experimental poetry….”on one hand” by Diane Tegarden

Poem- On One hand-An Experiment in left-handed writing
by Diane Tegarden
(C) August 4, 2005

One day while waiting for a meal in a restaurant, I took out my ever-present writing pad, and decided to write a poem, the first half with my left hand and the rest with my right hand.

on one hand …

the alienation.
the external Gift of an
ancient, hollow life,
the remnants of civility
finally cast aside.
no more lies.

naked truth
is for the callous.
we need a blush of fantasy
to color the
of our inner canvas.

I turn the page and a chorus of music came to me:

paint your body
paint your mind
you can only fool yourself
about some things
some of the time.

I turn the page and put the pen in my right hand.

On the Other Hand …

I speak to you in
clear crisp terms
this way
I’m sure to be heard.

I don’t bother with
I demand respect
and get the final word.


Author’s Notes:

I purposely ignored the correct punctuation for the left-handed writing and reverted to formal punctuation with the right-handed writing as a device to separate the left and right functioning of the brain and to show how the Experiment affected my own writing style.


4 thoughts on “experimental poetry….”on one hand” by Diane Tegarden

  1. Fun experiment, Diane. I had a friend who discovered that she had a second personality that only blossomed when she would write with her left hand as opposed to her normal right. She was an avid letter writer. I could always tell which hand she was using by her script but then also her written tone would change and I’d have to adjust that “Sally” vs “Vera” had entered the room, so to speak.


    1. Tamra, that is a fascinating story, I’d never heard of a personality change when writing with the secondary hand, but it makes sense. The second half of the poem was very different from the right, and my “mood” changed when I switched the pen from right to left. Thanks for keeping up with me!


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