From Prose to Poetry: Reinventing ‘The Bubble’ Part 1.

Bubbles of Light – June Perkins

This is the first draft of piece of prose that hasn’t yet found it’s form.  It’s just observations for a morning walk filed away in a document file. I ask myself in this series of blog posts:  What can be done to turn it from prose to poetry?


The Bubble

A lavendar princess chats to a school girl.  Their mother from the pram looks protectively back to make sure they haven’t disappeared.  They know they are protected and no one can harm them on the walk to school.

A group of school boys, with slightly ruffled shirts and unruly caps tilted sideways, with drinks of juice and soft drink in hand, call out random names of friends, John, Josh…

Girls with mobile phones glance down, or have them plugged in as walkmans; they are in the zone, a bubble of solitude and protection from anything that should disturb their morning equilibrium.

A young man strolls alone, muttering to himself, unaware of all that surrounds him, and he is telling himself something of importance, in his own bubble. Walk, mutter, walk, mutter.

Two children pat a dog under a tree.  Who is around to take him home?

A group of friends gather around a Dad or is it a granddad with a prammed child.  They are chatting, and as one leaves, he calls out, ‘Are you alright then?’  Perhaps he hasn’t been alright at school lately and needs just a little extra support.

Students play hand ball.  Other walkers remember their school days and how they wore their hats. ‘We had to wear our hats everywhere.’

Girls sport pony tailed hair, this is the school rule when it is past the shoulders.

Someone says, ‘Good morning,’ and smiles, that is unexpected, with all the protective bubbles around.


Beginning its journey into poem


To turn this short piece into a poem the first question I ask myself is:


1. What does this prose piece currently say?

My answers to this are:

  • People create solitude zones when the world around them feels chaotic – they sometimes chose to shut it out.
  • The world outside is full of interractions of parents, and children heading to school, going into places with rules they must follow and sometimes frightened others might not follow the rules and hurt them.
  • Do we really know the back story to the people we walk past, if we don’t talk to them?  Can we play detective and guest what they are thinking?
  • For all the people that travel in groups; there is someone, sometimes multiple people, travelling alone.
  • The young travel protected by the ones they love or by pets, but can they really always be protected and what would make them really safe.
  • A smile can disrupt disconnection and bring people together.

2.  What is the Narrative Voice of this piece?

  • Currently the narrative voice is an observer who is slightly disconnected from everyone.  She has no real character and is trying to get inside people’s back story but is only inventing them.

The closed off person, walking alone, is noticeable, for his difference.  The groups of girls on mobiles, are also somehow alone, but are the connecting to the world on their phones- or are they disconnecting.

I ask myself more questions about narrative voice:

  • What would happen if a particular character or observer was chosen to deliver this piece? 
  • Who would be a good choice and why? 
  • Should the narrative voice remain outside the picture? 
  • Could several voices narrate the piece?
  • Will the narrative voice be distant, warm, cold and why?

I don’t want to answer these sub questions yet, and instead will mull over them.

3. Are there any metaphors in the piece to extend and develop?

The obvious metaphor, not yet fully developed is that of the bubble.  The bubble of inner thoughts. The thought bubble of the narrator around people.  The social media or phone bubble, the ear phone bubble.  The pop of the bubble?  What will make this metaphor dazzle, and zing.

  • What can disrupt of pop the bubble?
  • How could the bubble metaphor be developed and is it the right metaphor for this piece?

So those are my thoughts for now.  I will come back to this in my next blog, and you can see how I went with beginning the transformation of a short observational prose piece into a poem or poetic prose? And you can find out:

What other questions will I ask myself in this journey of turning prose to poetry?



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