7:25 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Only the Good Die Young by Billy Joel
Hello, all. Today we have a found prompt. I decided this year, in an effort to extend the life of my blog and possibly my brain, that occasionally I will look to others for prompts. For our first official one [as I have adapted many that came originally from my mentor, many of which he adapted from…], I am adapting an idea that comes from Bonni Goldberg, in her book Room to Write. She titles her exercise, ‘With or Without Wings’.
I have been fascinated, nay, obsessed, with Icarus almost from the moment I started writing poetry. Thanks to Douglas Robertson’s art and offer to allow me to use one of his pieces as inspiration, I finally have my Icarus poem. Am I asking you to write about Icarus? No. After all, if you aren’t obsessed, what fun would that be? Icarus is the ultimate metaphor for flying, as a metaphor. It’s complicated. I want you to write about flying, literally, or figuratively.
Even if you have never set foot in an aeroplane, everyone has experienced the sensation of flying, in some form, the tetherless, free, soaring feeling, even if your feet never leave the ground. In some measure, anything involving great speeds can give you the feeling: roller-coasters, galloping on a horse, racing cars, or sprinting. For me, what must be the closest to the feeling of flying is scuba diving. The first time I put on a tank and submerged, able to breathe in the water, I thought, this must be what it is like to fly. For me, flying is freedom.
Flying is also metaphorical: It has to do with taking off, ascending, soaring… Before we ever had ways to reach the sky, flying was a central image in literature (Goldberg, 44). Think of ways you have flown, emotionally. Maybe, when you won an award, or when you knew you were in love, or you achieved a personal goal. For me it is the moment a poem comes together. For that moment I soar.
Your task is to list all the different ways you have flown, moments when you have soared, times when you felt you touched the sky. See if there are common threads, where you might want to bring a couple of things together. Jot notes on anything that makes your brain perk up. You will want specific imagery and strong verbs and nouns. Then, ask yourself how the poem should look and sound.
May you write an Icarus poem? Pfffttt. Of course.
I shall see you Thursday for some links; Friday for the week’s prompt roundup; and next Tuesday for a — wow, did I just have a senior moment. I got up to get the file where I have prompts, came back towards the computer, saw the light on in my husband’s computer room, went in, turned it off, thought to myself I might as well pick up his towels, tossed them in the dryer, thought breakfast might be good, made toast, pulled the garbage out to remind me, looked up and saw the prompt folder near the computer and thought, s___, I haven’t finished my blog. I can hear my mother laughing, now — so, where was I? Next Tuesday’s prompt probably will have something to do with a sense of the land.