Twins. Opposites. Two sides of the same coin. Heads/tails, you win. Heads/tails, you lose.
Manicddaily here, a/k/a Karin Gustafson, also a Gemini.
As a small child, I loved being born under the sign of the twins. When could you have a better birthday? Late May, early June, sported day after day of blue-sky weather, signaled the end of the school year, fell almost exactly halfway from Christmas.
On top of that, my mother, whom I adored, was also a Gemini. So, inner twindom felt like our “thing”–our own little “able-to-see-and-TAKE-two-sides-of-any-argument” club.
But, as I grew older and began to discern some of the human failings of my mother–(seriously, Mom, that’s just a joke, there aren’t really any!) — I also began to sense the darker side of double-sidedness. One’s inner twins are not necessarily IDENTICAL twins–and their internal grappling –all those thoughts begun with “on the other hand” often lead to indecisiveness, paralysis, (or, alternatively, a constant, and equally ineffectual, charging off in different directions.)
Heightened sensitivity to the opposing sides of any experience can also make it difficult to sustain clear emotional states–unalloyed delight, joy untinged by loss, exhilaration free of regret.
This type of inner division makes it hard to live as a functioning human being. However–and now I’m getting to the meat of this prompt–it can be quite useful as a poet.
“Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)”
So, wrote Walt Whitman (a quintessential Gemini) in “Song of Myself”, published in 1855, just prior to the Civil War, a time when his (and my) country was particularly divided into two fierce internal sides.
So, this is our prompt for the day – not zodiac signs (sorry!)–but twins, opposites, the divided self.
Take it where you will. Your poem can be about actual twins. (I can’t get out of my mind the two identical seventy-year old women who used to live in my building in Greenwich Village, still wearing virtually the same clothing, same hairstyle– a darkly-dyed flip, same make-up (heavy on the mascara and eyebrow pencil.)
Alternatively, your poem could be about opposites. (Not, in other words, those two women who lived in my building.)
Or it could be about the twins and opposites that populate a single brain and heart.
Or, if you like, your poem could be about some completely different kind of entwining—a two-yolked egg, a double-headed cherry, a moment of deja-vu, a person wrapped in a tree. (Okay, okay, I admit it. I just threw that last one in because I like the picture.)
One of me will definitely stop by to read it. And, hopefully, one part of each of you will also stop by to read your fellow poets as well.
So here’s the drill for newcomers:
- Write a poem that springs from any of the ideas of twins, opposites, divided selves. (Sorry – you’ve got to make up your mind!) Post it to your blog.
- Click on the Mr. Linky button below and put in your name and the direct link to your poem.
- Check out your fellow poets (in a spirit of community and not division). Tell them, if you like, in a positive i.e. constructive way your reaction to their poem.
- If you did like their poem, feel free to tell others about it on twitter or your preferred social media platform.
(Final note – all the pics here are made by me, all rights reserved. If you like the elephants, feel free to check out my children’s counting book 1 Mississippi. Also, and sorry for the plug, my young adult novel, Nose Dive, and book of poems, Going on Somewhere.)