Welcome to dVerse, the poet’s pub. Tonight, I want to give you the title for your poem, and let you do the rest.
I want you to choose from one of these titles:
- Travelling in the wilderness
- She said if a red fox had crossed somewhere, that area was safe
- They say only the south wind flattens grass
- We are teachers to our grandchildren
- Lead dogs are very smart
- Squirrel hunting in the mountains
- A story of when the ice detached and the people floated away.
I almost don’t want to give you a context for these lines, but they aren’t mine, so I feel obliged to. You don’t have to read this next bit until you’ve written your poem if you don’t want to!
I have always been someone who buys books. At times in my life, I have bought a lot of books. At the moment, I’m cutting down on book buying, and trying to use libraries (on-line and in real life) more and more. I still buy books, but I have significantly raised my threshold for buying – they have to be pretty special.
These lines come from “Surfacing” by Kathleen Jamie. It’s very special. This is her third book of essays exploring the natural world and different histories. These lines are taken from a chapter about her stay in Alaska, in the village of Quinhagak, where she meets indigenous residents and hears some of their stories, and takes part in a significant archaeological dig. You can find out more about the dig here: https://nunalleq.wordpress.com/
Jamie herself has borrowed these lines. They are headings from the works of Ann Fienup-Riordan, who has spent her professional life gathering the stories of the people of Quinhagak. Jamie herself is a poet, and she knows that these lines make a powerful found poem. I first read them sitting in the shade in my sunny garden, and I could smell the wild in them.
So, take a line, and make it the title of your poem. You can use the line in your poem if you want – use it straight, use it as a golden shovel (https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poetrymagazine/articles/92023/introduction-586e948ad9af8), whatever – but don’t feel obliged to use it. Your poem may take you somewhere else entirely.
The picture shows the artefact of the day (18 July 2018), from the nunalleq.wordpress.com blog.
Once you’ve written your poem, you know what to do:
- Link it up to good old Mr Linky
- Please make sure you put a link back to this post in your post – it increases our traffic, and yours
Go and have a dig around in the Mr Linky link-ups. Enjoy some poems, and leave some comments.
I used to love doing similar things in school, and my aim of course to twist the given title as far as possible🤣
Thanks for hosting, hope I have time to join.
I have at least the titles now floating with the people.. I mean subconscious! 😁
Oh yes, we’re open for a couple of days!
Good evening dVerse Poets and Poets Pub barflies, and good evening Sarah – thank you for hosting and for introducing me to Kathleen Jamie. What a choice of titles too! I’m still freezing here as the electrician who came today had trouble finding an element for my heater. He has ordered one from the Internet and should be coming back to fix it on Friday. In the meantime, the roof has been fixed, so we shouldn’t have any leaks this winter. I would love something hot, a cappuccino would be perfect, with a chocolate Hobnob, please. 🙂
Hello Sarah and All. What an intriguing lineup of choices to write to. I didn’t look beyond them yet after seeing what you said. Will be back in a bit after writing to one of them. Sunny here today, YaY. Hoping cooler for those in the Southern Hemisphere.
Hello everybody! Sorry I’m a little late – wordpress decided it didn’t want to let me in! I’m here now, serving up hot and cold drinks, poems and prompts, and substantial meals and metaphors (you can’t drink in a pub in the UK without a substantial meal, so I’m trying to comply)!
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
I think that starting to write a poem from the title is a lot harder…. I always write the title the last thing that I do…. but I still managed to get something done
You did a great piece Bjorn. And I’m glad I challenged you a little…
Sometimes, even if I start with a title, I change it by the time the poem is done.
Loved the prompt, Sarah 😀 it’s a typically cold and wet December night here and I am off to make my rounds with a blanket by my side haha. Hot chocolate for me please ❤️
There’s always hot chocolate here!
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I think you served up a substantial meal with this prompt, Sarah. I really did enjoy going where this one took me. I’ll have a hot chocolate for warmth though if I may: we’re predicted heavy snow here tomorrow.❄️
Like I say, there’s ALWAYS hot chocolate here!
This is going to be fun to write and read!
This feel lika a prompt to come back to when inspiration vanes. Got more than one idea. In the end I went the difficult route and did a Golden Shovel poem.
I’m so glad you liked the prompt. I love your golden shovel.
Excellent prompt Sarah, thank you for hosting. One of the lines you offered sparked me to utilize it in a piece I have been trying to elevate from a rough draft. It has been unfinished for over a year. It touches on a subject that I have been very concerned about for some time now.
I’m so glad the prompt was helpful to you. Your poem is fantastic.
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Laura Bloomsbury said:
Oops I nearly forgot about this one so might just need a tonic without the gin! I did a Scarlett O’ Hara and went with the wind – or was I just thinking about it all tomorrow. Great choices
Sherry Marr said:
Sarah, you knw this prompt appeals to me….I will give it a whirl in the morning, when my neurons are hopefully firing a bit better……I also requested the book from my library, it looks like my kind of book. Thank you!
I did think of you as I was writing this. I hope you like the book – I’m a big fan.
I love this prompt, Sarah! Once I decided on my title, I ventured out into the wilderness. I will have hot chocolate with marshmallows, please and thank you.
Thank you for joining in!
My pleasure, Sarah!
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M Jay Dixit said:
Hello Sarah, thank you for hosting! I’ve submitted my poem, it’s a very short one! I enjoyed writing with a title decided beforehand, usually for me it’s the other way around. :))
ben Alexander said:
Thanks for the opportunity – https://skepticskaddish.com/2020/12/02/alive-or-dead/
Thank you for joining in!
This prompt helped me focus my thoughts on another project I was working on–thanks! (K)
Thank you. It’s funny how things can work like that. Quite a few people have said that this prompt nudged something else into taking form. It’s a nice thought.
Thank you for hosting Sarah, such a creative prompt.
Thank you for joining us.
An inspiring prompt, Sarah. Thank you.
Thank you, I’m glad you liked it.
Linda Lee Lyberg said:
Hi Sarah- Great prompt. Going to try my hand at a Golden Shovel- I have never written one before!
Was that really your first? You did it so well!
Linda Lee Lyberg said:
Yes, it is my first golden shovel!
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