There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it unspeakably desirable.
I'm not sure what it is about the forbidden that makes it so tempting, but I'll bet there are, or have been, enticements in all of our lives that we’ve wanted but can’t or shouldn’t have—definitely forbidden fruits.
Metaphorically (and idiomatically), “forbidden fruit” is something that we find attractive or desirable but aren’t allowed to have (often because having it is immoral or illegal). The phrase is derived from the Bible’s Genesis story of Adam and Eve and their partaking of the Tree of Knowledge fruit that was forbidden to them by God. The term “forbidden fruit” came into figurative use during the seventeenth century when, in 1663, James Heath used the phrase “The stealing and tasting of the forbidden fruit of Sovereignty” in Flagellum; or, the Life and Death … of Oliver Cromwell. In recent times the term has come to mean anything that is forbidden, prohibited, or off limits.
In prompt #105, we wrote about fabulous fruit; this week, your challenge is to write about a metaphorical “fruit” that is or has been forbidden to you. You might start by making a list of things that you want but can’t or shouldn’t have (currently or in the past). Look at your list and choose one “forbidden fruit” to write about. Whatever you choose (object, person, occupation, action, relationship, food), write into your poem exactly why the “fruit” is (or was) forbidden to you. Think about how giving in, or not giving in, to the “forbidden fruit” you’re writing about impacted your life. Why was your “forbidden fruit” bad for you? What made it seem so good? Don’t avoid a “forbidden fruit” experience that makes you uncomfortable. When it comes to “write or flight,” dig your heels in and write.
Some Possibilities to Consider:
1. Write a poem about something forbidden to you as an adult.
2. Write a poem about something forbidden to you when you were a child.
3. Is there a “forbidden passion fruit” in your story? Write a poem about a forbidden romance.
4. Write a poem based on the following quotation (or use the quote as an epigraph for your poem): “We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us.” (François Rabelais)