Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Kerry Says ~ Is Love a Tender Thing?

Romeo and Juliet
William Shakespeare
It falls to me, this year, to provide the Valentine's Day prompt... an easy task perhaps, and we could all set out to write a 'love poem', leaving cynicism behind, or challenge ourselves to explore heartbreak without sentimentality.

Illustration by E. Nesbit
for Children's Stories from Shakespeare
(Raphael Tuck c 1900)

If you do an on-line search of "Quotes on love by William Shakespeare", you will find an almost unending supply sourced from his plays and sonnets - ample inspiration for any creative writing prompt but I have selected the one that asks what I believe to be a quintessential question: Is love a tender thing? Certainly, humans spend an exhaustive amount of emotional energy in the pursuit of love and happiness, which we believe are synonymous. However, William Shakespeare reminds his reader that we often pay a high price to achieve something which is, at best, ephemeral. In attempting to fulfill the principle to love one's enemy, one may find that love is the enemy. But the converse is also true. Our fellow poet, Brendan, (Oran's Well) left a very perceptive comment on my blog last Saturday. He said: Love is a deadly enough fray without those big guns. None of us asked for this mess, but to fail to love in a time of ruin somehow makes its victory even worse...

I put it to you then. This challenge could be to write to the theme: Love Thy Enemy or Love is The Enemy or Love, Despite Your Enemy.

This prompt is posted at noon on Thursday to allow extra time for the creative process. It will remain at the top of the Home page until noon on Saturday, so later entries are welcomed.




25 comments:

Fireblossom said...

Cool challenge, but as you know, I really don't write love poems; I pretty much stick to haiku.

hedgewitch said...

A perfect anti-Valentine exploration, Kerry. Unlike Fireblossom,(who possibly writes some of the best love poems out there) my forays into the genre are always dubious at best, but at least you give us a fresh twist here.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Agreeded re FB but I can't concur with your assertion that you write dubious love poetry. There is a fortitude in your exploration of relationships which I find very striking.

Jazzbumpa said...

Yea - I'm first.

And probably worst.

Cheers!
JzB

Susan said...

Happy Valentine's Day, Happy Love Any Day, rare as it is!

Audrey Howitt aka Divalounger said...

I am hoping I can join you today--

Sherry Blue Sky said...

What a cool prompt, lots of scope.....will be back in the morning,. Must sleep. Worked all freaking day today, argh. Hope I get to retire at 70.....we live in hope!

Sherry Blue Sky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Björn Rudberg said...

Oh yes.. I loved to mingle love with war.. I think avoiding the stickiness of love-poem is a good thing, I always preferred brimstone to sugar in poetry.

Marian said...

ahhh, love.

blueoran said...

Thanks for making love so challenging - which it must be, having zoned us so strenuously between this life and Heaven (or Hell). I had a hard time deciding what to go with -- none of the genres quite fit -- and my "Pianos Are Forever" from Sunday already went at "love in a time of ruin" -- so I choose the ring the old gospel bell of longing. Bon-bons and heart-shaped to youse all ...

manicddaily said...

Hey Kerry--cool challenge all--I am up tomorrow and would give a hint, but am working today and will have to squeeze it what I can till this evening. Take care! k.

Susie Clevenger said...

Love, I enjoyed this non Valentine challenge. I got to explore bitter. :) Thanks Kerry!

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Well, I cheated. Anything I could write would be a repeat of my definitive Valentine's poem, written in 2010. Thus please forgive my posting it here.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Well, I cheated. Anything I could write would be a repeat of my definitive Valentine's poem, written in 2010. Thus please forgive my posting it here.

Jim said...

I love you, Kerry. Who else but you and Brendan could have us mixing love and enemies? Well, there is one other, I guess, Jesus the Christ commanded us to 'love those enemies.'
Could be I'm still missing for this one, good job here, Kerry.
..

Hannah said...

Thank you, Kerry for the meaningful challenge and the post itself...thought-provoking. Happy weekend poets. :)

Shawna said...

"to fail to love in a time of ruin somehow makes its victory even worse"

This is pretty brilliant.

angieinspired said...

I don't know why I linked up. A very small drop in this veritable wellspring.

Margaret said...

I played loosely and lightly with the theme… hope it is OK …

Margaret said...

I'll be back later tonight or early tomorrow morning to visit and comment.

Kerridwen said...

I feel like my poetry writing ability is seriously diminishing, but I tried anyway ;)

my heart's love songs said...

thank you, Kerry! i've been in a real writing slump and this prompt got me moving.

Happy (?) Valentine's Day!

Kerry O'Connor said...

@Camilla
I was unable to reach your site via the link you provided.

grapeling said...

sorry to be so late, Kerry. thanks for the forum, though. will be back later to visit all ~