Saturday, June 21, 2014

Prompt #189 – SummerScapes



Today marks the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. Every year on the solstice, I read some or all of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and think about the time I visited Stonehenge to watch the sun rise on Midsummer morning. After the severe winter we had here in the northeastern U.S., this spring and summer couldn’t come quickly enough, and now that summer is here, it seems a good time to celebrate with a poem that’s light, lovely, or filled with a sense of summer fun. With that in mind, our prompt this week is to simply write a poem about the solstice, midsummer night, summer, or any aspect of summer that makes you feel good. 

Guidelines:

1. Make a list of happy summer memories and select one memory from your list to write about.

2. Write a funny summer poem.

3. Write a poem about any character from Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Titania, Oberon, Puck). Or write a poem from the perspective of one of the characters.

The entire play may be read here: http://shakespeare.mit.edu/midsummer/full.html

4. Do a stream of consciousness poem about summer. Think about summer and just start writing. Write for about 10 minutes and see where your thoughts have lead you.

5. Using your five senses as inspiration, create a “SummerScape” that includes summer’s sights, sounds, scents, tastes, and touches.

6. Write something "magical" (or a summer fantasy) in a poem about the summer solstice.

Tips:

1. Make your poem a kind of celebration. Have fun with it. Think warmth, bright skies, sunshine, flowers, leafy trees, children playing outdoors, swimming pools, sailboats, lazy days, vacations—think fullness and abundance.

2.  Use sound (alliteration, assonance, anaphora) to give your poem a sense of summer.

3. Keep your tone light.

4. Use line and stanza breaks that enhance your content.

5. Remember: nothing superfluous—no extra words, lines, phrases, images. Don’t include anything that your poem doesn’t absolutely need.


Examples:



Happy Summer solstice, dear blog readers!

"Then followed that beautiful season... Summer.... Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape Lay as if new created 
in all the freshness of childhood." 
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

May this summer bring you the "freshness of childhood" and much joy!



12 comments:

  1. What fun! A nice prompt to celebrate the day and the season.

    The image of the butterfly is spectacular. Where did you find it?

    I've been to Stonehenge to see the solstice sun rise a couple of times. It was terribly crowded but filled with an atmosphere of both partying and awe (there are always a few arrests, but it's great fun to be part of the celebration).

    Happy summer, Adele, and (though I've said it before) thank you for this wonderful blog!

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words—they're much appreciated!

      The photo is one that I took in my back yard a few years ago. I have a couple of buddleias ("butterfly bushes"), and when they're in bloom the butterflies come. I have a number of similar photos. Lovely moments ...

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  2. Summertime and the livin' is easy! And the poetry too -- nice idea for the first day/week of summer.

    The butterfly/buddleia pic is really great. My wife and I have two buddleias, and the butterflies love them.

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    1. Thanks, Rich, much appreciated. If you click on the picture, you'll be able to see it full size.

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  3. Great picture and prompt. Happy summer!

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    1. Thanks, Bob! Happy summer to you too!

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  4. Beautiful photo and great prompt. Thank you!

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  5. flitting fireflies
    night jasmine perfumes the air
    mosquitoes spoil it

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    1. Ah, a haiku! Loveliness despite those pesky mosquitoes.

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    2. Very nice, Risa! The haiku form seems to be just right for your style. (We get mosquitoes over here too -- such an annoyance -- I quite like the fireflies and jasmine.)

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  6. : ) Thanks, Adele and Jamie! I think haiku is definitely my favorite form.

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