All posts by Pratibha

Prompt April 28 2020

Bee in action detail

Hello poets and readers, I hope you can stand one more prompt about the shelter-in-place situation. I came across the following poem while doing research about sonnets. This poem by William Wordsworth shines the light on a paradoxical truth. Sometimes, constraints can be liberating. We put the real constraints on our mind, and somehow external constraints can set the mind free.

Nuns Fret Not
by William Wordsworth (1807)

Nuns fret not at their convents’ narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells;
And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison, into which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me,
In sundry moods, ‘twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
should find brief solace there, as I have found.

See if you can write a poem in any poetic form of your choice.
As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 27 2020

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Folks, the time has quickly passed, and the countdown to May has begun. Most of us are still sheltering-in-place. Are you dreaming of your next vacation? Of course, the entire world isn’t going to open overnight. It will be perhaps a year or two before things return to pre-2020 normal. But just imagine, if you were free to go anywhere, where would you go? Is your dream destination a tropical island, a safari, climbing mountains, camping, or perhaps glamping in the wilderness? Write a poem about a vacation you are looking forward to.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 26 2020

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Apparently, many people are reporting the increase in the number of dreams they are having during this pandemic. Not only are they experiencing more dreams, but dreams are also becoming more vivid. As for me, I always have vivid dreams, so this phenomenon piqued my curiosity. I found several news articles where experts are weighing in. Here is one of them.

Also, from Today Website:

Weekend TODAY’s Peter Alexander recounts a weird dream he recently had. Then, Harvard dream researcher Deirdre Barrett explains why some people, like Peter, are having vivid dreams during the global coronavirus pandemic. She says some reasons may include sleep deprivation and waking up naturally after a dream period.

So, here’s the prompt for you. Have you had any unusual dreams lately? Either use your own dream or use one from looking up other people’s dream reports, and write a poem about it.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 25 2020

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In the current atmosphere of uncertainty, it is natural to be anxious. People can tolerate different levels of uncertainty in their life. What are you doing to tolerate it in your life? This short poem by Emily Dickinson speaks to this uncertainty.

In this short Life that only lasts an hour (1292)
–Emily Dickinson

In this short Life that only lasts an hour
How much – how little – is within our power

Write a poem that addresses the actions that you or someone you know is taking to keep life moving in a way that keeps anxiety at bay.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 24 2020

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A tercet is a group or unit of three lines.  It could be a three-line poem such as a haiku, or it could be a longer poem consisting of several tercets. The three lines of a tercet often rhyme together. Terza Rima is one of the most challenging forms of a tercet. It is composed in iambic pentameter and employees the following rhyme scheme “ABA BCB CDC.”  As you can see from the following poem by Robert Frost, this rhyme scheme has the effect of linking the stanzas together in a rhythmic fashion.

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain – and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-bye;
And further still at an unearthly height,
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

Write a poem using tercets. Don’t worry about getting the form right.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 23 2020

image source

Today’s prompt is simple, or is it?. Write a haiku. Rules of Haiku writing are simple. Not so with creating the deep meaning in a stunning manner.
Here is the definition from the Academy of American Poets.

A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression.

Here is one great example from the famous haiku master, Matsuo Basho.

A field of cotton—
as if the moon
had flowered.
– Matsuo Basho
Translated by Robert Hass

Here are two “computer error message” haiku. I am not sure of the source of these.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand-dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

Stay the patient course.
Of little worth is your ire.
The network is down.

As usual, you can post your haiku poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 22 2020

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April 22 is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. It is the anniversary of the birth of the environmental movement in 1970. For decades before Modern industrialization and inefficient automobiles caused poor air quality and smog. Industrial waste piled up. The health effects of this polluted environment went unnoticed for a long time. In 1962, Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring was published raising concern for living organisms and the link between the environment and public health.
The question we have to ask ourselves is that have we done enough to protect the environment? Try to express your concerns and ideas for the future of Mother Earth in your poem.

Remember, the prompts are optional. If you want to write about anything else, go ahead.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 21 2020

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Today is the birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. So let us think about female royalties. What pops in your head when you hear the word queen. Crown royalty? Queen of hearts? Queen bee? Queen of rock? Queen of Soul? The queen disk of Carrom? The band Queen? Brainstorm your ideas about the word queen. Also, keep in mind what Shakespeare said about the royal head.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”
— Shakespeare Henry IV

Once you have jotted down your ideas, connect them in a poem.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 20 2020

source unknown

Humans are suffering right now, and many are experiencing personal tragedies. While this pandemic runs its course, locked down humans create an incredible opportunity for nature to regenerate. Just yesterday, I saw an oriole enjoying a birdbath. Let’s hope once we are free to move around in the world that we decide to live in harmony with nature.

Here are a couple of short poems about the orioles. Both are in the public domain, so I can reproduce them here.

To an Oriole
by Edgar Fawcett

How falls it, oriole, thou hast come to fly
In tropic splendor through our Northern sky?
At some glad moment was it nature’s choice
To dower a scrap of sunset with a voice?
At some glad moment was it nature’s choice
To dower a scrap of sunset with a voice?
Yearning toward Heaven until its wish was heard,
Desire unspeakably to be a bird?

Sir Oriole
by Amos Russel Wells

“This is a merry world,
Truly a jolly world”—
So sings the oriole.
He is a winged flame,
He bears a lighted breast,
Sunshine incarnated.
His is a swinging song,
His is a swinging nest,
His is a swinging flight.
Ever a-tilt is he,
Tilting at gloominess,
Happy Sir Oriole!

Write a poem about oriole or any other bird you choose. Enjoy.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.

Prompt April 19 2020

 

A good poem is more than just words. It also sounds pleasant to an ear. But today’s prompt isn’t about the meter or other sound devices in poetry. It’s about the sounds that you have internalized. Certain sounds such as ice-cream truck jungle might transport you back to those warm summer days of your childhood, or a sound of sleigh bells will bring back happy memories of Christmas. Hearing an ambulance siren of a firetruck alarm may bring awful memories if you ever had to encounter these sounds during personal tragedies. Sometimes even the seemingly happy sounds may trigger unhappy memories if those sounds are associated with the sad times in your own life. Think about a sound that either makes you happy or sad or triggers some bittersweet feelings within you. Write a poem about that sound.

As usual, you can post your poem here if you like. You will need a password. Write to theliterarynest@gmail.com if you need the password.