Saturday, August 17, 2013

Prompt #159 – Reflections

The process of writing a poem is a process of reflection. Many, if not most, poems are reflections on one subject or another. This week, the prompt is to write a poem about reflections. Obviously, the “territory”  is wide with lots of possibilities for content. You might write a reflection or meditation about a particular subject or you may write about a literal reflection (the moon in a window, your own face on a pond, a stranger in a mirror, etc.). Try to focus on the “here and now” of your reflection (stay in the moment to create a sense of immediacy in your poem), and remember that a good poem has two parts to its meaning: the obvious and the underlying.

This week, be conscious of caesuras in your poem (a caesura is a noticeable pause in a line of poetry). Be aware that all of your pauses don’t have to occur with lines breaks. Caesuras are strong silences within lines of poetry. One of the best examples is Alexander Pope’s “To err is human || to forgive divine.” (The vertical lines indicate the caesuras.)

Here are examples of caesuras from an old nursery rhyme:

Sing a song of sixpence, || a pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds, || baked in a pie.
When the pie was opened, || the birds began to sing;
Wasn’t that a dainty dish, || to set before the king?

And here are examples from Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Raven”:

Once upon a midnight dreary, || while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious || volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, || suddenly there came a tapping,
As of someone gently rapping, || rapping at my chamber door.
’Tis some visitor,’ || I muttered, || `tapping at my chamber door —
Only this, and nothing more.’

Some Things to Think About Before Writing:

1.  A reflection is a kind of meditation (What do you think about or meditate on?).
2.  A reflection may be heat, light, sounds, or an image.
3.  A reflection might be the process of careful or long concentration.
4.  A reflection may be a thought, an idea, or an opinion that results from concentrated thought.
5. A reflection may be a manifestation or result (for example, His achievements are a reflection of his hard work.)
6. Reflections may be theological (religious) or philosophical.
7. Reflections may be based on one’s own character, (flaws, strong points).
8. A reflection may be based on a quotation or popular saying.
9. A reflection may be based on a memory (the past) or a person.
10. A reflection may be funny.



  1. Very interesting idea with lots of possibilities, and a good reminder that what's not written can be as important as what is (caesura).

    1. Glad you like it, Jamie! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Máire Ó Cathail (Ireland)August 18, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I've been work-traveling again but still pop in and enjoy your blog regularly. I hope you and your readers are having a good summer.

    1. Máire Ó Cathail (Ireland)August 18, 2013 at 10:59 AM

      Oops, forgot to add that I love the brighter "bloggy facelift," and congrats to Diane Loclward and to you on The Crafty Poet! IIt's listed on Amazon UK, and I'll order a copy as soon as I'm back home.

    2. Thanks so much, Maire! It's always great to hear from you. You'll love The Crafty Poet.
      Happy travels!

  3. The Crafty Poet arrived yesterday, and I want to thank you for the recommendation. It's fantastic!

    1. Thanks for your comment, Janet.

      It's so nice to hear that you like the book! I'll pass your comment on to the author (Diane Lockward).

  4. A nice idea - great example poems, and so many suggestions for writing. The picture is evocative too!

  5. As always among// us,
    And it was the best// thing,
    Without judging,
    But// trying to understand//
    The underlying causes of our // feelings
    And the resulting actions...
    // !!

    1. WONDERFUL, Jago! It's always nice to hear from you! Thanks so much for posting.

    2. Hey, Jago! Great to see you back. Love the poem!

  6. Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Ina! I hope you'll come back and visit again!