Greetings, Friends. This is Mary again, happy to be tending the Poetics Bar today. I was thinking quite recently about all of the letters I used to write to friends. REAL letters with pen and ink or perhaps a typewriter. I had several pen friends in Europe, and I used to just love writing letters as well as receiving them.
When I wrote a letter to one of my European pen friends, I knew that it would be (best case scenario) two weeks before I received a letter back, as my letter would take at least five days to reach Europe and five days once my European friend sent one back. Now I don’t write letters or receive letters at all any more, except in the form of emails, which go instantly back and forth. And with a German friend of mine, I seldom even do that, as we instant message or Skype back and forth. I do miss the physical letters I used to receive and the beautiful foreign stamps I used to collect.
In the comments below, if any of you have any thoughts on the letter writing of the past, I would be interested in reading them. Did you write letters? Did you look forward to receiving them? Did any of you have pen friends in different areas of the world that you met through the wonder of letters?
All right, what does this all have to do with Poetics today? This week I would like you to write a poem in the form of a letter. Here are a few ideas to get your mind working: Write a letter-poem from your present-day self to your younger self or from your younger self to your self of today. Write from an endangered animal to humankind. Write from the sun to the moon. Write a letter-poem to someone in regard to a cause you believe in. Write a poem to someone you loved years ago. Write a letter-poem to the grandparent you never knew. Write a letter-poem to your mother or father telling them what you could never say in person. Or a letter-poem to put in a time capsule for your young child to read when he/she is grown. Those are only ideas. I am sure each of you can come up with others.
If you want to read about “epistolary poems,” you can read an article here on Poets.Org: Poetic Form: Epistle
Though not in poetry form, I also think of Mark Twain’s Letters from Earth. He wrote from the point of view of Satan sending letters to archangels Gabriel and Michael.
And again, there are the New Testament Epistles which are, of course, letters and quite poetic as well.
What to do next:
• Post your poem to your blog
• Add a link to your poem via the ‘Mr Linky’ below
• 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.
• Read and comment on other peoples work to let them know it’s being read
• Share via your favorite social media platforms
• Above all- have fun!
Pictures above came from Wikimedia Commons.