Saturday, June 8, 2013

Prompt #149 – Questions

Right now, at this point in your life, what questions do you ask yourself? Is there one particular question that haunts you? What I’m getting at is what question or questions do you have about yourself, your life, your place in the world? What questions lead you to the deepest self-discovery, help others discover you, and bring you to a place of definition and clarity? This prompt calls for a fair amount of reflection and introspection, but its direction is simple. Write a poem about a question you ask yourself. Remember that this is a question about you, not about others or about anything else in the world. (You may choose to begin with a list of questions and narrow the choices to one or a few.)

Things to Think About Before Writing:
  • Are there things you question about yourself (feelings, motivations, relationships, faith, responses to situations, ways of dealing with stresses).
  • Are there things you feel others don’t understand about you?
  • What’s the single biggest question you have?
  • What question(s) do you think your spouse, partner, children, or closet friend might ask you?

  1. Because the poem is personal, there should be a sense of intimacy, but don’t let this become a confessional poem.
  2. Alternate questions with declarative sentences.
  3. Don’t over-tell.
  4. Avoid sentimentality.
  5. Use sound—“the music in it”— to enhance meaning (alliteration, assonance, internal rhyme, off or near rhyme, onomatopoeia, dissonance, repetition).
  6. Remember that understatement and nuance can be more powerful than telling too much.



  1. Another good one, Adele! You always make us think!

  2. There are a lot more questions this leads to, but this brushes the surface...

    Thanks for the prompt, it does get the thoughts a flowin'.

  3. I apologize if this posts twice, tried once and it disappeared...anyway, a good prompt, thank you.

    1. Hi, awakenedwords! It did come through twice, but better twice than not at all!

      Thanks so much for posting and for the link to your poem! I love the "dismount":

      Left brain for a living,
      the right for a life,
      there are days it almost
      seems normal.

    2. Very nice!

      Thanks for sharing, Awakenedwords!

    3. Thanks for posting. Yes, when feeling divided, sectioned off and half-crazy is the norm....

  4. Máire Ó Cathail (Ireland)June 10, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    Such a thoughtful and thought-provoking prompt. Makes me wonder about the questions we're afraid to ask ourselves.

    Thanks, Adele.

    Máire Ó Cathail (Ireland)

    1. Thanks, Maire!

      Maybe "the questions we're afraid to ask ourselves" will become a prompt someday. :-)

  5. Great prompt and definitely something to think about.

  6. OH, ADELE

    Oh, Adele
    If I see myself again
    strong with unnecessary zeal
    and /or excessive fervour

    Oh Adele
    I was so young and ridiculous!


    1. JAGO!

      It's great to hear from you. And, oh yes, weren't we all young and ridiculous once ...

      Thanks for posting!

    2. Welcome back, Jago! We missed you!

      Adele's right, how young and ridiculous we all were! (Some great memories, though.)

    3. Good to see you posting again, Jago. You're comments, poem, and translations are always interesting.

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