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prompt 169 dangerous poems

August 8, 2013
        John Steinbeck begins his book, “The Log from the Sea of Cortez“, with these lines.
        How does one organize an expedition: what equipment is taken, what sources read; what are the little dangers and the large ones? No one has ever written this.
        And a little further, adds another comment.
        We had read what books were available about the Gulf. A few naturalists with specialties had gone into the Gulf and, in the way of specialists, had seen nothing they hadn’t wanted to.

As the best of writers do, Steinbeck’s sentences are ripe with possibility (especially as we highlighted above).  So our prompt this week is respond to that seed as phrased and marked.
(option)  While your “expedition” may not be physically so grand, every day presents some measure of stepping into the unknown. And maybe you can look at this more in an emotion mode than physical.
(option)  Taken another way, writing itself is one manner of “expedition”. Just how dangerous are your poems? Could they even be more dangerous, unexpected, uncomfortable perhaps, yet giving what pulls us back and into the poem’s story? And taken that way, no one has ever written this, can (and should?) be true! You, and the reader, are in uncharted territory.
What’s the point of repeating yourself? Say what you haven’t said before. The vocabulary of a real life is genuinely broad and wild. Allow that to more and more touch your words, breathe through your poems.
May your poems become more wild.
(I think that’s a good wish for all of us!)

  1. August 8, 2013 1:33 am

    hmmm. so is this a little scattered? what it really is, is about those couple lines from Steinbeck. simple as that. don’t you ever read something and it just lights up the sky? and you wanna read it again again because there’s more there than just reading once will say. and it’s a thread you wanna pick up and carry on like (fill in your favorite) sweet fresh watermelon is. so that’s what this prompt is about. read those lines a few times, let it soak inside, then go with it where you wanna go. (there, that’s better I think) neil

    • August 9, 2013 5:52 am

      You do say the nices things… thank you for your comment on my entry. I think since I started blogging two things have developed. 1) I read more poetry (from those who also post to prompts) and 2) I write even more than I did. I am not too worried about being ‘discovered’, how could I when I have such wonderful companions in writing right here.

      I actually have put together about three or four ‘chapbooks’ if you call puting typed pages in report folders and gifting them away…’books’. If you want one…let me know 😉

  2. August 8, 2013 4:24 am

    Thought it was good the first time too 🙂
    I had it soaking overnight and up came 9 words I’m sure I never used in a poem before.
    [ 9 words in 6 lines can’t be bad. ]. They can be found


    • August 9, 2013 12:11 am

      (your blog won’t take my comment, so… )
      interesting solution to the prompt. I wouldn’t have thought of doing this. like playing with matches, perhaps? 🙂 and I understand how you could check for prior use, but HOW did you come to the group of new-use words to start with? (scary?) (amusing too) I like the word “doused” especially.

      you made it all work for your poem here. and I do appreciate your playing along with my foolishness! thank you aprille. ~neil

      • aprille permalink
        August 9, 2013 7:24 am

        Hiya Neil,
        Can’t work out why you are excluded from my comment box. Not to worry, I love com [ pli ] ments wherever they turn up 🙂

        • aprille permalink
          August 14, 2013 3:13 am

          Maybe I had the prompt wrong?
          Just in case I added a sprinkling of danger HERE

  3. August 8, 2013 7:05 am

    Worked for me. I went where the words wanted to go… now if I can just get there…eventually.

  4. August 8, 2013 4:21 pm

    Is it already post your poems day?

    I wrote one…I loved this idea…

    It brought me to Jupiter!

    • August 8, 2013 10:14 pm

      thanks Hannah. anytime you wish is posting poems day, so yes. Jupiter? eager to find out more.

    • August 8, 2013 11:05 pm

      oh, good one. Jupiter, yea, OK! hope you forgive me the comment I left, but this poem does encourage me to respond. 🙂

      • August 9, 2013 5:20 am

        I ‘m thrilled with your comment, Neil…no forgiving necessary. Thank you!!

  5. August 8, 2013 5:35 pm

    I took the approach suggested in the second option. I couldn’t help but think a little bit about “The Breakfast of Champions” by Kurt Vonnegut when I was writing it.

  6. August 9, 2013 9:37 am

    Here’s my feeble attempt

    Sophie goes and comes back different

  7. August 9, 2013 9:51 am

    Long story, (involved scissors and sticky notes) but the result was interesting

  8. August 13, 2013 5:55 am
    I was inspired by another poet to be honest about my writing, my motivation, anyway. My poem is dangerous in the sense that I reveal more than I would like, normally, anyone to know about me. I guess I don’t have lofty ambitions. I just want to fit in, be approved, have someone say (in the words of C S Lewis), “What, you too.” But, at least, do know, I want to continue to learn and hone what skill might have.

  9. August 13, 2013 2:27 pm

    Thank you for this: Just how dangerous are your poems? Could they even be more dangerous, unexpected, uncomfortable perhaps, yet giving what pulls us back and into the poem’s story? It made me realize how far I’ve strayed from meeting the claim my blog makes, that I seldom argue with what wants to be written. Safety in writing can be so seductive….

  10. August 14, 2013 8:05 am

    I just wrote this yesterday, and I don’t yet have a title for it. It took me 37 years to write it.


  11. August 14, 2013 12:00 pm

    Always a bit late. Hoping to catch up. Thanks for the prompt,


  12. August 14, 2013 4:28 pm

    This poem is not very dangerous. It is safe to visit my blog & read “On My Toes”.

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