Thursday, July 18, 2019

Poetry begins with a lump in the throat...

Hello Toads!  If you have read any of my poetry (and granted, not a lot of you have) you know I always precede the poem with a quote. The above quote is from Robert Frost. Some of you think I  use the quote as a springboard, to write the poem.  Actually, the opposite is true.  I write the poem and then search out the quote.

Today, I am going to do the opposite.  I am going to give you all a quote and let you write a poem from the quote.  Oh, and make the poem brief - 24 lines at most.  Now are you ready?  Get set, go!  Write a poem that begins with a lump in the throat, or a belly laugh, or a tear springboarded from your quote. All of the below quotes I have used in a poem I have written.

"Maybe that's enlightenment enough: to know there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity,  Perhaps realizing how small I am and unwise, how far I have yet to go." Anthony Bourdain

"At any given moment in the middle of a city there's a million epiphanies occurring, in the blurring of the world beyond the curtain."  Kate Tempest, Let Them Eat Chaos

"I think of lovers as trees, growing to and from one another, searching for some light." Warsan Shire - The Unbearable Weight of Staying

"Condense, condense, condense."  Ezra Pound

"There are moments that cry out to be fulfilled.  Like, telling someone you love them. Or giving your money away, all of it."  - Mary Oliver - Moments

"Indeed - why should I not admit it? - in that moment, my heart was breaking." - Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains of the Day

"...happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light." Albus Dumbledore - Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."  Oscar Wilde

“Poetry is not an expression of the party line. It's that time of night, lying in bed, thinking what you really think, making the private world public, that's what the poet does.”  Allen Ginsberg

"The smallest feline is a masterpiece."  Leonardo da Vinci

"Garden as though you will live forever." William Kent

"One in four kids faces hunger." - Jeff Bridges

Or come up with a quote of your own.  There are millions of the out there - about cats, love, heartbreak, freedom, madness, corn, flowers...

Go for it.  And remember any style poem, just make it brief. If you do a haibun, make it no more than 150 words including the closing seasonal haiku.  No need to wander willy nilly down  the twisting paths of poetry.  I give you an example, an American Sentence of 17 syllables:  "Poetry isn't about wandering down a twisty garden path."

Visit the other poets and comment on their poem.  If they pay you a visit, be courteous and return the favor.  Enjoy yourselves.  Get to know the other poets, don't just drop and run.


  1. Ha! First! I posted my poem five minbutes after your prompt. An interesting prompt, Toni. Very cool.

  2. Sherry: Thank you! I love your poem.

  3. Without longer poems, we would not have "The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock" or "Howl." So I don't share your disdain of longer poems, though I do think that saying something in 100 lines that could be said in 10 is just bad writing. In any event, let me go choose a quote and get writing.

  4. That's a brilliant prompt for a Thursday - and just before I'm off to visit Ellen and Lucas for cuddles and fun.

  5. Toni, great way to find a header quote. I would write of an invention I have in mind. You used the word "epiphany" today, I felt I needed a definition other than a Devine revelation and, voila, the process of "Invention" was revealed, even using "epiphany".
    My photo will of my profile picture will come a bit later, my photo of my Ford Mustang's speedometer while driving on I-10 in Houston traffic.
    I will soon drive I-10 again going home. Right now I am polishing my write a bit, sitting on a bed at the escalator's head. It is for sale on Macy's fourth floor.

  6. Shay: no we would not. Nor would have the brilliant Japanese haiku if longer. I don't disdain longer poems, I just can't stand words for wordy sake - like you said, saying in 100 lines what you can say in 10.

  7. Kim: have fun with Ellen and Lucas! Hugs to them for me.

  8. JIM' BTW Derived from the Greek word epiphaneia, epiphany means “appearance,” or “manifestation.” In literary terms, an epiphany is that moment in the story where a character achieves realization, awareness, or a feeling of knowledge. It is not always seen in a divine manner or religious manner, as you can tell from it's derivation from ancient Greek, before Christ

  9. Good Morning all- A marvelous prompt Toni. And great quotes to choose from! Joining in this morning.

  10. A late entry, Toni, as I am doubling up these busy weeks.

  11. Love this prompt Toni! I cannot always make it here on Saturday, but today worked out. So glad to be here!

  12. "Maybe that's enlightenment enough: to know there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity, Perhaps realizing how small I am and unwise, how far I have yet to go." Anthony Bourdain

    This is so sad...

  13. I'm very late to the party but adding my entry to the prompt anyway.


Much time and effort went into this post! Your feedback is appreciated.