Tag Archives: poem

Distance

Whether your brain thinks in feet, meters, leagues, or lightyears, today let’s think about distance.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Distance? We’re here to help:

  • During this time of physical (and/or social) distancing, what’s the thing you miss the most about being in close proximity to others?
  • What’s the farthest you’ve ever traveled from your hometown, region, or country? Share one thing that you learned in that faraway (for you) place.
  • Distance doesn’t have to be spatial — it can be temporal as well. Write about a period in your life that now feels as if it took place in a different galaxy.
  • Share a photo that stretches far into the horizon, or go to your window and snap a photo that includes the farthest object or structure you can see.
  • Write a story, poem, or imagined dialogue featuring you and a person you were once very close to, but who is now a distant presence in your life.

Slow

With half of April behind us, now is as good a time as any to slow things down.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Slow? We’re here to help:

  • Tell us about an activity, chore, or habit most people devote little time to, but that you enjoy lingering on.
  • What’s your favorite slow-cooked food, and what would be lost if you could prepare it in a few minutes?
  • What music, art, or literature do you turn to when you don’t need to rush?
  • Are you a photographer? Share a recent long-exposure shot. Or, if you’re like me and you only have your phone’s camera, take a photo of an object or landscape that channels slowness visually.
  • Write a poem about feeling calm, relaxed, bored, or unproductive.

Book

Let’s turn to the pleasures of reading: today, post something about a book.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Book? We’re here to help:

  • Has a book ever changed your life? Which one is it, and how did it transform you?
  • If you could lead the life of a character in any book you’ve read, who would it be?
  • Choose five important people in your life, and (virtually) dedicate a specific book to each one.
  • Spend a few minutes by your bookcase and create a book-spine poem — then snap a photo of it, and share it with your readers.
  • Have you written a book or thought about it? Tell us what your project is about.
  • Feeling less bookish today? No worries: use “book” as a verb and tell us about a restaurant, event, or trip you’d reserve a spot at as soon as it becomes possible again.

Bite

Your imagination is wide open with today’s prompt: Bite.

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iblog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Bite? It has so many meanings!

  • An injury. (“Charlie bit my finger!”)
  • A pinching or stinging feeling — physically (“Yikes, that chile has a serious bite.”) or emotionally (“That criticism is really gonna bite.”).
  • A chance. (“Okay, I’ll bite — what’s your idea?”)
  • A piece of something. (“Take a bite out of crime.”)
  • A slang term for a negative thing. (“I’m sorry to hear that — that bites.”)
  • An action. (“Keep away from the fence, they bite.”)
  • A mouthful of food. (“The part with extra cheese is the best bite.”)

Still not sure? Use one of the sentences above as the opening line of a story, a poem, or a photo essay and see where it takes you.

Street

A street can be many things: leafy, bustling, hidden, cobblestoned, winding. Which one will you write about today?

Ready to roll? All you need to do is…

  • Write a new post on your iBlog in response to the prompt.

Need more ideas? Not sure what to write around Street?

  • Describe the street you live on today as if it were a person.
  • If your community has been under a form of lockdown in recent weeks, write about the thing you miss the most about the streets in your neighborhood.
  • If your window overlooks a street, snap a photo of it, and post it. (Optional: add a poem to accompany the image.)
  • From memory, describe in as much detail as possible the street you grew up on (or any other street that played an outsized role in your life).
  • You have the magical power to combine three streets from anywhere in the world into one perfect street. Which three would you choose, and why?

Laura Secord

Laura Secord a poem by Raymond Souster
Lady, long part of our history
would you perhaps have been so eager
that time to drive those silly cows
before you through the forest mile after mile,
risking who knows what indignities
at the hands of the invaders,

had you known you would end up
on the box for a brand
of over-sweet chocolates?

From The War of 1812 to this?

I. Respond to the Poem

  1. During the War of 1812, Laura Secord saved a British garrison from American attack. Do some research on Laura Secord and compare what you find out to what is revealed in the poem.
  2. There are two parts to this poem. Why do you think the author divided the poem this way?
  3. The poem is written as one long question. What question is Raymond Souster asking?
  4. What do you think he is saying about heroes and heroic deeds?

II. Write a letter
As Laura Secord write a letter to Frank P. O’Connor, the founder of the Laura Secord Company.

Legacy

Write your own poem to honour an ancestor.

You could use the person’s name and relationship to you as the first line of the poem. On the next line, write two adjectives to describe him or her, what he or she did, and a short description of the person’s desires, fears, and loves on following lines.

Use the following poem as a model.

Marcel Lévesque, great-uncle
Brave, adventurous sailor
Wanted to marry a Spanish lady
Feared he would be sent home to Gaspé
Loved his señiorita forever

As in the Beginning

“As in the Beginning” by Mary di Michele is a grimly realistic retelling of events that express regret, anger and bitterness.

Theme:

A person’s loss of limb can never be adequately recompensed with money; when someone we love is injured, his/her pain can become ours.

Techniques:

  • parallel structure
  • simile
  • alliteration
  • personification
  • understatement

Issues:

What makes us whole?

Why does the speaker describe the “man” so objectively in the first nine lines of the poem.

How does the tone of the poem change after the first nine lines?

To what extent does the speaker understate or overstate the emotions associated with his/her father’s situation?

Which lines or phrases do you think express what the speaker is feeling most powerfully? What do these lines convey to them?

What is the significance of the title?

“As in the Beginning” by Mary di Michele
A man has two hands and when one
gets caught on the belt and his fingers
are amputated and then patched
he cannot work. His hands are insured
however so he gets some money
for the work his hands have done before.
If he loses a finger he gets a flat sum
of $250 for each digit &/or $100 for a joint
missing for the rest of his stay on earth,
like an empty stool at a beggar’s banquet.
When the hands are my father’s hands
it makes me cry although my pen must keep scratching
its head across the page of another night.
To you my father is a stranger
and perhaps you think the insurance paid is enough.

Give me my father’s hands when they are not broken
and swollen,
give me my father’s hands, young again,
and holding the hands of my mother,
give me my father’s hands still brown and uncallused,
beautiful hands that broke bread for us at table,
hands smooth as marble and naked as the morning,
give me hands without a number tattooed at the wrist,
without the copper sweat of clinging change,
give my father’s hands as they were in the beginning,
whole,
open,
warm
and without fear