nautilus art top image

Hello to All d’Versians gathered here today at this site of pubtalk and poetry prosery for our Monday Prosery adventure! I’m Lisa, your host, ready to serve drinks and snacks from the magic cupboard. Prosery Monday is where we write prose based on a given line of poetry.

Before getting into the prompt material, a reminder to please mark your calendars now for this Thursday, August 18, at 3pm EST, as that night dVerse will be LIVE! Sanaa will be our OLN LIVE host. At this fun time of camaraderie, you can see other pubsters and hear them read their poems, and they can hear you read yours. Please come and cozy up to the bar live this Thursday.

Back to the prompt. Prosery can be flash-fiction or creative non-fiction; cannot exceed 144 words in total (sans title); must not be poetry (no versification, line breaks, meter, etc); and must include the given poetry line, word for word, within the prose.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. (b. 8/29/1809 – d. 10/7/1894) was an American physician, poet, and polymath based in Boston. Grouped among the fireside poets, he was acclaimed by his peers as one of the best writers of the day. He was also an important medical reformer. In addition to his work as an author and poet, Holmes also served as a physician, professor, lecturer and inventor and, although he never practiced it, he received formal training in law.

Holmes’ writing was characterized as family-friendly and conventional. He and other fireside poets were among the first Americans to build substantial popularity in Europe. Holmes in particular believed poetry had “the power of transfiguring the experiences and shows of life into an aspect which comes from the imagination and kindles that of others.”

Although mainly known as a poet, Holmes wrote numerous medical treatises, essays, novels, memoirs and table-talk books. His prose works include topics that range from medicine to theology, psychology, society, democracy, sex and gender, and the natural world. Author and critic William Dean Howells argued that Holmes created a genre called dramatized (or discursive) essay, in which major themes are informed by the story’s plot, but his works often use a combination of genres; excerpts of poetry, essays and conversations are often included throughout his prose.


Now that you have learned a bit of Holmes’ origin story, hopefully you will get a glimpse of where he is coming from on today’s prompt line:

Through the deep caves of thought I hear a voice that sings:—
–by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., from The Chambered Nautilus

I encourage you to read the exquisite poem this line came from, which you can do here.


Here’s how to take part in the Prosery Prompt:
• Write a piece of flash fiction or other prose up of up to or exactly 144 words, including the given line from the poem.
• Post your Prosery piece on your blog and link back to this post.
Place the link to your actual post (not your blog url) on the Mister Linky page.
Don’t forget to check the little box to accept use/privacy policy.
Please visit other blogs and comment on their posts!
• Have fun!

Poetry Foundation info on Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr.
Poem The Chambered Nautilus
Biographical Information on OWH Sr.
top image nautilus art
chambered nautilus shell image
bottom image of OWH Sr.