April 29, 2021: Poetry Writing Prompt – Peggy Dobreer

This poetry writing prompt submitted by Peggy Dobreer:

This prompt is inspired by 1.) the moment in The Octopus Teacher when she attaches herself to his chest and he muses about not knowing it would be the last time they made contact. (hmmm, like what would he do differently if he knew?)  And 2.) the difference between straight descriptive/instructive language (like directions for Microsoft) and the sublime, artistic language of tenderness.

1. First you have to see the movie. Highly recommended for all sentient beings anyway, so I don’t feel bad about the added homework. You will thank me if you haven’t seen it. I promise. If you have, you will surely remember this stunning moment in the film. Feel into its tenderness and gentle communication. Recall tenderness in different parts of your body. Its scent and texture, colors and sensation.

2. Look around your writing area and select an item that holds a feeling of tenderness, or gentleness, either because of the way it is used or with whom you associate it.

3. Write two…  three to four-minute free writes. The first is simply, a perfunctory, clinical, if you will, description of the item you selected.  The second is a treatise on its tenderness, in the voice of the object.

4. Finally your mission, should you decide to accept it…..is to write a poem that takes the material from both free writes and shuffles them together to make a single poem. How would you communicate, if you knew it would be the last communication remembered forever?  That said, I wish you communications you will always want to be remembered by. After all, we know how significant the last line of any poem is to its entire experience.

You may change tenses or syntax if necessary in the final poem. And you may eliminate anything that no longer fits….but trust that everything you need for your final poem is already there.

If you write a poem please post it here or better yet….drop in any morning M-F and read it live. Happy writing.

If you write a poem from this prompt, post it as a comment underneath the prompt in the Poetry Super Highway Facebook Group.