Saturday, July 14, 2012

Prompt #109 – All Around the Towns


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:
  1. Write a poem about your hometown (the place in which you grew up).
  2. Write a poem about a town in which your life changed.
  3. Write a poem about a town in which you were happier than you’ve ever been before or since.
  4. Write a poem about a town that calls up sad or unhappy memories.
  5. Write a poem about a town in which you’ve never lived.
  6. Write a poem about a town you’d love to visit.
  7. 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.

Examples:


And just for fun ...




16 comments:

  1. I have just recently discovered your blog and I am enjoying your prompts very much. I am a beginner and I am finding your offerings to be among the best and most provocative prompts on the internet. Thank you.

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    1. Thanks so much, Barbara, your kind and generous words mean a lot! It's a pleasure to "meet" you here.

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    2. I agree with you Barbara - Adele's prompts really are the best on the Net, and she offers us so much more besides. I feel like this blog site is a kind of "Cheers" (remember the old TV series?) where poets can come to find inspiration and share their ideas (all we need are a few virtual beers).

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    3. I know this isn't Facebook, but here's a big "LIKE" to Barbara's comment!

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  2. I love that old Petula song! And I love the prompt this week. Barbara the Healthy Nut is spot on - your prompts are the best on the Net! Thanks, as always!

    Jamie

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  3. Thanks, Adele! This prompt definitely got my brain working bright and early on a Saturday morning!

    I just found your blog recently and can't wait to try out several of the prompts (I'm just now looking at the monostitch prompt from last week).

    Keep up the good work!

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    1. Hi Kristina,

      Thanks so much for your comment. I'm glad to hear that this week's prompt worked for you and that you're enjoying the blog!

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  4. I agree with Barbara--your prompts are wonderful. Such a wealth of information and links to poems. And then ideas for new poems. This site is a real gift to aspiring poets.

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    1. Thanks, Diane! Your kind words are much appreciated!

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  5. Adele's "East Rahway" is an amazing poem about her hometown. She's too modest to post her own poems as examples more than occasionally, but here's a link if anyone is interested:

    http://www.adelekenny.com/sample-poems.html

    Scroll down to the last poem on the page. It will blow you away.

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    1. Thanks, Bob, for the reminder. I've read "East Rahway" on Adele's website before, and reading it again after seeing your comment left me as stunned as I was the first time! The imagery is really breath-taking!

      Jamie

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  7. Hi, I just found your blog. So happy to find it.

    Elizabeth

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    1. Hi Elizabeth - welcome, and thanks for your comment! I'm so glad you found the blog and hope you'll continue to enjoy it!

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