Poem Tryouts: A Quality of Light

24 Feb

8:46 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello, everyone. We have snow! Not much and it will be gone by noon, but we can look out on blanketed roofs and lawns. Unfortunately, we have visitors in the form of my Uncle and Aunt (the visit and they are not an unfortunate event, only the going out and doing something), which means going out in the cold and wet. Ick.

In the last few days, an artist friend and the art group I follow on Facebook have posted three paintings with particularly affecting colour. I’m not sure what I want you to do with them, but I’d like it to involve light.

maufra iledebrehat

Ile de Brehat by Maufra



raoul dufy still life

Still Life Before the Yellow House by Raoul Dufy



milton avery green landscape

Green Landscape by Milton Avery

You can choose one and write a straightforward response to what you see.

You can choose one and write a poem based on the emotion it evokes.

You can mix the paintings and take details from each to create your poem.

You can pick a single detail to use as your spark.

Whichever and however you respond, try to have a quality of light in the poem — it might involve colour, but doesn’t have to.

I will see you Thursday for links and things; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for the first prompt of March (I know!).

Happy writing, all. Stay safe.




Posted by on 24/02/2015 in exercises, poetry


Tags: , , , , ,

36 responses to “Poem Tryouts: A Quality of Light

  1. georgeplace2013

    24/02/2015 at 12:48 pm

    I like all these pictures. I’ve got my thinking cap on – we’ll see what happens 🙂

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:47 am

      I’m on my way to see what you came up with, Debi 🙂

  2. barbcrary

    24/02/2015 at 1:28 pm

    Stymied last week by my fascination with the peony, a flower whose name didn’t sound poetic in my ears at all, much as its history and meaning interested me. I hope to do better this week. Sorry about the snow, Margo. At least you don’t live with the poor folks up in Boston.

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:46 am

      Poor Boston. They must be paying back one heck of a karmic debt, Barb! I’ll be here when you appear.

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  4. georgeplace2013

    24/02/2015 at 1:38 pm

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  6. Hannah Gosselin

    24/02/2015 at 1:51 pm

    It’s Tuesday…and I’m here! That makes me so happy. 🙂

    Thank you, Margo, for the inspiration and I’m so glad you received some pretty fluffy stuff before it’s all over. I hope you found something fun to do with your guests!

    Here’s my overly ambitious offering! 😉

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:40 am

      Hello, dear Hannah!

      Not enough pretty fluffy stuff, but at least some. I’m still hoping. Meanwhile, up there, you stay off the roads!

      • Hannah Gosselin

        26/02/2015 at 10:42 am

        Hello!! I wish I could send an insulated box of our latest fallings…magical stuff!! Hugs

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  8. Misky

    24/02/2015 at 3:05 pm


    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:35 am

      Hello, there. I’m reading backwards, bottom to top!

      • Misky

        26/02/2015 at 10:43 am

        I can cope with that …

  9. purplepeninportland

    24/02/2015 at 11:33 pm

    Love these paintings, Margo!
    Mine is up at:

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:32 am

      Aren’t they lovely, Sara?

      • purplepeninportland

        26/02/2015 at 4:03 pm


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  11. julespaige

    25/02/2015 at 7:43 am

    This one is just for you, dear Margo… (of course a haibun) :

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:26 am

      I am honoured, Jules.

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  13. Misky

    25/02/2015 at 10:15 am

    Last one:

  14. b_y

    25/02/2015 at 10:59 am

    All so different. The yellow house, I think. At least today. We expect a little snow this evening, but fifties by the weekend.

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:21 am

      You’re pretty foggy this morning, Barbara. At least, your area is. It seems to have snowed everywhere in Georgia except Atlanta. I’m sulking.

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    26/02/2015 at 5:36 am

    It took me a while!

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 10:23 am

      But, you’re here and really, that’s all that matters, ViV!

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  18. Misky

    26/02/2015 at 12:02 pm

    Last one, I promise.

    • margo roby

      26/02/2015 at 12:06 pm

      Mmhmmm… 🙂

      • Misky

        26/02/2015 at 2:15 pm

        (groan …)

  19. Vagrant Rhodia

    02/03/2015 at 8:27 am

    I chose stream of conscious reaction to the painting with water:

    I see an opening through the two closed sides that seem to beckon to me to find adventure. Almost like I am invited to travel beyond my current moment.

    On my right I see an inlet that just screams for me to walk over to it (or swim) so I can climb up to a higher point and just look—observe. There is plenty for me to watch like an observer: different ships carrying all kinds of passengers on their own quiet journeys.

    Or would it be so very quiet that silence is ear piercing? Perhaps the space is full of noise, of everyday life? Is it morning noon or evening there?

    I would like it to be morning—earlier the better because to me the silence is more lullaby than cacophony. I would climb just a bit higher if it were near-quiet and meet the breeze so She can kiss me hello.

    Although my seat, my observation chair, is hard my hands touch only softness of the moss that thrive just out of view of the picture. But now that I am up so high, the water calls to me and I am torn between water and air.

    So I decide to share time. On wind time I lay back against earth and stone to check in on the sky to see the cadence of the clouds—if I could mimic their dancing with words. Closing my eyes for just a moment, I meditate mindfulness. Not trying to force Her tune to come, not even in “patient” waiting. No, I listen and feel just for the moment of it.

    • margo roby

      02/03/2015 at 9:11 am

      I love the idea of the stream of consciousness as your response.

      It’s good to see you here.

      • Vagrant Rhodia

        02/03/2015 at 9:25 am

        I usually just use the prompt as a daily writing exercise. Today I thought I would be a bit more sociable 🙂

        • margo roby

          02/03/2015 at 9:33 am

          You are welcome anytime :-). I’m the unsocial, collect prompts and use them when the spirit moves me type. Also, I’m slow.

          • Vagrant Rhodia

            02/03/2015 at 9:36 am

            Don’t forget the story about the tortoise and the hare–definitely applies to writing 🙂


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