Hello, dVerse Poets! It’s Merril from southern New Jersey where possibility is in the air. The sun rises earlier and sets later, the birds are singing, and green leaves are poking up from the sun-warmed earth. We’ve just switched to Daylight Saving Time—and it’s also the Ides of March, so beware!
I went down the rabbit-hole with Brainpickings (once again), and this poem, “Possibilities” by Wislawa Szymborska spoke to me, even with its gentle irony (or perhaps because of it).
Maria Popova writes that she bounded with singer-songwriter Amanda Palmer:
over our shared love for the great Polish poet and translator Wisława Szymborska (July 2, 1923–February 1, 2012). In 1996, Szymborska was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality.” Upon announcing the prize, the Nobel commission noted her reputation as “the Mozart of poetry” but aptly added that there is also “something of the fury of Beethoven in her creative work.”
You can read the poem and listen to Amanda Palmer’s reading of it here.
However, you do not need to know anything about Szymborska or her poetry for this prompt.
Since this is prosery, I’ve chosen one line from her poem, “Possibilities,” which you must incorporate into a piece of prose. This can be either flash fiction, nonfiction, or creative nonfiction, but it must be prose! And it must be no longer than 144 words, not including the title.
Here is the line:
“I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.”
— Wisława Szymborska, “Possibilities”
You must use that entire line. You may change punctuation and capitalize words, but you are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the sentence.
Here’s how to take part in the Prosery Prompt:
– Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line.
– Post your Prosery piece on your blog and link back to this post.
– Place the link to your actual post (not your blog or web site) in the Mister Linky site.
– Please visit other blogs and comment on their posts!
Hello, dVerse Poets! It’s time to write some prose. I didn’t realize how challenging the line I chose was to incorporate into a story. Sorry about that. 😏
After some beautiful spring days, it’s cold here in NJ. You might want something warm or hearty to drink while you write or read.
Thank you for hosting, Merril! It is indeed daylight savings time which brings a much needed brightener to our days! It is very sunny but alas, very cold in Boston today. I fear the crocus are cowering under ground. BUT, spring will soon be here with all the possibilities that getting outdoors again brings! I look forward to reading lots of prosery this afternoon and evening!
Thanks, Lillian. Spring is definitely coming.
Okay loving daylight savings time as it brings me back to 12 am instead of 1 am yayyy 😀 Enjoyed writing to the prompt, Merril!! xx
I don’t know how you do it, Sanaa! I’m long asleep by that time. 😀 And I hate when we switch time either way!
Always been a night owl 🙂 and to be honest, I love hanging around with you guys here!!! 💝💝
Linda Lee Lyberg said:
Hello Merril and thank you for hosting. Such an interesting prompt! It’s a little cloudy but not as cool here in AZ today.
You’re welcome, Linda.
Hello Merril and All. I like that line and yes it is challenging, but challenging gets the storytelling gears working 🙂 It’s overcast for the first time in days and a little chillier than it has been but most of the snow is gone. In MI all adults will be eligible for covid vaccine as of 4/5. Merril a mug of hot cocoa with a shot of Baileys would be perfect.
Cocoa and Bailey’s coming right up, Lisa! Great news about the vaccines! I’ll be getting my second one in a couple of weeks.
Thanks much, Merril. Cheers! Congratulations on being vaccinated!
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Hello to Merril and all at dVerse! I am glad to be at the bar an hour earlier as in Europe our clocks still haven’t gone forward. I’ll be glad for the extra hour of daylight when they do though!
I’m glad you’re able to join us earlier, Ingrid. 😀
Björn Rudberg (brudberg) said:
The bar opening an hour earlier here in Europe makes it harder to meet the opening hours… but there is more time to do the reading. Don’t forget we are live on Open Link this Thursday… I have added a link on the top right side to the calendar booking. If you add it to your own calendar it’s much easier to join.
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Christine Bolton, Poetry for Healing said:
Hi Merril, yes there is a reason for everything, isn’t there? ☺️
I suppose so, Christine. Thank you!
Good evening all and thank you to Merril for hosting with a challenging but brilliant line. Despite Grace’s reminder about daylight savings time, I managed to forget and am here at the usual GMT, which is an hour later than the Poets Pub opening time! It has been sunny, windy and cold here today, but we have spring flowers in the garden and most of the washing is dry. I cannot imagine staying up as late as Sanaa – I’m already dead on my feet at eight o’clock in the evening. 😊 May I join Lisa with the Baileys, but in a coffee, please.
I’m glad you made it. Honestly, I couldn’t even do 8:00 at night. 😀 Here’s your coffee with Baileys!
Thanks Merril! I just hope I make it for my own prompt tonight. I’m writing down in block capitals: 7 PM NOT 8 PM!
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Devon Brock said:
Thank you for this prompt. I am currently reading Szymborska’s collected works (in translation), and am quite taken with her poetry. So much so that I couldn’t help but participate.
Devon Brock said:
And now to read what Mr. Linky has on offer!
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Great post Merril, thank you! Start of a new week, full of hope and wonder! 🙂
You’re welcome, Rob! A great way to see it!
OK – give me 5 minutes and I will convert it to prose Merill!
Na'ama Yehuda said:
Ah, Merril, the possibilities!!! 🙂
Loved this! Left my little contribution with the linky, and I’m all ready for a something warm and warming to drink. 🙂 Na’ama
Thank you, Na’ama! I’m pleased you enjoyed it. I’ll be right over to read.
Na'ama Yehuda said:
🙂 Yay hurray! 🙂
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ben Alexander said:
I prefer keeping that in mind too 😀
Well done, Merril!
sorry i am late to the bar . i am sorry to say i will not be able to join you on thursday, as i am already booked for a zoom launch of the pamphlet that has my first published piece in . back n a bit got to get something wriiten for your wonderful prompt.
Congratulations! We will miss you!
all done and posted will be back in the morning to read everone elses good night all
Tricia Sankey said:
This was great Merril, made me think!! Cheers to all on this gray Monday from Missouri! 🍷
You’re welcome. Thank you for joining in!
Hi everyone. Oh this one was really neat for me. Because of course prose poetry is my main. I actually went & read Wislawa Szymborska’s poem ‘Possibilities’ to get the context of the quote. & that made this all the more interesting.
I love that the quote is the last line in her poem, & I considered making it the last line in mine, but felt it was better as a second last part. I love how she uses a juxtaposition of repetition & suprise in her poem, because you don’t really know what she is going to list next. I took inspiration from that feeling using a different structure. But I did refer to her method, & the challenge itself; by referring to my own poetry, by quoting myself, or rewriting lines I’ve used before. I didn’t do it out of vanity, haha, but because I’m still reworking those words & this felt like a place to put them. ‘Possibilities’ feels like a real working & reworking out of things too.
I’m a very intuitive writer, especially when I write prose poetry, so I’ll give a kind of heads up here, that other than a few edits, I like to go with what I get, so it has that feel. I hope my piece resonates meaningfully, & I welcome any feedback. Thank you for hosting!
You are welcome, and I am pleased you enjoyed Szymborska’s poem. However, this prompt is for prose, not prose poems. Thank you for your understanding.
Oh I apologize. I interpreted ‘other prose’ as including prose poetry, especially with prose poetry as the reference material.
I called my piece prose poetry, because I consider much of even my flash, micro-fic & aphoristic stuff to be poetry still in some capacity.
My piece still tells a story & is in prose format, so I hope people will find it enjoyable nonetheless. Thanks for your feedback.
Perhaps in your instructions you could soecify ‘no prose poetry’ if you didn’t want, because technically in terms of genre, I don’t think there is any hard delineation that in some way renders prose poetry not prose somehow: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/understanding-prose-poetry
Please do read my reply to your post on your site. So very glad to see you participating at dVerse, however your post does not follow the prompt. Prosery is a form developed and defined by dVerse….similar to how dVerse developed and therefore defined the Quadrille. There is no reference to “prose poetry” in the prompt. Clearly it asks for prose: flash fiction, nonfiction or creative fiction.” No where does it ask for “prose poetry” which as you know, is a genre unto itself. In fact, in the past, I do recall a specific prompt for prose poetry.
Prosery is clearly not poetry. The only way, in fact, that it is related to poetry, is the prose includes one specified line from a poem. The words “flash fiction” are even given in the prompt.
Again…so nice to see you here at dVerse and please do read my reply on your site.
Zelda Rene said:
This will be a great prompt to respond to!!
Zelda Rene said:
You’re most welcome 🙂
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A reminder this is a prompt for PROSE using the given line. I believe the directions do mention this once or twice. 😀
Good Evening Merril and everyone else. I had completely forgotten about daylight saving, as ours is still two weeks away.
Loved the quote, and the poem. It lead me thinking about all that religion, mysticism and esoteric writings. Paired with the strange trippy sixty and seventies writing like Huxley I read as a searching young adult.
Had so much fun writing, this is the first time my issue was shortening the text, not filing it out to fit the word limit. 😊
I’m so pleased you enjoyed the prompt and writing your post!
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Such a great line to write about, many thanks Merril.
Thank you, Paul. I’m pleased you like it. I’ll be by to read yours soon.
Hi Merril, thanks for a wonderful prompt. Late to the party….:)
Thank you, and not a problem!
Thanks for hosting. Your prompt is really stimulating some deep thinking. Great choice!
Thank you so much, Pat! I’m so pleased you think so.
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