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Prompt #147 Epiphanies bonfire!

March 14, 2013

Epiphanies bonfire!
Cento epiphanies on parade
We Write Poems:
bonfireSince we’re already in the mindset for epiphanies, this week let’s turn the tables and look outward – not epiphany moments of your own experience, but moments you’ve read in other writers poems. Moments that captivated your breath and thoughts or feelings. Maybe it was a single line and insight or even simply a phrasing that provoked your attention memorably. Surely you’ve at least a short stack of these (but time for some homework this week, some reading, some consideration).

What was the essential key line or phrase that gained your devoted attention?

Assemble a collection of these. Really try to identify the precise line or phrase that carried the energy and revelation. This is going to be a “cento” collection of such moments, so leave out the background words, get to the core. Even if at risk of being less clear in the whole – focus, focus on the specific phrase that spoke to you.

In review, remember that a cento poem is a collection of other writers words, usually limited to single lines – and just the way they wrote the line, without your altering their text. And here, this week, we suggest combining such phrases from multiple other writers (although if you sneak in a phrase of two of your own in likewise type, we won’t mind). This is something a bit different from the usual cento poem.

Once you have your collection of lines/phrases, then your task is to reassemble them into a new working poem.

OR… Alternate prompt ending here!
Maybe you’d like an alternate cento poem? Here’s what our Irene suggests…

I always love poems that are echoes. And in a deepest sense, if you are able to distill some truth, some epiphany, from a poem, then it must have touched some core within you. Choose a poem that inspires you, and use one line to spin off a new poem. Take that one single core truth (one line from another) and remake the words into your own poem. [Maybe use that one line as the first of what follows in your own words.] T S Eliot had said, the past is modified in the guts of the living. So it is, that writing a poem is also a process of seeding the known, to a new budding taking root. You could choose a poem from the canon, or from a poem selected from the body of work in the community of poets here. What a thrill! May a new choir sound out from this poetic process. [Thanks Irene for this alternate ending!]

So you choose how you want to do your poem this week, either way as you wish!

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.


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