Saturday, November 10, 2012

Prompt #125 – Connections

Beginning the night of Hurricane Sandy on October 29th, and through the days until yesterday, I was without electricity, and even when that was restored (with the exception of a few hours last Tuesday), I didn’t have phone, TV, or Internet service until yesterday afternoon. I spent a lot of time thinking about people who were worse off—during this particular storm and through history—and I confess to a bit of personal whinging. 

In all, I was among the grateful lucky who only suffered the inconveniences of a power outage, a single lost tree, and downed branches. What I found most challenging was not being in touch with the outside world (other than a few close friends and neighbors): no telephone chats (not knowing if family and friends were safe), no Internet connection (no email, no blogging, no Facebook, editing jobs waiting in queue to be completed and sent), no snail mail deliveries (not even election campaign materials), and no television (news, favorite programs, etc). It was a strange feeling that put me “in touch” with not being in touch, disconnecting, losing contact, and what being “isolated” means. Although people worldwide experience much worse every day, the past twelve days reminded me how important our “connections” are. 

This week, let’s write about lost, broken, missing, reestablished, and lasting connections. Our poems most often come to us through personal experiences, usually the most strongly emotional. In this week's poem, work toward creating a "charged" emotional center with the caveat to avoid being sentimental, overemotional, or "clichéd." Remember that sentimentality and poetic sentiment are not the same thing. Sentimentality is a literary pitfall dominated by a head-on  appeal to the emotions (whiney, self-pitying, excessively emotional, or saccharinely sweet), and it detracts from a poem’s quality, often making readers resist the emotional response you hope to invoke. The idea is to offer access to feelings rather than to pour them out in a rush of words—don’t simply tell, show through imagery and detail.

  1. Write a poem about a friend with whom you’ve lost contact.
  2. Write a poem about ending a friendship or a romantic relationship.
  3. Write a poem about reconnecting with an old friend or a former lover.
  4. Write a poem about being isolated from others (emotionally, physically).
  5. Write a poem about missing someone—a major "disconnect" in your life.
  6. Write a poem about a lasting connection in your life.
  7. Write a poem about the “connectedness” of humankind.
  8. Write a poem about  what it means to never speak to someone again.
  9. Write a poem about feeling isolated (for whatever reason).
  10. Write a  poem about something missing or isolated within yourself.  


P.S. It’s great to be back blogging and to being connected to you!


  1. Welcome back to the Internet, Adele! What a great prompt. I'm always impressed by the way you turn experiences into possibilities for poems. There's definitely a sense of "connectedness" in the way you draw us all in.

    1. Thanks, Rich! It's good to have heat, light, phone, TV, and Internet again! Thanks for your kind words.

  2. Welcome back, Adele! So glad your Internet service has been restored, Thanks for another great prompt.

  3. Welcome back! Glad to hear all's well.

    Very timely prompt for me, but everything I try to write for it focuses on something I can't express openly right now.

    1. So glad the prompt is timely for you! Sometimes the poems we haven't written yet are the best. Thanks so much for your comment.

    2. Nia,

      I hope a poem comes to you, from the prompt or from the subject of your current focus. So nice of you to post your comment!

  4. Mi vieni vicino, non dovremmo...

    I thought to be out of
    this maze.

    I thought to be out of this
    I am writing now.

    You look at me. You smile.

    - You get closer,
    we should not...-

    1. Powerful, jago! Filled with nuance and subtle energy. Thanks for sharing!

    2. Jago, is this yours or a translation? Either way, it's wonderful. Thank you for posting it.

  5. Grazie ( thank), Jamie.

    No, it is not a translation. It is a little poem, but it was a great love...

    1. Must have been a very great love to inspire such a poem. Sometimes, the fewer words the most said.

  6. For Adele and Jamie

    Nearby, /just outside the old Ghetto /in a clearing between the low houses /a woman lives /that each day teaches me how not /to love you /she suffered much for love /and knows the mysterious keys to go out /from this labyrinth /

    Where I was locked up by you /

    (In Italian it's beautiful, in "my" English I don't know)

    1. Thank you, Jago!

      In any language, it would be beautiful (and haunting).

      Grazie amico mio!

    2. Thank you, Jago! Isn't it lovely how people from countries like the UK and Italy "meet" and share on this blog!

  7. Yes, it's what I call the Jago touch!


    Great prompts.

  9. holding her ashes
    we'll never be parted now
    connected by blood