Tuesday Tryouts: Epiphany Poems

26 Jul

9:00 a.m. — Walnut Creek

Congratulations to all who survived the week of the ghazal and to those who decided for their peace of minds not to fling themselves into the deep end, that’s okay. It took me years to conquer ghazal fear. This is one of the harder forms. If you managed to write one, go back in a couple of weeks and read your ghazal. You can and should feel pleased with yourself.

Before I give you this week’s prompt, I need to update a link from Thursday’s Thoughts. The Poetic Asides blog, written by Robert Lee Brewer, has changed and everything has a new address. To get to the ‘One Piece of Advice for Poets, Part 1,’ go here.

Okay, a little relief from form. We have lost things and found things. Now we are looking for epiphanies in our lives. The word is defined as a comprehension or perception of reality by means of a sudden intuitive realization, from the Greek for show forth. One minute we don’t know something, the next moment we do.

An epiphany does not have to be some huge moment like the moment you realised ‘Whoa! I’m about to graduate from university and I have to support myself’. It can be a tiny moment of satisfaction, as when you understood ‘Wow! two oranges plus two apples add up to four,’ or discovery: ‘No more eating jalapenos. They are hot!’

List as many epiphanies as you can. You might give your memory a couple of days to dig around on this. From here you can proceed in one of a couple of directions, or in as many directions as you see. You might have an epiphany.

Pick one and write about it in a poem.

Or, link several of your discoveries and write about them in a poem.

Your form for the epiphany poem[s] can be free verse, or one of the forms you know, if you think a form will convey the truth of the poem better.

I hope everyone is surviving their summer/winter. Part of my survival is taking Thursday off to go to Napa with my husband to taste wine, so no Thursday Thoughts. I will have the Friday Freeforall up but will probably be quiet all next week, as we are traveling most of the week. You will find me back and in good order early August.

Happy writing.


Posted by on 26/07/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , , , ,

36 responses to “Tuesday Tryouts: Epiphany Poems

  1. vivienne Blake

    26/07/2011 at 5:08 pm

    Stay safe, and enjoy your travels. I have written several epiphany poems, This one from Napowrimo, remains my favourite. I’ll work on a new one, using your tutorial as a starting point.

    Hey Mum

    Hey Mum, I learned to read today.
    The story was wicked –
    I went a million miles away
    to an extra special place
    where I โ€˜d never been before.
    The adventures I had were ace.
    The people I met were bostinโ€™
    but monsters from outer space
    freaked me out. I had to race
    like a Ferrari to escape
    but they kept changing shape
    into something weird –
    I had to hide my face.
    Then the dinner bell rang
    and I stopped reading to eat,
    but Iโ€™ll be back –
    this reading gig is neat.

    • Margo Roby

      27/07/2011 at 2:46 pm

      This is such fun, Viv. And the speaker’s voice so clear, I can imagine him.

      Thank you for the good wishes. I am ready to be home!


    • Jeanne Aguilar

      28/07/2011 at 7:04 pm

      Love this…especially since I’m getting ready to start the new year…first grade’s all about teaching them to read! xo

  2. Flamingo Dancer

    27/07/2011 at 6:46 am

    my epiphanies are usually in the middle of the night when i wake and realise I forgot to do something important!

    • margo roby

      27/07/2011 at 3:04 pm

      I know those epiphanies, Flamingo Dancer. Just got back from your site. Loved it. Particularly loved your about. May snicker for days.


  3. E. Johnson

    27/07/2011 at 7:34 am

    Great prompt for today. Had a random epiphany the other day, but I’m still trying to figure out how to poem about it…

    • margo roby

      27/07/2011 at 2:58 pm

      Hello, E. Johnson [although I tend to think of you as Dandelion!]. If you aren’t sure about a structure yet, freewrite about the epiphany and look for a poem in what you freewrite. Another possibility is a poem on random epiphanies [if that makes sense].


  4. anl4

    27/07/2011 at 9:32 am

    The light came on
    For the first time
    Saw what was before me

    Stood in this spot before
    Looked but did not see
    Saw something different


    • Margo Roby

      27/07/2011 at 2:49 pm

      Your poem is so true, Annell. I suspect we have all done that. But it is an amazing phenomenon. I like your structure, too with the two stanzas mirroring each other, before the final ‘Eureka!’


    • vivienne Blake

      28/07/2011 at 12:23 pm

      Looked but didn’t see….Eureka – a great choice of words to describe an epiphany.

  5. wordsandthoughtspjs

    27/07/2011 at 12:30 pm

    Margo, I like this prompt. I shall give it go in the next few days. I hope you and your husband have a nice time, and see you when you get back .


  6. pmwanken

    27/07/2011 at 7:48 pm


    As I have been known to do, I’ve combined some prompts…here’s my epiphany. Well…AN epiphany. It wasn’t MY idea…

    Enjoy your days away….and on your way. ๐Ÿ˜‰


    • margo roby

      27/07/2011 at 8:43 pm

      I love: it wasn’t MY idea!

      You’ll see me about until you don’t ๐Ÿ™‚


  7. gsb3

    27/07/2011 at 9:42 pm

    An epiphany from the past, and a shocking one.

    • margo roby

      27/07/2011 at 11:18 pm

      Hello, Gordon. Epiphanies can be that way. One of the things I most appreciate about all of you who write and share your poems is the range of poetry I get to read.


  8. TheMsLvh

    27/07/2011 at 11:02 pm

    • margo roby

      27/07/2011 at 11:26 pm

      Thank you, TheMsLvh. On my way over to read.


  9. E. Johnson

    28/07/2011 at 8:34 am

    Here’s a fun one for today about bananas. Thanks for a great prompt!

  10. E. Johnson

    28/07/2011 at 8:36 am

    Argh, try that again: here it is.

    • margo roby

      28/07/2011 at 1:30 pm

      Caught the cleverness of your title just as I was navigating away from your page, Elizabeth. I liked the poem very much but my mind keeps coming back to the title!


  11. Jeanne Aguilar

    28/07/2011 at 10:37 am

    • margo roby

      28/07/2011 at 1:33 pm

      Happy to have you join us, Jeanne. I figure the more of each others poems we get to read, the happier life is!

  12. Daydreamertoo

    28/07/2011 at 12:10 pm

    I’ve had a few of these defining moments and, they took me quite by surprise, too. They have been when I was at my lowest ebb and my thoughts were all in pieces, nothing was clear at all. I was going through grieving and all kinds of emotions, anger, fear, loss, pain.. all of it…and, I had been asking all of the same questions we all ask…’why me, why do I have to hurt like this’… but these moments were such pivotal points in my seeking to find my ‘lost’ self, the inner light we all have and the clarity that sometimes is so ellusive and, in many ways, from those moments I knew afterwards that I had ‘gotten it’ I had understood the teachings and I felt myself grow so much more in understanding of our spiritual selves than I ever have before.
    We humans are amazing creatures and, we only use not even, one third of what our minds are truly capable of doing.
    I came into this a bit late in the day from noting others and saw your name. An interesting prompt.
    Have a nice weekend.

    • margo roby

      28/07/2011 at 1:25 pm

      Hey, DD2! There is no late in the day if you want to add a poem. I welcome them any time. Just reading through your commentary I see a poem.
      I agree with you about epiphanies being pivotal, learning points in our lives that move us forward [we hope].


  13. Mike Patrick

    29/07/2011 at 1:20 am

    I typed epiphany at the top of a new Word document on the day you posted. Then I sat and looked at it, hoping for an epiphany so I could write something. For two days, nothing. Then I thought I’d try a mind map. Didn’t make much of a map before something began. I’ll need to revisit it in a couple of days to see how much I want to rewrite. Here it is:

    • margo roby

      29/07/2011 at 12:50 pm

      It is odd, isn’t it, Mike? You know you have had epiphanies, many of them, but to find the trigger to start the brain down a path can be a mysterious and frustrating exercise. Am glad something connected for you. You have a lovely poem. It will be interesting to see if you feel, at a distance, that it needs revision and what you will revise. That, for a long time, has been my favourite part of the process, after the arrival of the poem itself.


  14. Aeria

    29/07/2011 at 11:35 pm

    I took some time to think this one through. I’m sure there are daily epiphanies but I went for the big one in my life in the last several years. I tried to make a list of epiphanies and ended up just blogging about it here-

    I finally did a poem today. It’s a bit abstract but it is what came of some of my deeper epiphanies.

    Thanks again for a challenge that caused me to really think introspectively!!

    By the way, I haven’t given up on trying a Ghazal, I’ve just been a bit busy. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks again!

    • margo roby

      07/10/2011 at 10:57 am

      Aeria – I hope with the magic of algorithms, this reaches you. I was combing through my dashboard and noticed a couple of comments not approved yet. I was horrified to find three on this post. My sincere apologies.


      • Aeria

        07/10/2011 at 5:11 pm

        Hi Margo, it’s nice to know that magic exists and works well in cyberspace ๐Ÿ˜€
        Thanks for the reply!!


  15. Tilly Bud

    30/07/2011 at 4:36 am

    I’m late coming to it but I’m pleased with what I got out of it. Great prompt!

  16. pamelasayers

    06/08/2011 at 11:20 am

    I am here quite late with this. I combined the Sunday whirl and this prompt. Hope you had a safe travel home.


    Science, Guns and Who Pulls the Trigger


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