Saturday, December 1, 2012

Prompt #128 – Waiting

The pre-Christmas season of Advent begins on Sunday (December 2nd)—a season defined as a season of waiting.

Waiting … we’ve all been in the position of waiting for something: love, a child, a job, good news or bad, an elevator, a plane, a piece of mail. Have you ever stood in a waiting line or sat for what seemed an inordinately long time in a waiting room? Have you ever been stuck in traffic? Have you sat in a restaurant or other public place and waited from someone? Have you waited to make a discovery of some kind? Have you ever thought about how much of each day is spent waiting for something or someone? Do you remember any childhood “waits?” Like many children, did you wait impatiently to be grown up? Are you waiting for something now? What kind of metaphorical “advent seasons” have you experienced?

This week, let’s write about waiting. You might begin with a list of times you’ve waited, or you might focus on a time you remember waiting for something or someone. The tone of your poem may be serious or funny. You may write from the perspective of your child self or your adult self. There are many possibilities—just be wary of slipping into the predictable (stay away from clichés and over-stated emotions). You might want to write about waiting, anticipation, and hope (are there connections you can make?).

Remember that the content of your poem should have more than one layer: Think in terms of the experience itself and its deeper meanings. Be economical with extra words, extra syllables, prepositions, and articles; but be generous with caesuras to allow for the unspoken silences that can power a poem.


To all my blog readers who observe it,
I wish you an Advent filled with blessings and peace,
and here's Sugarland's version of a traditional Advent hymn that I hope you'll enjoy!


  1. Wow, Adele - you've incorporated the Advent season and a very intriguing subject! Well done, you!

    I really like the range of the example poems, and I'm especially touched by Teresa Carson's poem "To My Mother Waiting." Such emotion and power so perfectly expressed! I'm going to check Amazon UK and see if I can order her book.

    Happy Advent, and thank you once again!

    1. Thanks, Jamie! It was hard to find example poems for this one, but I do like the ones I discovered. I'm sure you'll be able to find Teresa's book on Amazon. You might try eBay too.

      Happy Advent to you and Nicole!

  2. This is really great, including the very appropriate pic that you included at the top. You obviously spend a lot of time on these prompts. Many thanks!

    1. Thanks, Bob! I was really happy to find that picture (I use a royalty free site that offers a lot of great images). Each prompt takes a few days (at least) of research., but I love doing them!

  3. CAESURAS! I'm so glad you mention that (a good reminder to all of us), along with your other tips in regard to layers of meaning, extra words and syllables, prepositions and articles. There's always so much in your posts to think about and enjoy. Thanks!

    1. Thanks so much for your kind words, Rich. A caesura here and there can really power a poem!

  4. this is my first time here ~ i hope i'm doing this correctly. put the link to my poem in the comment?

    i love your prompt post, Adele. it encouraged me to think more about the meaning(s) of what i was saying, to remove unnecessary words, to learn about caesuras. {i'm still not certain i have an adequate understanding.} even if the poem is not very good, writing it was a great experience!

    thank you!

    1. I enjoyed your poem very much, Dani!

      Welcome to the blog, and thanks for sharing with us!

  5. Welcome, Dani! Thanks so much for commenting and, yes, you did it correctly with the link to your poem.

    "A caesura is a strong pause within a line, and is often found alongside enjambment. If all the pauses in the sense of the poem were to occur at the line breaks, this could become dull; moving the pauses so they occur within the line creates a musical interest." Often, punctuation marks in the middle of lines help create caesuras.

    Here's an example: To err is human; || to forgive, divine (Alexander Pope)

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the prompt and the writing experience. I hope you'll come back again and share with us!

    1. Nice to meet you here, Dani. Thanks for sharing your poem,

  6. I LOVE the Christmas picture of Chaucer in the sidebar! So glad you posted that! He's really adorable - the perfect little Christmas elf!

  7. Waiting
    for years
    to be seen
    to be heard
    till it matters not
    better to be like the wind

    1. So sorry for not replying earlier, Risa! Again, you've given us a poem that captures the spiritual sense of an emotion with no unnecessary words! Thanks so much for sharing!