Poem Tryouts: Abandon Hope All Ye…

03 Dec


7:47 a.m. –Atlanta

listening to Christmas carols — I’ll be doing that a lot

Hello, everyone. I hope your past week was satisfactory. I am back from my brother’s new home in Florida and I must say I am a wee bit jealous. His house sits on the 16th hole of a golf course — separated from his large, enclosed, porch by a large pond. While there, I watched an anhinga (snake neck bird) drying his wings on a concrete outcrop a couple of yards from where I sat; a kingfisher regularly subdues his catch on the same outcrop; the sand-hill cranes run a daily operetta; a couple of cormorants swam by; and a blue heron kept watch. I hated to leave.

However, there are poems to write and today we shall play with a word, much as we did with ‘flannel’. I love words. I love that when I look up a word I know, I find other meanings I am not aware of. I love that denotation and connotation can take words to a whole different place. I love finding a word’s origin and tracing how it became what it means now.

Take abandon. Wonderful word. It started with the Latin for proclamation: ‘You will allow anyone who wants to use your land for grazing, to do so.’ It took me a few moments to translate that to: ‘You will abandon your land…’. We have the word now in two forms, a verb and a noun, with slightly different connotations. To abandon a task, a relationship, a sinking ship, is to give up on it. To give oneself to something — joy, grief, dancing — with abandon is to give in to it.

Give up, or give in, which do you want? The abandoning of something is rarely positive; the giving in to something is often positive. Both can be humourous. Below, I list the different meanings of each word. Note how many nuances there are. As you read the list, jot notes of anything that passes through your mind. Anything. Then decide what you want to write about and how you want to write it. Give to us a poem.

1. leave, strand, ditch, leave behind, walk out on, forsake, jilt, run out on, throw over, turn your back on, desert, dump, leave high and dry, leave in the lurch
2. stop, drop, give up, halt, cease, cut out, pack in
3. give up, resign from, yield, surrender, relinquish, renounce, waive, cede, forgo, abdicate
4. evacuate (takes ship as object) quit, withdraw from, vacate, depart from

1. recklessness, dash, wildness, wantonness, unrestraint, careless freedom
2. indulge in, give way to, yield to, wallow in, give free rein to, lose yourself in, give yourself up to

I shall see you Thursday for links, or something; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for another prompt. I am off to read poems from last week — no, I have not forgotten you!

Happy writing, all.


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


Tags: , ,

36 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Abandon Hope All Ye…

  1. julespaige

    03/12/2013 at 9:34 am

    Too many projects lay abandoned…
    and yet I’m working on this list of answers…for twenty question with abandon 😉

  2. Carol Carlisle

    03/12/2013 at 12:35 pm

    So I was going to just post some photos of yesterday’s sunset but now I’ve gone and written a poem and looked up stuff.
    Oh and my daughter lives in Florida and kingfishers walk right up to here back door and be-devil her cats.

    • margo roby

      04/12/2013 at 1:05 pm

      I tell you, it’s getting serious when you look up stuff 😀

      I plan to revisit my brother soon. he said after we left they had black ibises!

  3. Pamela

    03/12/2013 at 5:39 pm

    Hi Margo, I hope your Thanksgiving was fabulous. I love this prompt and am hoping to catch up on some of your others over the holiday vacation. Take care, my friend.


    • margo roby

      06/12/2013 at 8:11 am

      There you are! I would love to have one of your poems here again, but even if all you get to is drafts during the holiday, I hope you are relaxed and have a good time.


  4. Hannah Gosselin

    03/12/2013 at 9:28 pm

    That place sounds like it’s vibrant with life…sigh.

    Glad you’re back safely and I’m enjoying the fresh flurries here onsite. 🙂

    Thank you, Margo, for the inspiration today!

    • margo roby

      04/12/2013 at 1:04 pm

      Someday, Hannah. The children really do grow up and go away [that, or you move away ;-)].

      It’s good to see people. I may say the heck with the prose people next year.

      • Hannah Gosselin

        04/12/2013 at 5:06 pm

        Yeah, they sure will…I can’t believe my oldest is a month away from seven!!

        So you’d take a longer vacation…all of November or something? 🙂 More sunshine and bird-watching before a cold winter sounds perfect.

        • margo roby

          04/12/2013 at 6:19 pm

          Ahem. Mine is 39. Three nine.

          maybe, but I was thinking more of staying with my poet people 🙂

          • Hannah Gosselin

            04/12/2013 at 8:51 pm

            I bet it zipped right by, too…sigh…

            Oh, that makes sense, too…I agree…poetry peeps is where it’s at! 😉

  5. julespaige

    04/12/2013 at 6:33 am

    It was a long day yesterday, and going to be a long one today with grandkiddies. Glad I didn’t ‘abandon’ this task and just had to cut and past this morning…

    Here’s the second half:

    Probably be back much later this eve to read other contributions here. Cheers. ~J

  6. barbara_y

    04/12/2013 at 8:01 am

    In keeping with your theme: Leaving B’Cat to snooze a while. About the only thing I can do with my itchy feet is to swap blogs..

    • margo roby

      04/12/2013 at 1:03 pm

      It was under your direction that I set up several blogs to play with, so I know just what you mean.

  7. Misky

    04/12/2013 at 12:26 pm

    Your blog has dandruff. And Safari wants to change “blog” to “glob”. I think not, cupcake.

    • margo roby

      04/12/2013 at 1:02 pm

      Right now I feel more like glob. Just got in from an hour and a half of gum surgery. I did score some Tylenol 3, though.

      • Misky

        04/12/2013 at 1:07 pm

        Oh boy. Shall we have a big pity party?! I’ll bring champagne and green olives.

        • margo roby

          04/12/2013 at 1:28 pm

          Bring it on! I’m the one comatose in the recliner.

          • Misky

            04/12/2013 at 1:41 pm

            Stop typing – you’re comatose, remember?

  8. markwindham

    05/12/2013 at 6:06 pm

    not a poem yet, but hours of cool exploring on the subject.

    (if url does not work, google ‘abandoned places’ and peruse the images. fantastic, if somewhat eerie stuff

    • margo roby

      06/12/2013 at 7:35 am

      OMG! How fabulous in a surreal, even creepy, kind of way. I have a file on abandoned places — I know! Who knew? Now I have all these wonderful things to go through.

      • markwindham

        06/12/2013 at 8:08 am

        these are pretty cool too. The theater, ball rooms and library (with books still on the shelves) are particularly haunting.

        don’t blame me if you get nothing done today. 😉

        • margo roby

          06/12/2013 at 8:13 am

          Ack! Don’t you have work to do? 😉 I am not allowing myself to go beyond the first photo until I post the blog. Feel free to keep researching and sending me stuff :-D.

          • markwindham

            06/12/2013 at 8:52 am


            Be sure and follow the link in the story for the Japanese island also.

            Yes, working, easily distracted.

            Have fun!

            • margo roby

              06/12/2013 at 8:57 am

              Blog? Oh, right, that blog. I have been wandering for thirty minutes. I guess I had better go back and finish!

  9. purplepeninportland

    05/12/2013 at 11:09 pm


    06/12/2013 at 4:13 am

    A brief foray into your complex prompt!

    • margo roby

      06/12/2013 at 7:32 am

      Any kind of foray that brings you here is fine. It is so good to see you, ViV.

  11. markwindham

    06/12/2013 at 8:56 pm

    finally found one hiding in the ruins… 😉


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