In one of my favorite scenes from Before Sunrise, one of my favorite movies, Jesse and Celine encounter a homeless poet as they’re walking along the Danube. The poet makes the following offer:
I’d like to make a deal with you guys. Instead of just asking for money, I’ll ask you for a word. I will then write a poem in which that word will be used. I’ll write it in English. If you like it, if you feel it adds something to your life in any way, then you can pay me whatever you feel like.
The word given was “milk shake.” That’s our prompt for 1/21/13. Write a poem incorporating the phrase milk shake.
Check back on Thursday for the poem offered in the movie, or simply click the link above for the poet’s recitation of it.
Go take a walk in a neighborhood or park or woods…….do your best to give yourself over to the sounds, smells, feelings, etc.
See if it brings a poem on.
This week’s prompt comes from chapter one of The Poet’s Companion, where Addonizio and Laux charge us to “make the poems only you can make.”
Write a poem that asks a big question (such as why are we here? [lyrics available here]) and either answers or explores the question further.
[Warning: please do not attempt to base your answer on anything gleaned from Prometheus. Thanks.]
Write a poem about the difference between the life that you’ve tried to construct, and the life that you actually have. You may explain why the two are not the same, or simply comment on the difference. You must employ the words wine and laundry in the title of the poem, in the body, or both.
From Sunday’s New York Times:
According to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, the world is scheduled to end one day in the next week. Predictions vary: it could mean that all mankind will undergo a spiritual transformation, or that the Earth will collide with a black hole or the planet Nibiru — in which case, there’s no need to finish all that Christmas shopping. Or maybe it’s just the close of another year.
Write an “end of the world” poem. When determining what that phrase means, you may adopt any of the interpretations provided above, or come up with your own.
[To read the Times’ selection of end of the world poetry, click here.]
Somehow, it doesn’t feel right to begin a new project in December. So, put The Poet’s Companion on your holiday list and plan on starting it after the new year. Until then, I’m going to continue making my own prompts. Here’s this week’s:
You are sitting at this table. Who are you talking to? What are you saying?
For Monday, 12/10/12, write a poem inspired by this music. (Also available here.)
[For best results, turn down the lights, turn up the volume.]
Let’s write a prose poem, 600 words or less, inspired by this image for next Monday.
Sally and I are working on the following prompt for Monday. Feel free to join in!
1. Write a poem about reconnecting with someone that you haven’t spoken to in years.
2. Use at least four of the following words: flourish, flames, balance, relinquish, root, curtain, swan, mask, believe, blind.
3. It’s cold outside.