I’ve written before about the way a song sometimes pops into mind and stays there all day as if it’s on a continuous loop that won’t stop. It’s happened to me often, and this week, I found myself humming the old Petula Clark song “Downtown.” The song started me thinking about towns and about the emotional and spiritual geographies of place.
Back in November of 2011 (prompt #78), we wrote on the subject of “home.” This week, I’d like to extend that idea from the personal home to the larger context of the town. Let’s write about any towns that have left a mark on our memories (the character, appearance, and being of towns that have been part of our lives).
Here are some options:
- Write a poem about your hometown (the place in which you grew up).
- Write a poem about a town in which your life changed.
- Write a poem about a town in which you were happier than you’ve ever been before or since.
- Write a poem about a town that calls up sad or unhappy memories.
- Write a poem about a town in which you’ve never lived.
- Write a poem about a town you’d love to visit.
- Write a poem about an imaginary town (create your own).
Whichever option you select, be sure to include description (but don’t over-describe, and watch out for overuse of adjectives). Work on developing strong images. Use a figure of speech or two (simile, metaphor, etc.). Every poem has an emotional center – what will the emotional center of your poem be this week? In other words, you’re going to write about a town, but more importantly you’re going to write about what that town meant or means to you. Give the poem its head and let it lead you where it wants to go. The best poems often have their primary “subject matter” and then other “subjects” that evolve during the writing process.
And just for fun ...