Think of a children’s song. That’s the first line of your poem this week.
I am leaving later this week on our trip and all poems for the next month are scheduled. Thankyou to poets who have sent in poems for a spotlight during July. Others poems in the waiting room folder will be posted as well. The next prompt will be on Monday 6th of August and to give you the heads up it will be poems about food. That gives you plenty of time to think and write.
When I get coverage I will check emails and save poems sent in.
This week I have been playing with metaphors. Metaphors give us a memorable comparison to understand something which seems inexpressible at a deep level.
Some metaphors have been so used that they have become clichés; so as I write I have to approach them with care and ingenuity. I have to strive for originality. But also intertextuality and allusion are going to be helpful.
I have been working with the ideas of gates, doors and walls, of barriers, and openings, of welcomes and denials.
My journey with gates, doors and walls is triggered by all the news about refugees around the world not being allowed to cross borders, and being put inside camps (prisons?) and separated from their children.
Historically walls are set up to protect from invasion of enemies. They surround cities, castles and more. But all walls have a gate for those who can be trusted to make their way through.
There are famous walls, the Great Wall of China, the Berlin Wall (which one day came tumbling down) and literary walls, like Humpty Dumpty’s wall which he fell from.
As for doors, literature is full of portals, doorways, that take us elsewhere. Often the doors are hidden and disguised, just think the magic wardrobe in the Narnia Chronicles. But there is also the entry to the magical places of Harry Potter at the station, Hogwartz can’t be reached without knowing how to go through the portal.
Now how does one make ones way through a door, I think of the Trojan Horse.
My mind begins to think do people still fear the Trojan Horse, and has this somehow rid people of compassion. They think that everything must not be what it seems, but is always in disguise; a disguise that has bite, a disguise that will destroy.
So now with some of this thinking done, I have some things I can allude to, some ideas about gates and doors, some emotions I want to draw on, and a current happening in the world that frustrates me and I hope we can change.
Now for a poetry first draft to bring this all together.
the Trojan horse
Somehow this horse is a boat or a truck full of people crying
It can’t be real it is just a tool to make us open borders
We won’t be fooled We must protect our citizens
Oh for a portal to freedom a falling Berlin wall and all the Humpty Dumptys falling down, down, down
toppling from the wall they installed
Oh for a portal to compassion hidden somewhere in that wall that is going up, up, up, up
When will you believe what you see is not just a trick and when will we all sing a welcome song?
I’ll keep working on this poem and see what eventuates.
It is a beginning and I am working with this one to let the subject dictate the shape and direction of the poem.
Questions I ask myself after a first draft like this:
Am I being a little didactic (lecturing) here? Is that okay?
In what ways can I improve the poem’s lineation?
Can I think also about protest songs and bring their intertextuality in ?
Will this poem be part of a series of poems?
What other research, including visual research, can I do to reflect on gates, doors, walls etc?
Test your memory and see if you can name any poets from the lines I picked randomly during a timed exercise. “Like gold to airy thinness beat” is from Valediction, Forbidding Mourning by John Donne (1573–1631)
This game can be adapted for writers, artists, poets and movie fans!
There are two versions. The version attributed to the Surrealist Movement is when the weirdest possible head, torso, legs of the Exquisite Corpse are drawn by three different players, each folding over the paper so the next person can’t see the results until it is unfolded at the end of the game.
“Consequences” is the original name of this literary pen and paper parlour game which has been played since the 1800s Victorian Era. A random sentence is written near the top of the page. The paper is folded over then passed to several other participants who add to it and…
Butterflies on the wall, a new creation by artists
calls the People of this city to turn towards
the spaces beyond
“Darkness hath encompassed every land, O my God, and caused most of Thy servants to tremble. I beseech Thee, by Thy Most Great Name, to raise in every city a new creation that shall turn towards Thee, and shall remember Thee amidst Thy servants…”
-Bahá’u’lláh, Prayers and Meditations
(c) poetry words and image June Perkins. This first appeared on Nineteen Months
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This week prompt is to write from a child’s perspective. Write a poem about yourself pretending you are a child in which nothing is true.
Please send prompt poems and any other poems to:
I am on LSL from 28/6 to 30/7. My husband and I are travelling with our caravan to the tip of Cape York and as a result we will be out of range at times especially in “The Cape”. To keep things running well I would like to schedule a month ahead for this time. I was thinking that we could have a spotlight month in July in which the regulars send in 3-4 poems and a paragraph of what you are doing re poetry in 2018. I would need 12 of you to contribute to this idea. If you would like to be part of this please send me the poems and paragraph…