8:53 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Robbie Williams singing Ain’t That a Kick in the Head
Hello there. I’m running a trifle late, mostly because having said I was doing a found prompt, I had to find the prompt. While I usually do my prep a day, or so, ahead, we were traveling this weekend. While trawling through my voluminous folders, I found a prompt that fit with my travels and made me curious as to what you would come up with.
In June 2012, Matthew and Michael Dickman released Fifty American Plays (Poems) (Copper Canyon Press), a book of poem-plays about the fifty American states. Choose a state (or region or country outside of the United States) that you feel a deep connection to and write a poem about it. Give the reader a sense of the landscape and mood you associate with the place. As an additional challenge, try to convey a sense of the location without ever naming it in the poem. (Poets & Writers, July 19, 2012)
Poets & Writers has a prompt roughly once a month — probably once a month, but there seem to be gaps, possibly in my head — and this is one that intrigues me, now, because I spent the weekend in Kentucky. I had never been in Kentucky before. Last year I visited Tennessee for the first time, and Vermont. Also, Rhode Island. I have been in very few states, so far, but am beginning to cross them off.
Of just those four — not thinking about places in the whole world, too big a scope — I felt an immediate and deep connection to Rhode Island. We don’t always ask ourselves why. We accept a bond and let it go at that. But, why? Why on earth did I feel a deep connection to Rhode Island, within hours of crossing the border? I felt no such connection to whichever state we crossed from — that would have been a new state for me, too.
For this prompt, you may go with the exact instructions, or you can place limits to where you look. I am limiting myself to states in the US where I have a distinct memory. I want the memory to act as a vehicle for conveying my sense of the landscape, to set the mood, to reveal why I feel the way I do.
One of the hardest things to do, at least for me, is to stop and look at something and define how, what and why I feel about any particular place and thing, rather than going along with the feeling. Here’s your chance to stop and think about a place and then put into words that are specific — no vague adjectives and adverbs — your connection, so that we feel it too.
I shall see you Thursday for links; Friday, for the roundup; and next Tuesday for a prompt that uses a specific form of repetition as structural shifts.
Happy writing, all.