Tuesday Poem Tryouts

12 Mar

9:50 a.m. — Atlanta

back from the dentist and listening to Boy From New York City sung by The Manhattan Transfer

Hello! I am feeling energetic. I rarely feel energetic, so this is either the fact I got a B+ at the dentist, or Spring is here, in Atlanta. I have a gentle prompt for us today. While driving from Vermont to Boston last week (yes, we were in Boston for the mini-blizzard), we were listening to a channel for the 60s. As I listened to Turn! Turn! Turn! sung by The Byrds, it occurred to me that the lyrics would make a great prompt, fun even!

I have set the lyrics below, but removed the chorus.

To Everything
There is a season
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven

A time to be born, a time to die
A time to plant, a time to reap
A time to kill, a time to heal
A time to laugh, a time to weep

A time to build up, a time to break down
A time to dance, a time to mourn
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together

A time of love, a time of hate
A time of war, a time of peace
A time you may embrace, a time to refrain from embracing

A time to gain, a time to lose
A time to rend, a time to sew
A time for love, a time for hate
A time for peace, I swear it’s not too late.

You can approach the prompt in a couple of ways. Remember: the premise of the poem does not have to be something you agree with. Your speaker must have an opinion one way or the other, but it doesn’t have to be the same as yours.

1) Pick one and respond to its premise. It might be interesting to write a poem on ‘a time to kill’ or ‘a time to weep’.

2) You might want to write a poem whose theme is that you cannot have one side of anything without an opposite side to balance. Therefore, ‘a time to rend, a time to sew’ [which, until I saw it in print, I thought was sow].

3) You may decide to link a few: ‘a time to’ love, dance, embrace, or ‘a time to’ rend, break down, hate.

There are many combinations.

4)You can address the main theme: there is ‘a time to every purpose,’ and choose your own ‘there’s a time to _______’.

While you are pondering, you can listen to the song.

I shall see you Thursday for a grab bag of things; Friday for the Freeforall; and next Tuesday for a prompt from another source for you to try out.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 12/03/2013 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , ,

36 responses to “Tuesday Poem Tryouts

  1. pmwanken

    12/03/2013 at 10:44 am

    Oooh…I shall be back!! πŸ™‚

  2. julespaige

    12/03/2013 at 10:52 am

    Your in-box must be swamped! Glad you are back. Hope you enjoyed your visit with the Dragonette and her parents πŸ™‚

    Gramotherly advice…never get between and almost three year old and their Cheddar crackers. I gave Son of Son (3 months shy of 3 years) a bunch of Cheddar bunnies to snack on. And asked if I could have one. I pleaded and begged. He’d offer up one, but with a quick agile hand take it back and pop it in his mouth. I started to tickle him and said; “I’ll stop if you give me a Cheddar bunny or a kiss….” He gave me a kiss. πŸ™‚

    I think we are once again on similar wave lengths. But as the piece is also a We Write Poems prompt piece. I’ll post the link here, tomorrow instead of e-mailing it to you.

    • margo roby

      12/03/2013 at 12:46 pm

      Jules, I now keep the inbox manageable while on vacation through my phone!

      Hazel already sweetly offers and then, when the hand comes out for it, withdraws… everything ;-).

      I’ll wait with anticipation for the link!

  3. margo roby

    12/03/2013 at 11:25 am

    Rumour, in the form of my son, tells me the link to the song isn’t working. I’ll head in and see what I can do.

    • Misky

      12/03/2013 at 11:33 am

      It works for me, although the link in the email notification was jibber-gloo.

  4. margo roby

    12/03/2013 at 12:44 pm

    Link fixed on site. I suspect that does not change email recipients’ links.

  5. Pamela

    12/03/2013 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Margo, welcome back! I think will give this prompt a go. Lately I have been thinking about writing at least 3 times a week. I have become very lazy and need to push myself more. So, your Tuesday Tryouts are perfect. Besides, I have a whole folder filled with your past prompts. πŸ™‚


    • margo roby

      12/03/2013 at 2:59 pm

      Yay, Pamela! Do feel free to post a poem and tell us it’s from three months back, if something in the folder grabs your attention. It will be lovely seeing your poems come through, as well as yourself!


  6. Ruth

    12/03/2013 at 5:34 pm

    I always did love that song… Here’s my poem:

  7. jankeough11

    12/03/2013 at 5:51 pm

    Ola. Here’s my poem:


    Every desire leaves a mark,
    stretched tight around hope,
    the heart’s causeway
    lined with lessons learned.

    Every wish gives shelter
    to rain-soaked petitioners of perhaps,
    familiar with the reasonable, No –
    awaiting a better mindset.

    Every whisper of why is
    cued by a turn of the universe
    brimming with unblazed paths
    found by careful footing.

    To every season there comes a time
    when hope’s next caress reveals,
    standing in the doorway,
    a better understanding of possible.

    • margo roby

      15/03/2013 at 8:03 am

      Ola! Welcome. How lovely to see you here, Jan.

      I like the structure of the poem and the lead-up to the ‘so what’ of the piece. It’s a great poem for rereading as it unfolds more with each reading.

      I hope to see you again. A little bit of Rhode Island in my day.

  8. whimsygizmo

    12/03/2013 at 11:02 pm

  9. Irene

    12/03/2013 at 11:40 pm

    A time for lilacs, Margo.

    Thanks for the prompt, and my write is here.

    • margo roby

      13/03/2013 at 3:21 pm

      Love your time idea, alone, Irene! But, will be over in a minute to read.

  10. purplepeninportland

    12/03/2013 at 11:55 pm

    Welcome back, Margo! Love this prompt and the source for it.

    • margo roby

      13/03/2013 at 3:22 pm

      Thank you, Sara! Good to see you. I’m on my way.

  11. vivinfrance

    13/03/2013 at 5:02 am

    I’m visiting my family of technophiles and it is difficult to get five minutes on a computer! Also, I am permanently frozen and my mind likewise. I have written nothing since a few lines scribbled on the aircraft coming over, so any response to this lovely prompt will have to wait until I’m home again at the weekend. Now I’m off to get my eyes tested, then lunch with an on-line friend to be met for the first time and a visit to Northumberlandia. There is a time to let go with the prompts and simply enjoy myself!

    • margo roby

      13/03/2013 at 3:23 pm

      Clever, ViV. This will be your it’s time poem! Enjoy yourself.

  12. julespaige

    13/03/2013 at 8:59 am

    Sometimes it’s more than just lemons and there just isn’t enough sugar. But this too shall pass…

  13. Hannah Gosselin

    13/03/2013 at 11:30 am

    oOo!! This is a good one, Margo!! Nice to see you back smiling-singing-energetic and inspired!! πŸ™‚

    Be around at some point with one for this…first I have to work on a piece of my costume for tonight …a belly-dancing performance! Nervous you ask? Yup…just a little. πŸ˜‰

    • margo roby

      13/03/2013 at 11:33 am

      There will be video, of course, yes? πŸ˜€

      • Hannah Gosselin

        19/03/2013 at 10:37 pm

        Hi, there!! I cna’t believe it has been a week!! There’s no video…it was pretty small but I’m happy with that. πŸ˜‰

        This poem was a life ring for me all last week…with little time to poem I just kept bringing this one up and working on it everyday for a few minutes at a time. Feels strange to work that way but it was better than the alternative.

        Thank you for being here, Margo, :)’s

    • barbara_y

      13/03/2013 at 1:24 pm

      Belly dancing! Very cool, Hannah. I got nervous as all get out just standing –in street clothes– and reading for open mic.

      • Hannah Gosselin

        19/03/2013 at 10:39 pm

        It is all very unnerving…I agree, Barbara…I’m glad for the challenge though. πŸ™‚

  14. barbara_y

    13/03/2013 at 12:31 pm

    Don’t know why this seemed so hard. No focus lately.

    • margo roby

      13/03/2013 at 3:26 pm

      I think one of my links tomorrow addresses the malaise we all seem to be taken by. Meanwhile, as I like anything you set to paper, I’m on my way. Oh, and if it weren’t for the challenge I’m participating in, I would have no poems. As it is the poems are all found. My muse is in other pastures, damn her.


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