Tuesday’s here, which means another titillating prompt from your Wonder Twins of writing workshops!
Today’s prompt is inspired by American poet Robert Hass (via poet extraordinaire Ruth Daniell, who first introduced us to the idea) and his poem “Faint Music,” which starts with the line “Maybe you need to write a poem about grace.” Our challenge to you is to start a free-write with the same basic sentence: Maybe you need to write a ___________ about ___________. Maybe you need to write a story about frogs. Maybe you need write a letter about silence. Maybe you need to write a sonnet about interracial polyamory. Whatever you need to write about, note Hass’s techniques, including the second person address usually reserved for odes, and his meditative voice, which invites thoughtfulness and insight. Note also how he peppers the poem with concrete imagery and threads of narrative, which help to foil some of the abstraction of that first line. Give yourself about 30-40 minutes and write without stopping. Don’t assume you have to talk directly about your subject, as Hass takes many unexpected turns. Explore the rich, liminal space between the you and the I, and meditate on whatever it is in your world that “must sometimes make a kind of singing.” Happy writing!
Z and J
Zach Matteson (PRISM‘s Poetry Editor) and Jeffrey Ricker (PRISM‘s Contest Manager) also facilitate a weekly writing workshop at Green College.