Sorry I didn't come back to you on your question earlier, but you did just fine anyway. Yes, this a the start of a prose plan for a poem. We don't know what the poem might be yet - but that doesn't matter!
I commend you on the effort you have put into this, and thank you for doing so. I think we are now moving in the right direction.
What you have done here is to begin to move towards an image based way of describing not only what you see, but your own feelings too.
If you can maintain this approach and make it a natural part of your writing you will start to elevate your poetry and prose beyond the ordinary.
I'm going to take a while now to go through what you've written in detail, trying to point out what I think is good material and maybe areas that could have been developed a little more:
As the sun broke the purple horizon, I skittered outside with Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
>>> When you are starting out writing seriously, and you want to aim for originality (which you do) I think it helps to frequently ask yourself the question have I heard this before. If the answer is "yes", it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't use it, but you should have a good reason for so doing, and moreover if you can add to it or vary it a little that is good too.
>>>I mention this because of your very first opening words "as the sun broke the purple horizon". I want you think about that phrase. It's VERY familiar isn't it? The sun is always sinking to the horizon or breaking the horizon. There's nothing wrong really in using it, but even so can you add to it? You've told us the horizon is purple - but horizons are always multi coloured in the romantic novels. Let's hear about YOUR horizon. I can't see it. Is it broken with trees, mountainous, flat, jagged with city buildings, pierced with a TV mast, salty with an estuary, criss-crossed by roads and car headlights, dense with flying duck, slashed by a jet vapour trail, what is ON your horizon?
>>>"skittered" is a great verb, well done. More of those please. And the reference to Little Women is good too, portraying the type of girl we are seeing. A young girl skittering, but a girl who has dreams and loves novels. See what you did there? Instead of TELLING; "I was a young girl with high spirits, romantic and literary" you SHOWED - she skitters and she reads Little Women. You might have added a little more too, like how did you HOLD the book? Instead of the rather weak "with" you might have replaced it with something like: " I skittered outside clasping Little Women" and still more " I skittered into the dew clasping Little Women to my chest, it's chafed leather spine pressing the mother of pearl buttons of my ..." - ok, I'm getting carried away now. But of course in poetry and prose it's quite permissible, and indeed often essential, to deviate from actual fact so that the story is a truthful reflection of your feelings or what you want to say.
I was dressed in my most adored summer attire, a long white skirt that fluttered around my ankles in the light cooling breeze, and a lace tank the color of ripened strawberries. Dawn was shading the sky with pastels while I skipped past the crooked dog wood, book in hand, to my knotted climbing tree beside the rushing brook.
>>>Oops - careful here you are slipping into TELLING again. Don't TELL us that it is your most adored summer attire, SHOW us.
>>>And indeed you HAVE shown us. You really didn't need to say "my most adored summer attire". Just the loving way you told us that it was "a long white skirt that fluttered around my ankles in the light cooling breeze, and a lace tank the color of ripened strawberries." was quite enough to let your readers know that it was a special skirt. "Fluttered" was good, as was "the color of ripened strawberries".
>>> "shading the sky with pastels" - "skipped past the crooked dog wood" - "knotted climbing tree" all very good images - good work, more of the same please. "beside the rushing brook" - now tell me truthfully Michaela, how often have you heard a brook described as "rushing"!? Let's strain our brain cells for something more original like: "where the brook tips its hurry over the stones" - and I'm sure you can do better my feeble effort if you try (we'll do some exercises on this soon).
When I reached my reading retreat, I looked towards the sky at the wings stretched from the trunk of the oak. Then, I glanced at the sun coming up from behind the hills. I picked out a limb with a graceful view of the dancing colors that floated across the sky. Water vapors had not yet condensed; therefore, the floor of heaven was a spectacular sight.
>>>This section is quite weak. This: "When I reached my reading retreat, I looked towards the sky" simply TELLS us what you did. Not good. You didn't have to do that. You could have just suddenly been in your reading retreat. Moreover you didn't have to say you looked at the sky. You could have SHOWN us you were looking at the sky. So instead we have something like: "My reading retreat nestled against the bole where a bough had fractured long ago, in the canopy above wings stretched from the trunk of the oak".
>>> "dancing colors that floated across the sky" - again this is suffering from phrases that are overused. "Dancing and floated" are probably best used sparingly or you start to sound like you are trying too hard to be poetic.
>>>And "floor of heaven" humm. Well full marks for trying to come up with something original. "Heaven" alone would have been fairly mundane. The "floor" of heaven certainly adds interest. Again though you TELL us that it's a "spectacular sight" - I don't want to be TOLD I want to be SHOWN. Show me how it's spectacular. "And the floor of heaven simmered like a skillet full of humming birds" or "shimmered" if you prefer! Ok, I know it's a daring image, but at least it IS an image and an INTERESTING one. I have SHOWN something that's spectacular you can suddenly SEE what I'm seeing. Just by telling me it's spectacular you tell me nearly nothing, I need to know HOW it is spectacular. Sorry to go on ramming this point home, but if you remember nothing else, this is important, remember it please.
I pulled the satin ribbon I used to mark my place out of my book and used it to tie my silky brunette hair into a elegant bunch on the top of my head. I gripped the rough bark of the lowest branch and threw myself upon it. Catching balance so as not to topple onto the ground, I grabbed the next available limb and my muscles flexed underneath my glowing pale skin. After climbing up two other branches, I landed on the limb I aspired to read on.
The sun finally finished its climb as well. Its light radiated above the hills, streams, and roads. Before opening my book, I took in my surroundings.
>>>Ok, all of that was pretty much more telling. There are some strong active verbs "gripped" "grabbed" "threw", but most of the description is fairly mundane "satin ribbon", "silky brunette" "muscles flexing". Pretty tame stuff Michaela. It is hard because as soon as you start to focus on yourself and your own body this sort of thing - cliches and superlatives tends to happen. It's probably best to keep your senses focussed outwards at what you see feel smell touch etc around you. Don't worry, your readers will be able to SEE you, the speaker, through what you see, feel, hear etc.
The clean smell of the rural south blew through the new green leafs. I let my hair loose to fly around my face. The scent of my shampoo mixed with that of grass, manure, and wild flowers. To me, that aroma is equivalent to that of fresh fruit. The pictures my brain received are immaculate. The basis on which God set his plan, was rolled out beneath my eyes. I inhaled the warm air that provides me with life. I waited a for a full measure of the little bird's "twa-eet, twa-eet" to exhale.
>>>The first half of this up to fresh fruit was great. After that it was awful! The first half you just gave us straightforward well written images and description: the smell of the rural south, the new green leaves, you hair flying, the shampoo mixing with the rural scents, and the personal detail about the fresh fruit. Good stuff Michaela ... if only you then didn't go and try and sound too poetic in the second half.
>>> "The pictures my brain received are immaculate" - what on earth! What pictures? Immaculate!? Remember what you learned about abstract nouns and unnecessary or vague adjectives - what the heck is an "immaculate picture"? And then you get into discussing God's plan! What has that got to do with providing specific detailed images which is what this exercise is about?
At last, I pulled the cover away from the pages and began to delve into the lives of the March girls. My attention to the book was interrupted after reading only a few lines. The minnows playing tag in the brook drew my eyes to their game. I smiled as they tossed back and forth away from each other. As one swam further away from me I hopped onto a lower branch to continue watching the gaiety. My skirt snagged on a twig in an attempt to conquer the perfect sceneries effect. The only thing it accomplished was a short giggle from my sweet pea lips.
>>>Well, when you stop TELLING us what you are doing this gets quite good. You could condense it down to:
"minnows playing tag in the brook" - very good indeed
"they tossed back and forth away from each other" - nice and energetic
"I hopped onto a lower branch"
"My skirt snagged on a twig"
"short giggle from my sweet pea lips" - good description, good metaphor
>>>Really that's all you need at this stage, just short descriptive phrases like that Michaela. The rest of that paragraph is basically just filler, TELLING us what you are doing; that's what we don't want.
>>>Look at it this way:
Imagine you are a camera. All you do as a camera is record images and events (and smells and sensations and noises). What you do NOT do is give a running commentary as you are recording the images. You do NOT say, "ok I am now panning left to take a photo of a lion, I am turning down the f stop and focussing, now a bit of zoom, then left pan a bit, humm maybe a change of lens, or possibly a bit more uv filter etc etc. You as the camera just get on and record the exciting image you don't do all the boring telling.
>>> Now Michaela you need to concentrate on just taking the pictures and recording the images events smells sensations noises! BE THE CAMERA
As the brook's steady trickle made my entertainment float away, I jumped from amidst the leafs onto the matted green hairs of the earth. That was to be the last day I spent near my oak, my retreat, my strong loyal friend. About two weeks after that dazzling day, it erupted in flames during a forest fire that turned the peaceful woods into a field of giant, heated, deadly, orange flowers.
>>>Again this is a mix of good images and strong verbs with some unnecessary telling.
I hope you won't mind me talking to you in a forthright way, please don't be downhearted by ANY of my remarks - they are all made to try and help you improve.
Most of all, you can be proud of what you have just done. It's not easy and requires real effort to come up with new fresh language to describe what we see feel hear and touch and you have made a great start.
We're going to come back to this in a day or two and condense the whole thing down into short little lines like I did here:
"minnows playing tag in the brook"
"they tossed back and forth away from each other"
"I hopped onto a lower branch"
"My skirt snagged on a twig"
"short giggle from my sweet pea lips"
so we get snapshots like from a camera.
But before we do that we are going to try another exercise to really get the creative part of you fizzing (hopefully then when you come back to this you will come up with even more good specific detail).
I'm kind of tired now, lol, so I'll post the new exercise tomorrow if that's ok. That's if you want to continue of course. If you are getting bored or tired or too busy just let me know . And we mustn't lose sight of the goal at the end of all this which is to write a really good poem using extended metaphor and imagery.
In the meantime if you have time, please could you read over what I've said up above a few times, so that you really really understand what I'm saying. And as always, any questions, just ask away.
PS Apologies for any typos, no time to check it over.