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Prompt #148 A rose by any other name?

March 21, 2013

A rose by any other name, is it the same?
the craft of naming things
We Write Poems:
We’re going to make a little play and take a little leap from Margo Robys fine recent prompt, Look Closely. Please read her post if you haven’t already done so. Now we might ask you to enlarge your field of view somewhat for our prompt, but her suggestions about observation are essential stuff! (Thank you Margo!)

Here’s what we’d like you to try:

Pick a time and place, take a seat, set your field of view (we don’t care, big or small), and now… observe. Give your attention up into your environment. Make a list of things you see (later you can take as many or few as you desire to use).

Step two. Name or rename some of the things you observe and briefly describe. There’s a difference if you notice, between naming and renaming.

Be as creative or daring as you care to be!
By example moon might be whiteface (more literal), or maybe Ethyl (playfully), or just spotsone (to make up anything).

Write your poem using this new vocabulary. Whatever poem, as you wish.

Be aware of and use context in your poem to allow us some measure of clue for their more “usual” identities (or don’t). You don’t have to give it all away. You can make us work a little to understand or leave us in mystery. Or some mix of the above. And we, as readers, like to “discover” some too, don’t you think?

Optionally, what unexpected other attributes come to mind because of that new born name for you? Yes, it’s OK to make things up! (no fact checking allowed) Maybe your moon sings to you all night long?

    Remember, the goal is not to obscure, but to re-discover and re-imagine what we see – both for you as writer, and for us as readers!

BONUS challenge. It is a mental state, stance of mind, how we put our oars in the water, but there is a difference between naming and renaming. Renaming implies you already know the thing you see, so you carry that forward with you. Naming implies discovery and first-sight, something you are only beginning to know. So when you’re making your initial list – only write down the “new” names for the things you see (you’ll have to remember, huh!). Maybe that will move you closer to seeing fresh and new, maybe it will. Optional, like we said.

OK, go have fun!

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
    March 21, 2013 9:13 am

    Great post. I hope to try it!

  2. March 22, 2013 11:42 am

    Great prompt. I really hope to find the time and do it!

  3. March 24, 2013 1:26 pm

    Nifty one.

  4. March 27, 2013 2:21 pm

    I just found this prompt – wonderful, but not one I can do in a hurry, so I reckon this will be the first WWP that I miss. I’ll keep it on file for time of need.

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