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wordle poem for Big Tent Poetry

June 18, 2010

This week’s prompt at Big Tent Poetry was a wordle that included the words resent, praise, hungry, comfort, dark, dangerous, milk, part, cough, dull and stars. I wrote the words in my journal and took a few stabs at it. Here are two of them (I don’t know why “persistence” made it into both pieces; it’s an example of being stuck in a rut! and I don’t know why the narrator likes the stars in one of them and not in the other):



I am delighted this week, not by the poems as their own good little children, but by the pieces in each one that I wouldn’t have discovered were it not for the writing exercise. Yay to writing from prompts! Sorry, haters, but it works! Watch for lines from these starter poems coming to an actual poem near you!

Be sure to take time to read some of the other poems circus-goers have posted at our “starts on Friday, lasts all weekend,” “come one, come all” extravaganza!

  1. June 18, 2010 12:10 am

    Both pieces ache with beauty. The last four lines of the second piece are succulent.

    • June 18, 2010 12:24 pm

      brenda, thank you so much. “succulent.” wow. 🙂

  2. June 18, 2010 12:41 am

    Good stuff – it’s like two sides of a debate, light v dark.

    • June 18, 2010 12:25 pm

      that’s true, stan. i didn’t think of it that way!

  3. tillybud permalink
    June 18, 2010 2:14 am

    I agree; there’s something about prompts. Nice response to this one.

  4. June 18, 2010 2:26 am

    I agree about prompt writing – and yours are a great success – though strangely enough, I find wordles are more difficult than more specific titles.

    • June 18, 2010 12:34 pm

      wordles are difficult sometimes, i think, when we come to them with prescribed notions about how to use each word and what story they must tell. i do that sometimes and it’s terribly difficult.

      sometimes, though, i just start with one of the words and write a sentence or a line with it and then i pick the next word and try to get from point A (first word) to point B (second word) and am happy with whatever path that takes. that’s easier.

      both are good lessons about how my mind works and the road blocks it puts up and how delightful (whether the verse is successful or not) to tear down the road blocks. maybe it’s the same for other people, too.

  5. June 18, 2010 5:37 am

    Interesting about narrator liking stars in one, not liking them in the other. Maybe this shows that you are willing to entertain many points of view? I agree about the value of prompts.

    • June 18, 2010 12:36 pm

      hi, mary! i don’t know if it’s “willing to entertain many points of view” or that i allow the images/pictures to mean what they mean while they’re meaning it. 🙂 if that makes sense.

      and of course, we bring our own stuff of the moment when we meet images, so they have many different stories to tell us. they really just reflect us, i think.

  6. June 18, 2010 9:25 am

    Carolee I love this!
    And the opening line is perfect;

    ’Night is my dark comfort. I resent the stars’

    I agree about having prompts to write to
    it certainly does help.


    • June 18, 2010 12:37 pm

      thank you, pamela! i was kind of surprised when that phrase came, “i resent the stars” — who does that? but it works partly b/c it’s surprising.

      and i wouldn’t have stumbled on it were it not for this particular collection of words. 🙂

  7. June 18, 2010 11:28 am

    Love your use of the words.

    “as filling as another species’ milk in your belly”….

    This sits so happy in my head – an exceptionally good line.

    – Dina

    • June 18, 2010 12:40 pm

      oh, good, dina. i liked that line, too, and wasn’t sure if i could get away with it.

  8. June 18, 2010 11:42 am

    Tremendous use of the words to create your own unique poem. I could just stop at the line–persistence tires you– and meditate on that line before moving on.

    • June 18, 2010 12:41 pm

      thanks for reading, linda.

      and yes — meditating on a line in these, slow it down — they surprised me by being so dense. i thought they’d have to be stretched out more to accommodate all the words.

  9. June 18, 2010 11:50 am

    wonderful concept–filling as another species’ milk. That blows me away

    (with no prompts, I’d just have the same thoughts over and over)

    • June 18, 2010 12:50 pm

      hi! so good of you to come by and read. 🙂 i’m so glad the image works for you, too.

      and i’m also pleased to hear you phrase the benefits of prompts this way: without them, the same thoughts over and over. they do provide an element of “difference,” introduce something external to what could be a very internal and cyclical dialogue.

  10. June 18, 2010 12:22 pm

    “Desire that travels such a long way
    is the most dangerous sort”

    So true so true. I enjoyed both poems but favor the first because of the above line. Thank you for sharing.

    • June 18, 2010 12:53 pm

      hi, robert! thanks for coming by to read!

  11. June 18, 2010 4:15 pm

    I enjoyed both of your poems. You were ambitious to do two. It is really fun to see where the words take everyone. I’d never experienced wordles until joining Big Tent.

  12. systematicweasel permalink
    June 18, 2010 4:19 pm

    Great stuff here! It’s like looking at both sides of a coin (to quote a rock band, :P). Great work, and thanks for sharing as well as commenting on my blog!


  13. June 18, 2010 4:43 pm

    The difference between these two poems is small yet large. Like the difference between dark and night. Stellar work.
    I am fond of prompts and use them for posting draft material. Later, revision or deletion arrives but to start is a good thing.

  14. June 18, 2010 4:50 pm

    I like your first one for its perspective. I think a lot of us connected stars and comfort in our poems, but you did something different – and it worked. Thanks for sharing.

  15. June 18, 2010 5:32 pm

    “filling as another species’ milk in your belly” was the line that got to me… a similar feeling of the human and the animal came up for me when I walked the maze of this wordle.

    Though I do think the two stanzas one poem, two paths to a similar plateau. But rather than winging in, it is as if the images branch out, away from each other.

    But perhaps this is what a cough does as it frees the airways for breathing past the milky dust of clouds to the stars, their hungry light?

  16. June 18, 2010 5:34 pm

    Certain phrases linger particularly in my mind. I liked ‘I resent the stars’ vigilance’; it had an effective contrast of those ‘s’ sounds. I was struck by ‘But don’t resent longevity’ – even coming after two short sentences, it had such concise brevity without being terse.
    I much prefer wordles to broader themes for prompts; with a theme, I find myself tempted to tread a familiar path, whereas specific words can be more effective at taking me in new directions.

  17. June 18, 2010 5:37 pm

    Love the surprising lines that came from this — especially the ones others commented on. AND “Its persistence is what tires you.” Oh, boy, yes! I hope to see them again, and would welcome a two-part poem with the different points of view, too.

    I love prompts.

    But I think you might know that already. ;-}

  18. June 18, 2010 8:04 pm

    I love prompt blogs! I learn something new each time I follow a prompt and my writing is constantly improving. And I enjoy the awesome people who post to the prompts! You’ve written 2 little gems using the wordle prompt! Well done!

  19. June 18, 2010 9:51 pm

    I didn’t realise it was two poems and read it as one. Thought, wow
    this is a very POW sort of poem. Excellent as one or as two:)

  20. June 19, 2010 3:07 am

    Carolee, I vote for the first poem. I think this is beautiful – ‘ its persistence
    a dull ache, a dry cough.’

  21. June 19, 2010 6:57 am

    a prompt for me is like “pushing the poetry button.” like many others above, I really grabbed onto the line, “as filling as another species’ milk in your belly.” Isn’t it funny that we both had resentment of stars and related coughs to dangerousness — or not. Two powerful and compact poems here!

  22. June 19, 2010 6:59 pm

    This was a very interesting and well thought out piece. I loved the end, where the milk is so strange…

  23. June 20, 2010 7:26 pm

    I like how you take the same words in such different directions in the two poems but still ruminate on common themes of persistence, vigilance. things that are distant and close. Lovely imagery.

  24. June 20, 2010 11:16 pm

    it strikes me that the light is hungry in the first, but the coughing-person is hungry in the second.

    I love your poetry (and I love prompts.)

  25. June 20, 2010 11:21 pm

    I like both, but gravitated (pun intended?) toward the second… perhaps because I’m pro-starlight :). The closing image was also a clincher.

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