Poem Tryouts: Superstition

10 Dec

7:23 a.m. —

listening to Ka ‘Opihi O Kanapou sung by Keali Reichel

Hello, everyone. It’s another grey and rainy day. I hope someone is building an ark. While I wait to find out, let’s talk about superstitions. It’s a rare person who doesn’t have one. You might think you don’t, but think on it a while.

Do you always wear the same thing to a job interview because it was lucky the first time? Do you have a sneaking preference for not flying on Friday the 13th? How about the spilled salt you just threw over your shoulder? Do you have a lucky penny? In fact, is there anything you do repeatedly because you consider it lucky? Well, then.

Superstition is defined as:

An irrational belief that an object, action, or circumstance not logically related to a course of events influences its outcome. If that black cat crosses in front of me, I shall have to reschedule the appointment.

A belief, practice, or rite irrationally maintained by ignorance of the laws of nature or by faith in magic or chance. I always see a black cat with that woman. Maybe, she’s a witch.

A fearful or abject state of mind resulting from such ignorance or irrationality. When I see the woman, from now on, I’ll detour around the block. I don’t want bad luck.

Idolatry. I have a little cat statue and I light incense in front of it every day for luck.

Anytime you associate a new behaviour with luck, good or bad, you are developing a superstition, something that controls your behaviour rather than the other way around. For a poem you have several choices.

You might write about a superstition you have.
Or, write about the topic of superstition from a defined point of view.
Or, write a poem defending a specific superstition.
Or, write a list poem of superstitions.
Or, write a creation myth for a specific superstition.
Or, whatever popped into your mind on starting this post.

Why didn’t I post this at Halloween? Because, I tend to buck the system and because we don’t have superstitions only at Halloween. Halloween is one giant collection of superstitions.

I look forward to your poems.

I shall see you Thursday for something [I know. I’ll have to decide soon.]; Friday for the week’s prompt roundup; and next Tuesday for a borrowed prompt.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 10/12/2013 in exercises, poems, poetry


Tags: , , , ,

25 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Superstition

  1. julespaige

    10/12/2013 at 9:26 am

    Just cold huh, I was shoveling snow for an hour this morning from our second whammy storm.
    And that was before coffee…which sounds like a great idea right now.
    I really like this topic. I know I’ve written on it before. But until I can think of something new…very loosely related …here is a haibun about the Underground Railroad. Enjoy.

    Which begs the question of how do you like to ride in a train? Some folks will not sit ‘backwards’.

    • barbara_y

      10/12/2013 at 11:24 am

      I’ve only ridden a train once. In Canada. They discontinued passenger service through here in the mid-fifties.

      • julespaige

        10/12/2013 at 11:43 am

        I’ve been on the subway of NYC – the PATH or tube that connects NYC to Jersey City, The Metro in Washington DC and Boston, and even a sleeper when we went south somewhere for a vacation. That was a joy…our boys were small then. The eldest pretty much had the top bunk, Hubby the bottom and I had the floor… I can’t remember if the youngest shared with the eldest, dad or me!!! If you aren’t getting a luxury car…maybe just staying in seats would be more comfortable. Maybe I say that because I was on the floor?

        Bunch of trains in PA, USA – for freight and passengers. Yep almost forgot about the station smack in the center of town. Gets a bunch of commuters as well as other travelers. Took a train from that station to Philly (Philadelphia – for dinner and a play) a couple of years ago.

        We Honeymooned in Monte Tremblont (hope I spelled that correctly). Are you any where near that resort? But then that was over 30 years ago. Wanted to ride the ski lift, but it wasn’t operating during the September time we were there.

        Subway and rail transit set up the seating a bit differently. Sometimes on the subway you ride sideways. And sometimes you stand! 🙂

        Keep warm and stay safe.

    • margo roby

      10/12/2013 at 4:28 pm

      I’ll do it, but I don’t like it. All to do with discomfort, though, not superstition.

  2. barbara_y

    10/12/2013 at 10:52 am

    We got Snow in the middle of the night. Woke up about 1:30 and the bedroom was bright yellow with reflected streetlight. Very pretty, but strange. It’s already half gone, turning into a brilliant day.

    • margo roby

      10/12/2013 at 4:29 pm

      I’m waiting. The line stretches from Vermont, which just hit blue on the weather map, through you, to San Antonio and it’s moving this way.

      • Hannah Gosselin

        10/12/2013 at 4:41 pm

        It’s been snowing here in Maine for the last two days…just shoveled for the first time this year…came in wheezing…annoying situational asthma. I’m fine but the exertion and then the quick shift in temp…any way. I hope you get more white and less gray soon. 🙂

        • margo roby

          10/12/2013 at 4:45 pm

          Me too! Now why do I keep forgetting you are on this coast with me? I keep wanting to put you out west.

          • Hannah Gosselin

            10/12/2013 at 4:51 pm

            Hmm…that’s interesting. I wonder why, too. 🙂

  3. Hannah Gosselin

    10/12/2013 at 4:38 pm

    Ha!! You make me laugh with your knowing…that your readers will say huh, and shouldn’t this be a Halloween post? I love that you think outside of the fences that recommend silly stipulations on what’s appropriate and when. Perfect timing for me really, given my pattern of thoughts lately.

    Thank you, Margo!

    • margo roby

      10/12/2013 at 4:40 pm

      I figure, by now, you know me pretty well, lady :-). I never have been good with ‘should’!

      • Hannah Gosselin

        10/12/2013 at 4:42 pm

        You’re my kinda gal!! I echo that sentiment to the “T” !! Whatever that means…now I’m going to have to google that saying…hmm…funny.

        • margo roby

          10/12/2013 at 4:46 pm


          • Hannah Gosselin

            10/12/2013 at 5:11 pm

            To say to a T means that something is exactly or precisely so.

            The origin that most experts point to, rather cautiously, involves T being the first letter of a word. If this is the case, then tittle is easily the most likely source, since to a tittle was in use in exactly the same sense for nearly a century before to a T appeared (it’s first recorded in a play by Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher of 1607 with the title Woman Hater: “I’ll quote him to a tittle”).

            There…for inquiring minds! 😉

            • margo roby

              11/12/2013 at 5:49 pm

              I love stuff like this. How can anyone ever be bored?

  4. rosross

    10/12/2013 at 5:45 pm

    It is interesting to be talking superstitions in this the Christmas Season. Few realise that the Christian tradition of Christmas is sourced in the pagan and often superstitious past and so too is the secular Christmas sourced in beliefs of old. We recycle more than we know.

    • margo roby

      12/12/2013 at 7:29 am

      I have always enjoyed that about Christmas, the old tales from which Christmas was built. I had a couple of children’s books that were more directed to the older traditions.

  5. Misky

    11/12/2013 at 7:40 am

    I’m afraid that I’m one of the least superstitious people you’re ever apt to meet (or not meet). So I took this another way.

    • margo roby

      12/12/2013 at 7:27 am

      I don’t have a superstitious twinge in me so I’ll be interested to see where you went.


    12/12/2013 at 3:24 am I was spoilt for choice in subject matter, and took ages to start. Then the computer crashed and when I restored the document, the words had vanished. I am now superstitious about superstition!


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