8:04 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Spirit in the Sky sung by Norman Greenbaum
I love it when my blog snows! No, It does not take much to amuse me. Hello, everyone. I hope you had a lovely holiday, if you had a holiday; otherwise, a lovely weekend. I had a full few days at my Florida brother’s: a six course Chinese feast cooked by him [with my sister-in-law sous chefing]; a Thanksgiving meal cooked by my husband; a ride on my nephew’s suitably powerful motorbike; shuffle-board and bocce, neither of which I had played before; and a drive through a wildlife refuge where we witnessed a feeding frenzy by about sixty spoonbills, egrets, and herons.
But, enough of that. To work. I had planned on a prompt to do with death. On returning from our holiday, I decided that even though I was going to keep it fairly objective, as a topic, this isn’t the time. Maybe in January. Instead, let’s work on a poem suited to the major holidays of this season that don’t talk about those holidays. Got that?
We have Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Boxing Day and Christmas. If there is another you want to play with — winter solstice, anyone? — let us know about it in a short process note. The holiday you choose does not have to be the holiday you celebrate. Pick one (or more) and list the themes associated with the holiday. Writing poetry is communicating truths about people and the world we live in. Good poetry seeks to raise profound questions about truths — which is not to say good poetry can’t be descriptive, but even then, some truth is inherent. We call it theme. You are after a truth of some sort to do with your particular holiday.
Once you have chosen what you want to write about, take the holiday out of the equation. The thing about the broader themes are that they are universal. Write about your theme for a bit. Yes, I’m back to free-writing. Just do it. I’m not kidding. Go on. Once you understand what it is you want to write about in a poem, you may put the holiday back in, if you wish, but it should be secondary to your main point[s]. You are not writing about the holiday. K? Good.
You can choose an incident from your life, the news, whatever, to make your point[s]. You don’t want an amorphous piece of writing that doesn’t offer specific details to make your reader part of the process.
Consider form as a way to enhance what you are writing about. Always consider found poetry. You’d be surprised how found poetry allows for a broader expression of a topic. Enjoy what you discover about your topic.
I will see you Thursday for links; Friday for the roundup; and next Tuesday for a prompt to do with songs we learned as children.
Happy writing, all.