Poem Tryouts: Image Work

18 Aug

8:13 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to the crunch of toast as Skip eats breakfast

Hello, all. No, the PC is still not up and I’m still not with my music (younger people, don’t even go there). Today, the Salvation Army stops by to take away eight boxes of stuff and a bed. Yay! Meanwhile, let’s work on a poem derived from a word Margo was curious about.

A few days ago I came across ‘furled’. I hadn’t seen or heard the word in a long time, so stopped to consider it. I like the sound of the word, which sounds like what it does. The definition is short: roll or fold up and secure neatly. Let the word sound inhabit your head, for a moment. Say it aloud, even. Slowly. Follow the movement of your tongue, in making the word.

The origin of the word is vague. The consensus seems to be, from the Old French ferlier to chain or fasten, possibly from fer firm (< Latin firmus) + lier to bind (< Latin ligāre). I stopped at ligare, as my mystery oriented mind immediately thought of ligature, which I associate with strangling. I checked: a thing used for tying or binding something tightly. Interesting.

But, back to furl. The four things I can immediately associate with the act of furling, are sails, flags, umbrellas, and fern fronds. Ferns furl themselves, but I grew up associating that verb with them. I want us to play with the use of the word, to use it in a way, or with something, not commonly thought of. Sit a while (yes, coffee may be involved — hmmm: the steam from the cup furled…) and let the image of furling happen in your mind. Picture the act of furling. If you can make it an impression — no specific object, just the motion — even better.

How many things can you think of that furl? Pick one and let the poem derive from the image. Let the image lead you somewhere. Added challenge, should you want it can be to choose a form that furls, or unfurls. Things unfurl, as well, and you might go down that road.

I look forward to your poems (even more, to the day when I’m back to responding to them!). Have fun with this. Play. Even if the topic is serious, your creating can play with meaning.

I will see you Thursday for links and next Tuesday for another prompt, perhaps a borrowed one.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 18/08/2015 in exercises, poems, poetry


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14 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Image Work

  1. Pingback: Furling for Margo | The Chalk Hills Journal
  2. Misky

    18/08/2015 at 5:12 pm


  3. Pingback: Full of Life (a multi-prompted haibun 8.18 f) | Jules in Flashy Fiction
  4. julespaige

    18/08/2015 at 9:10 pm

    Catching up… some.

  5. Pingback: Unbound | Debi's Poems
  6. georgeplace2013

    19/08/2015 at 9:08 am

  7. Pingback: Music Makers | Metaphors and Smiles
  8. Hannah Gosselin

    19/08/2015 at 5:06 pm

    This was lovely…one of my favorite words. 🙂 Thank you, Margo!


    20/08/2015 at 10:08 am

    Thanks for the delightful prompt. I have a huge backlog of prompts un-responded-to that I haven’t a hope of getting round to this one yet! I’ve had a lovely week with Tillybud staying, but now I’m whacked!

    • margo roby

      20/08/2015 at 5:01 pm

      You should see my file, ViV. Someday. Right? I am so glad Tillybud’s visit was a success. It’ll take you a month to recover!


        21/08/2015 at 12:20 am

        At least, but it was such a happy visit.

  10. Donald Harbour

    20/08/2015 at 12:53 pm

    Margo, lost you for a while, glad I found you, you unfurled the muse.

    • margo roby

      20/08/2015 at 4:55 pm

      Can’t tell you how good it is to see your name, Donald!

  11. purplepeninportland

    20/08/2015 at 11:41 pm

    This sparked a totally Brooklyn, NY memory.


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