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Prompt #89 Respond to this

January 12, 2012


Respond to this…

We Write Poems:
      Here’s the meat.
You’re standing alone on a stage. Think poet/actor audition or workshop. The director and writer are sitting in the empty theatre before you. The director reads to you,

As the Great War drew to a close, a young Englishwoman wrote wearily in her diary, By the end of 1916, every boy I had ever danced with was dead.

Your instruction:  respond to that sentence!

Respond means simply that – your immediate and intimate personal response. It doesn’t need to be literal, not “about” war or boys or loss or death, but rather take the energy of that one perfect sentence – and respond in whatever mode or focus as you choose to do.

      Here’s the potatoes.
I was reading the paper while eating breakfast, and here’s this article, “Why scale Mount Everest? It’s complicated”, a review of a new book, Into the Silence. And as given above, that was the beginning of the leading paragraph. And what an incredible perfect sentence that diary expressed! What you might call a perfect prompt as well. So this prompt is not about climbing a mountain, or why this was one response to that great and tragic war, not about those sorts of details. Good writing can be poetry, can be prose; in the end the result is the same. Notice the emotional range and energy of this one single sentence. That’s what we invite you this week to consider and reflect from your own experience as a writer. Take this as your emotional seed.

Challenging? Perhaps. But just look to your own feelings and respond. No right or wrong way to respond, but look to the feelings, let that guide you here.

(Credit to Gaylord Doid, Witchita Eagle, for this article.)

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. January 13, 2012 6:48 pm

    This is an incredibly challenging prompt but both the “meat” and the “potatoes” sparked feelings in me almost immediately, esp the “meat” so … fate willing, I’ll be working on this and hope to post something next week.

    • January 13, 2012 10:43 pm

      Hi and thanks for accepting this challenge! Best challenges I think are those that initially we haven’t a clue how to make it happen. That’s me too right now!

      Wanted also to alert you about the link to your blog… it is incorrect (so we won’t get to see more of what you write). Please check your blog address. Let me know if I can be of help.


  2. Rinkly Rimes permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:00 am

    Thank you for reviving an old old memory. I hope I did it justice.

  3. January 18, 2012 3:48 am

    Thank you very much for this prompt, it felt special.

  4. January 18, 2012 9:42 am

    When I read that sentence, my first and immediate response was “Oh, no, no more wars, can’t they stop? stop wars and fighting forever?”

    The poem I wrote about this prompt can be found at

  5. January 18, 2012 9:46 am

    When I read this prompt, my immediate reaction was “No. Oh, no. No more wars. No more wars, forever.”

    My poem can be found at

  6. January 18, 2012 5:55 pm

    I’ve read the above entries…I had drawn a blank. But the sad and haunting entries of survivors of a war we didn’t know,
    we just have to think of those we know.

    Thank you…
    Will give this a try.
    Siggi in Downeast Maine

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