It’s been raining for what seems like forever and with a months worth of rain expected to fall on the UK this weekend it seemed so apt to write a prompt about it!
My name is Stu Mcpherson and I’ll be your weatherman/bartender for today.
So the weather; something we all experience at every moment of our waking lives. It permeates our conversations with strangers, our plans for the weekend, our emotions, and can be seen as expressed in virtually every art form that has ever been created.
Its appearance in the arts is due not only to its closeness and impact on the human spirit but its dominance in terms of metaphor. For example- if I was to show you a flash card with a cloud pouring rain and asked you to associate an emotion with it, nine time out of ten you would say sadness right? And a sun with beaming rays- happiness?
But weather as a metaphor has been used to much more intricate and intense degrees. To explain this I’d like to look at a poem by Frank Stanford (1979)
In the evenings they listen to the same
tunes nobody could call happy
somebody turns up at the edge of town
the roses bloom
and an old dinner bell rings once more
under the thunder clouds
In front of the porch posts of the store
a man seated on a soda water case
turns around and spits and says
in his new set of clothes
holding up his hands
as long as I live nobody
touches my dogs my friends
Whilst this poem isn’t specifically about the weather per se, Stanford uses it to ratchet up the tension, the sense of foreboding- that ‘something’ is going to happen. The dinner bell ringing under the thunderclouds is like an alarm, a call to action heightened by the rumbling thunder in the distance.
The poem itself, read very simply, can be seen as a discussion about personal space, or a personal attack and set against the backdrop of the suffocating thunderclouds in the deep south of America , Arkansas- (Stanford’s home)
So to task!!
For this week’s prompt write a poem about that uses the weather metaphorically to express an emotion or feeling. Here are some examples
• Write a poem that uses the Weather to explain a moment in time, a snapshot; like a Polaroid picture! Maybe you’ve experienced a storm, extreme heat, Monsoon- get descriptive! – make us feel it!
• Write a poem that uses weather metaphorically to heighten emotion or to express a feeling…maybe a joyous summer day or a feeling of sadness painted in raindrops on a window- take us on a journey- what was happening? What did you feel?
• Write a fictional piece that uses the weather as a backdrop to a story
• Write a poem that internalises weather….you could explore the whole range of human emotions…anger, joy, pain, rapture- all of which could be internalised and expressed emotionally using imagery of weather
• Write a poem about a weather phenomenon that particularly appeals to you a violent twister, a romantic sunset , a rainbow for example- what do they mean to you? What could they mean?
As per usual- this is wide open! Have fun with it- be creative!
What to do next
• Write your poem and post it to your blog
• Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below IF YOU DO NOT SEE THE MR LINKY BUTTON< THEY ARE EXPERIENCING TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES. PLEASE PUT YOUR LINK IN THE COMMENT SECTION BELOW AND WE WILL ADD IT TO THE LINKY WHEN IT COMES BACK UP.
• This opens a new screen where you’ll enter your information, and where you also choose links to read. Once you have pasted your poem’s blog URL and entered your name, click Submit. Don’t worry if you don’t see your name right away
• Read and comment on other peoples work to let them know it’s being read
• Share via your favourite social media platforms
• Above all- have fun!
See you out on the trail!
Stu Mcpherson www.poemsofhateandhope.com