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Prompt #140 In The Eye of the Beholder

January 24, 2013

In The Eye of the Beholder
We Write Poems:

I would warn you that I do not attribute to nature either beauty or deformity…. Only in relation to our imagination can things be called beautiful or ugly. ~ Baruch Spinoza

So, perhaps beauty really is in the eye of the beholder and Oscar Wilde’s observation that “no object is so beautiful that, under certain conditions, it will not look ugly” has some merit in its’ rather confusing complexity.

Say, for example, I consider Southern California and, most especially Los Angeles, to be rather ugly. Well, actually…. more than rather ugly. I’ve been there many times and never wavered from this opinion. Andy Warhol, on the other hand, loved Los Angeles and Hollywood. “They’re beautiful,” he once said. “Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic.

If you haven’t already guessed, we’re asking you to:

Search your imagination and find something in your world that you see as beautiful…. but others might regard as ugly.  Now write a poem about what your thoughts have uncovered.

Just as one person’s junk is another’s treasure, we want you to be beauty to the beast or, as fairy tales would have us do… go kiss a prince and turn it into a frog. Oops! Or was that supposed to be a frog into a prince? You decide!

As always, we hope you have fun with our suggestion. Whether you choose to approach it with a serious voice or find a more humorous tone, we look forward to reading what is…. so beautiful to you.

And, I simply can’t resist one more quote…. just to punctuate the essence of the prompt with another small anecdote and one in keeping with the week’s inaugural festivities.

Jacqueline Kennedy once shared with a friend this simple observation: “I don’t understand it. Jack will spend any amount of money to buy votes…. but he balks at spending a thousand dollars on a beautiful painting.” As the saying goes… in the eye of the beholder!
Come back to leave a link to your poem next Wednesday when you see our second follow-up post called, It’s Post Your Poems Day!  If you have questions about We Write Poems and our prompt-and-poem process, or if you are new here at WWP, please read our about page.

  1. lucewriter permalink
    January 24, 2013 6:11 am

    So would a little tiny snake count or is that beautiful to everyone?

    • January 25, 2013 9:23 am

      Whether beautiful or ugly is purely subjective…. there’s no right or wrong choice for what you write about… so, by all means, have fun and we await the tiny snake.

  2. January 29, 2013 11:54 am

    Yes, true and great examples/quotes gathered, too, Jules…thank you! 🙂

    • January 30, 2013 7:38 pm

      Just want to thank you, Hannah… your positive feedback to my prompts has meant alot to me. It’s been fun to play teacher again and research some ‘lesson plans.’ It’s also been fun to see the response and read all your poems.

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