Poem Tryouts: Open Sesame

13 May

7:50 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Poems sung by Mandy Patinkin, (so beautiful)

Hullo, all. I hope everything is well in all your worlds.The newspaper, as ever, is bleak. I try to think of all of you writing poetry rather than caught up in any of the events, and hope it’s so.

I loved the poems that came in last week. If you haven’t had a chance to read them, scroll past the chit-chat until you see links. Or, start at the bottom and work up.

Consider yourself and your world for a moment and ask yourself whether, if you had to choose, you are a window, or a door. If you don’t like turning the spotlight on yourself, pick someone [or several someones while you jot notes and ponder]. I first had the idea when I read a poem of Barbara’s last October. The poem ends:

Mother, watching from the door, swallows her weird
that she was born this, she supposes,
a window or door.

I was fascinated with the idea that we might be windows, or doors. Here’s what you might consider:

1] Jot down what you think when you think of each. Do you have certain connotations you associate with a door, or a window?

2] Look up the meaning of each. There is always so much more than what we think we know of a word’s meaning. — jot notes. I love that window derives from ‘wind eye’. Consider opening, means of observation, an interval of time. Door, which evolves from gate, although a means of access as well as escape, seems most often associated with closing off.

3] Look up what each symbolises — jot notes.

4] Now. Some of you will be off to the races already, but if you are staring at your notes, consider what application what you have found out has for life. What truth about doors and, or, windows might you convey? Or, write about a time in your life, or someone’s life, when you were one, or the other.

At this point, you can take yourself out of the equation and employ a speaker of your creation. Because of the way doors and windows function, consider whether a particular form might suit your poem.

Yes? Go to it. I shall see you Thursday for the summer calendar; Friday for the prompt roundup; and Tuesday for a prompt based on two quotes about intelligence — wait ’til you see who said what.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 13/05/2014 in exercises, poetry


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31 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Open Sesame

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  2. julespaige

    13/05/2014 at 10:25 am

    Listening to the children’s channel – just fed some fruit to the young miss – but I was able to pen something you might like while she was napping:

    Summer… already? Didn’t we just get spring? Two birthdays (well a few more but…) for us
    Son of Son turns 4 and Little Miss will be 1 this summer!

    • margo roby

      14/05/2014 at 9:00 am

      Jules, it’s practically Fall!

      • julespaige

        14/05/2014 at 9:10 am

        Autumn isn’t until at least September!!!

        • margo roby

          14/05/2014 at 9:18 am

          That’s what you think! Don’t turn your back. I meant to mention to you how startled I was to hers the ages of the little ones. I’ve known J almost since he was born! That means you and I have known each other a fair time, now.

          • julespaige

            14/05/2014 at 10:13 am

            🙂 Since before he was born actually!
            Started out over at that wonderful writing place that folded. So could be closer to five years or more for us.

  3. b_young

    13/05/2014 at 1:48 pm

    I must be a window:
    I look more than I do.
    A world out there
    and some comes near,
    but not a lot gets through.

    • b_young

      13/05/2014 at 11:08 pm

      A little more

    • margo roby

      14/05/2014 at 8:59 am

      I hadn’t thought about myself, but this reminds me of my favourite report card from elementary school, which says: ‘Margo looks out of windows, too much’. I never looked out of doors.

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  5. Hannah Gosselin

    13/05/2014 at 3:13 pm

    Hello, Margo!! I enjoyed the music and pondered the news…I’m clueless, I really don’t pay attention to the news as much as I should…just writing and reading poetry here. Sigh. I’ve started a lovely book John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charlie…In Search of America…I love his style of saturated descriptions and in this one, some great humor.

    Here’s my windows and doors offering! 🙂

    • margo roby

      14/05/2014 at 9:03 am

      Hey, Hannah! The news is the reason I get the Wall Street Journal. They don’t do sensational and they try to stick to what’s important. A nice, slim, newspaper! I adore Steinbeck. His books are a joy to teach. The one you have is such fun and rather different from his others.

      • Hannah Gosselin

        14/05/2014 at 10:06 am

        That’s the kind of paper I need to get…filter out all the bull-kucky and just give me the facts Jack!!

        I do too, he’s an author from the high school classics days that has stuck with me richly. I definitely felt that this volume is different than the rest of his…I’m so enjoying it!

        Happy day to you! ☼

    • Hannah Gosselin

      06/06/2014 at 9:07 pm

      And exactly a month later…The outcome of the idea to leave a flower in the mailbox is captured in this poem entitled, “Dear John.”

      Hi, Margo…I wanted to share this with you especially. ♥

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  7. Misky

    13/05/2014 at 3:30 pm

    Sometimes I feel like the whole bleedin’ world is blowing through my house. I’m constantly wondering who left the door open. I’m a door. No doubt. People in and out, and in and out, emotions flowing like rivers and tumbling down steps. Crumbs. Doors. But I reckon you already know that.

    • margo roby

      14/05/2014 at 9:11 am

      I do. As a teacher, I finally had to withdraw behind doors because all the ‘People in and out, and in and out, emotions flowing like rivers and tumbling down steps.’ was exhausting me. Behind a door I was still accessible but not there no matter what.

      • Misky

        14/05/2014 at 9:59 am

        Exactly. xx

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  9. purplepeninportland

    14/05/2014 at 12:09 am

    I love this kind of challenge. Mine is up at:

    • margo roby

      14/05/2014 at 9:13 am

      So do I, Sara. It allows even people who don’t think of themselves as metaphorical to see themselves as such.

  10. georgeplace2013

    14/05/2014 at 2:07 pm

    This def took some thought, Margo (not a bad thing – I need to do it more often)

    • margo roby

      14/05/2014 at 3:06 pm

      Laughing with you, Debi!

  11. barbcrary

    17/05/2014 at 7:39 am

    Rather than write from my copious notes suggesting that I’m a window, I went on an image search and found this: I think these are lovely and will rest for a while as I admire them.

    • margo roby

      17/05/2014 at 8:47 am

      You might even say they are a poem in themselves, Barb.

      Copious notes are a problem because they can overwhelm. I haven’t figured out the answer to that, yet. I think I shall contemplate your window.

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  13. whimsygizmo

    18/05/2014 at 1:41 pm

    Late to the party, but loved this prompt. THANK YOU!

    • margo roby

      18/05/2014 at 4:03 pm

      At least you trusted the party was still going, which of course it is!

  14. barbcrary

    18/05/2014 at 5:18 pm

    Also late to the party, except for my pretty visuals. Words here:

    Thank you, Margo.

    • margo roby

      19/05/2014 at 7:12 am

      How lovely to see you, late or not, Barb. I’m on my way.


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