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“It was at Megara, a suburb of Carthage, in the gardens of Hamilcar.”– Gustave Flaubert, Salammbo
( From Opening Sentences of Famous Novels)

Good Afternoon Everyone and Welcome to Poetics-

Sorry I have been absent lately, but after my various health issues I am doing all I can to be healthy. I’m happy to say I’m feeling much, much better these days.

For those of you who have seen some of my previous prompts, you know I am a collector of random obscure books. I love to shop in dusty used book stores and over the years I have found some real jewels. One such book is the inspiration for today’s prompt. It is a small die cut book and the title is Opening Sentences of Famous Novels, by Leon Mazzella, published by Fitway Publishing. On each page is an opening sentence and the author’s name. You can then try to guess what book it came from, and in the back are the bibliological references to check if you are correct. It’s a fabulous little book!

Have you ever randomly picked up a book and read the first sentence and became enthralled? I know it’s happened to me more than once and when it does, it is such a delightful experience. So, dear readers, I have chosen 12 opening sentences from this little book for you to ponder over and choose one that will serve as a jumping off point for your poem today. Below are the sentences, with the Author and book title. Please reference which sentence you chose, either as an epigraph or author’s note. Here are the lines I have chosen, and I can tell you, it wasn’t easy as there are so many good ones.

  1. ‘I am going to get into a lot of trouble.’ – Raymond Radiguet, Possessed by the Devil, Grasset 1923
  2. ‘You all know the wild grief that besets us when we remember times of happiness.’– Ernst Junger, On the Marble Cliffs, John Lehmann, 1947
  3. ‘All has become quiet in Moscow.’– Count L N Tolstoy, The Cossacks, Sampson Low, Morton, Searle & Rivington, 1878
  4. ‘For a long time I used to go to bed early.’– Marcel Proust, Swann’s Way (Remembrance of Things Past), Penguin, 1957
  5. ‘No bondage is worse than the hope of happiness.’– Carlos Fuentes, Diana: The Goddess Who Hunts Alone, Bloomsbury, 1995
  6. ‘It was the summer that men first walked on the moon.’– Paul Auster, Moon Palace, Faber and Faber 1989
  7. ‘The sea is high again today, with a thrilling flush of wind.’– Lawrence Durrell, Justine (Alexandria Quartet) Faber, 1961
  8. ‘The studio was filled with the rich odour of roses, and when the light summer wind stirred amidst the trees of the garden, there came through the open door the heavy scent of the lilac, or the more delicate perfume of the pink-flowering thorn.’- Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Dent Dutton, 1955
  9. ‘I am in my mother’s room.’– Samuel Beckett, Molloy, Grove Press Inc, 1976
  10. ‘It is easy to forget that in the main we die only seven times more slowly than our dogs.’– Jim Harrison, The Road Home, Picador, 1999
  11. ‘Long after their usual time, the wild boar were still coming to drink at the deserted pool.’– Roger Nimier,The Sad Children, Gallimard, 1951
  12. ‘The winter sun, poor ghost of itself, hung milky and wan behind layers of cloud above the huddled roofs of the town.’– Thomas Mann, Tonio Kroger, Penguin, 1955

So my Dear Poets, I hope I have given you some inspiration from which to write a lovely poem. I look forward to reading your words. 

If you are new, here’s how to join in:

  • Write a poem containing one or more of the words given in response to the challenge. You may choose any poetry form.
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