:34 a.m. — Atlanta
Hello all. I hope everything goes well. Today, a short, and possibly simple, prompt. No, really. This time, it will be short.
What are the things you don’t say? Think over the past few days. Has there been a time[s] when you did not say something, when you could have? Past few weeks? Months? Years? Was your reason for not saying something to do with upbringing, tact, diplomacy, self-preservation…?
List as many as you can think of, jotting notes next to them as to context. Choose two or three and expand on your notes. The notes are for you to do actively, while the brain works on retrieving details. Jot place, time, situation, motivations, emotions, sensory details of what was happening around you.
Consider why you chose not to say something. Use this as your seed. Have you noticed a pattern in the things you don’t say and want to write about that? Go. Do you have a specific instance when you didn’t say something, but can now? How do you want to present that within the framework of a poem? If you wish to be more general, are there things you have noticed that people don’t say, that you want to write about?
If the things you don’t say does not strike a chord, how about the things you won’t say? You might enjoy writing a poetic commentary about what you will not say.
Remembering that the poet is never the speaker [even when it is about the poet], feel free to change details, to create a different setting, to do whatever is required by the poem to convey the truth [ironically, that often requires changing the reality].
Consider form versus free verse. Some topics lend themselves to specific forms and are enhanced by them. Consider a conversation poem for this topic.There is no wrong way, or wrong path. Write a poem and post.
I shall see you Thursday for a few announcements. If you have anything you would like me to post, send it along. Friday will be the usual roundup of prompts. Next Tuesday we will consider the opposite of idyll as a topic, rather than a form.