One-oh-one. What does that make you think of? For many of us, particularly those of a North American persuasion, 101 might make you think of beginning something new. Foundation courses at schools and colleges are often numbered 101, so you might take Moral Philosophy 101, or Nuclear Physics 101, or … well, you get the picture … smiles.
However, I am not North American and the education system I grew up in was organised slightly differently. For me, the phrase “One-oh-one” takes me to literature, specifically to George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel, 1984, were Room 101 was housed in the Ministry of Love. What is kept in Room 101 is a closely guarded secret; when Winston Smith is arrested by the Thought Police, Agent O’Brien tells him:
You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.
The truth is that Room 101 is a torture chamber where prisoners are forced to face their worst nightmares by agents of the omniscient Party. For Winston Smith, that means rats.
Room 101 is such a powerful idea that it was subverted to become a comedy/chat show here in the UK, both on radio and later on TV. The show’s guests were invited to bring suggestions of music, books and a whole host of other things – whatever they chose – to be consigned to oblivion in Room 101, but only if the host and audience agreed. Stephen Fry famously consigned Room 101 to Room 101! Given the chance, I would instantly consign almost all reality TV shows to Room 101 … smiles.
So what would you find in Room 101, or what would you like send there? While you’re thinking about that, let’s get on with the poetry.
Here’s what to do:
- Write a poem and post it to your webpage.
- Click on the Mr. Linky button below and enter your name and direct url/web address to your poem; one poem per person please.
- There you will also find the list of those participating this week. You might want to refresh this occasionally or check back in as there are people joining over the next 33 hours.
- If it’s your first time here, please leave a comment to say so. That makes it much easier for us to find you and encourage you by visiting your site.
- Read other poets who have linked. Let them know what you thought, how their poem moved you, what caught your attention etc. The not-so-secret formula to receiving more visits and comments on your blog is to read and comment on other people’s poems. Please don’t forget to return the favour of those who have visited and commented on your work.
- Encourage others to participate through social media, promote both your own work and others.
- Have fun meeting and engaging with your fellow poets.
PS – I’m going to be late this evening because I’m attending the first of three performance poetry workshops put on by Inky Fingers. Thanks to Brian and Claudia for minding the bar in my absence … smiles