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Prompt #145 Wind yells while blowing

February 28, 2013

Wind yells while blowing
Imaging natural relationships
We Write Poems:
I’m sure you’ve written poems about sky or sea or mountains or clouds. Most often we phrase it as, “the sky”, treating sky as an objective thing. Some cultures treat natural elements in a different way. They are addressed as “entities”, perhaps with a consciousness, rather than purely dumb inanimate things.

Here’s what we’d like you to try. As a simple experiment write a poem using natural elements and remove the objectifying “the” from in front of the elemental names. Do this in a new poem you write, or even edit an old poem with this simple change. By example, write…

Sky spoke loud this day (instead of),
The sky spoke loud this day

See if you notice a change in emotional energy and perspective by doing this. Does it change how you feel in relationship with this element of reality? Do other possibilities begin to emerge in your thoughts?

No, you don’t need to change every natural element in your poem, maybe just one or a few. Try to think of these elements as “entities” with their own attitudes and desires, even if not human ones. Maybe your ability to observe will become open to new possibilities.

Why? Language not only says how we perceive our environment, it actively shapes the possibilities – allowing some, restricting others.

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. February 28, 2013 9:41 am

    Yes, I practice this…the can get to be a little much sometimes but then also other times it is a must! Great idea…thank you!

    • February 28, 2013 10:51 pm

      Yes yes, thank you Hannah. First time I heard this being done (or first time I understood, not just heard) it was oh yes, I feel the difference and it’s as big as sky itself. I suggested this prompt mostly for folks who haven’t so engaged themselves. It can be disconcerting at first, but then it’s like a brand new light.

      I like to reach outside our cultural comforts – because – we don’t know, we really don’t, what’s out there and available when we really look and listen.

      That last sentence of the prompt is key for me. Until we change our words, and those are so much the how of how we see, then we’re like blind in a universe of possibilities. Even our modern science would agree, having said – the very act of observing changes what we observe! Existence is participatory.

      So this prompt is about trying on a new pair of shoes! 🙂

      Thanks always for your participation.

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