Saturday, August 18, 2018

Prompt # 321 – Through the Lens

The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera.
– Yousuf Karsh

These days, there’s a lot of camera-watching going on (in malls and stores, via body cams, on cell phones, at traffic lights, on lamp posts and buildings, and as part of in-home, school, and business security systems). Our society has been called a cameras are everywhere culture.

This week, the challenge is to think about cameras and one in particular that’s watching you.


1. Write a poem about being filmed when you're not aware of it, or a poem from the perspective of a surveillance or security camera that’s “watching” you.

2. Where are you?

3. What are you doing?

4. What does the camera see? This isn’t just the average “spy camera” or “nanny cam.” This camera sees your feelings, records your moods, shows you as you really are.

5. Remember that the camera sees everything: smiles, tears, guilts, griefs, boredom, happiness, and excitement—not to mention loves, wishes, and dreams.


1.  Come up with a unique first line or two—invite your readers in with something surprising.

2. Write in the present tense to create a sense of immediacy. You may want to try writing a narrative poem (tell a story.)

3. Where are you? What are you doing? Who’s photographing you? Why?

3. Think in terms of creating striking imagery (just as a camera captures images, work toward capturing images in written language).

4. Create a sense of the mysterious. Use language that’s imaginative even if the situation isn’t.

5. Create a sense of the “uncomfortable” for your readers. That is, what is it about being filmed when you’re not aware of it that “speaks” through your poem?

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