8:44 a.m. — Atlanta
listening to Up Around the Bend sung by Creedence Clearwater Revival
Hello, all. Well, unless someone knows where WordPress has hidden the classic mode for writing a post, they may finally lose me. I dislike the new format anyway, but to have the sidebar shifted to my left, drives me nuts. I keep wanting to shift the screen. Actually I did, a little. I am going to rush through this (I said it was driving me nuts) and then start Googling and getting into forums and generally yelling and hollering.
I love road trips, for themselves, but also because I do a lot of thinking on all things poetry. I often come up with prompts and then have to hope I remembered to put my notebook and pen at my feet. This time, on the way to San Antonio, for God knows what reason, the word windjammer popped into my head. From that the prompt was born.
Windjammer is an English word applied to large sailing ships because, well, the sails jam the wind. Nice, huh? But that’s not the etymology or meaning I grew up with. The meaning I grew up with and associate with the word is that of a Dutch and German word, similar to ‘jam,’ meaning to wail, thus the wind wailing through the sails. Many people thought this was the word’s origin.
I first came across the term in a book about Dutch twins (a series of novels based on twins from each country — a great way to learn about other places). The image I carry and see when I hear the word windjammer is of a sand skimmer, sail hoisted, whipping across the sand dunes. I find the word and the meaning I know, exotic. Another word, not so strongly exotic, but close, is igloo, which conjures up Eskimos, polar bears, kayaks, and ice bergs. Now that I consider it, I probably came across the word in the same series, as there was a book on the Eskimo twins.
Do you have a word that has always carried an exoticism for you? That has a far off ‘nother land, otherworldly, aspect for you? Consider what comes to mind, allowing the associated images to appear in your head. If you can tie a where and when to your meeting the word, you’ll have more details, although they don’t have to be in the poem.
Your mission is a poem that has the word in it. Straightforward.
Or, you can write the poem that arises from your thoughts when you see, or think about, the word.
I hope to see you Thursday for links and things; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for my prompt. If there is silence, I haven’t found the classic mode and I’m trying to decide what to do about the blog (yes, I dislike this that much).
Happy writing, all.