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Prompt #40 Triptych Relationship

February 3, 2011


Triptych Relationship

In honor of the Chinese New Year, this week a prompt about the essence of relationship! In Chinese metaphysics the universe is comprised of the trinity, “heaven”, “earth” and “man”. Imagine three tablets laid and bound side by side (although three sheets of paper will do for us); label the first, heaven, the second, earth and the third, man. Now begin or echo or discover three new words, one for each, that link in relationship just as the initial starting words also do. Then repeat, and repeat again. Make as many sets of three words as you wish.

Be as literal or imaginative or playful as you wish (no rules! no right/wrongs). Notice the new relationships as they come to you. What “next” might each suggest, or just let your poetic imagination fly! (As “intention” is to “flight” is to “your blue eyes”, as example perhaps.) Show us the wonder of relationship, the core of it, be it either universal or personal, or both.

The captioned list when you’ve done as many as you wish will be your poem this week. Good fortune with your poems, and yes please, have good fun with this interesting prompt.

And a big thank you to Irene for this week’s triptych prompt!

(And pardon please, we’re running a little late tonight. We got so excited about this new prompt, just had to change horses mid-stream to use this prompt for today!)

Come back next Wednesday when you see,It’s Post Your Poems Day!” and leave a link to the poem on your blog. If you don’t have a blog, then please, post your poem in the comment itself.    ***    You are invited to respond to the prompt given here, but if you have something else you’re just itching to share, please feel welcome in doing that. Our first desire here is to encourage you to write and learn and share.    ***    When leaving comments to other’s poems, please be appreciative and encouraging. We are not a poem “critique” site (unless someone specifically asks for that). Be kind with each other (and yourself!).    ***    Please consider including a link with your blog poem back to the prompt response here at We Write Poems so that others may see and join our community. More participants do make better soup!

  1. February 3, 2011 7:10 am

    I am going to have a blast with this one. I *heart* triptych poems.


  2. February 4, 2011 2:40 pm

    Wish you could have substituted “humanity” for “man” or used some other, non-gender-specific word. Sort of leaves this woman cold, sorry…

    Amy BL

    • February 5, 2011 10:59 pm

      I’m sorry Amy you find the usage of the term “man” offensive. It stands for “mankind” or “the human race”. I find your objection coming from the politics of gender totally valid but then, the prompt isn’t about gender issues and we’re left limping on a term of general usage which is used pervasively in the literature. As a woman, I do find the use of the generic term “man” terribly gender loaded. The term in the prompt however, refers to humanity as you say. You’re pretty cool to articulate how you felt (instead of letting it go).

      On a cultural note, in Chinese, the generic term used is “ren” which means “humans”. It is totally gender neutral. When you refer to a man, it’s “nan ren” for male (“nan” means “male”) and “nu ren” for female (“nu” means “female”) so you read “male person” and “female person”. These are the language codings that get “lost in translation”.


      • February 8, 2011 12:08 am

        Irene, thanks for the gracious reply. I often find myself speaking up about things most folks think about but keep to themselves. I’m waiting for the day when the English language has gender-neutral pronouns. In the meantime, it would have been awkward to use “humans” instead of “men” or “man,” so your point is well taken.

        Again, thanks for being so nice about my comment. It’s this civility that keeps me coming back! Amy

      • Irene permalink*
        February 9, 2011 3:55 pm

        Amy I always like the quirky and the iconoclastic myself! I think playing with poetry brings rich rewards, and to me it’s the main thing, the value of online poetic communities. You got me thinking about gender neutral pronouns. “It” is closest, I suppose. But it made me think of aliens. 🙂


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