering to one another:
they are planning a little party
later on in the week about watering time.
I have quilts on beds and walls
that think it is still the 19th century.
They know nothing of automobiles and jet planes.
For them a wheat field in January
is their mother and enough.
I’ve discovered that I don’t need
a retirement plan, a plan to succeed.
A snow leopard sleeps beside me
like a slow, warm breeze.
And I can hear the inner birds singing
alone in this house I love.


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