This prompt was introduced to be me by friend and all around awesome writer and writing teacher Abby Thomas. She has shared this prompt at a couple of Morehead Writing Project events (Spring 2016 Writing Retreat and 2016 Online Summer Institute) and I have heard some amazing work resulting from this idea.
She began by introducing us to Howard Nemerov’s poem “Because You Asked About the Line Between Prose and Poetry.”
I adore how beautifully and eloquently this poem captures the subtle difference between prose and poetry. This poem lingered in my head long after I read it the first time, as I considered how many times I’ve tried to explain the various blurred lines in my life (and totally not the Robin Thicke creepy, non-consensual kind of blurred line). For me there exists so many hard-to-define lines in parenting, education, religion, relationships, writing, politics, words – heck, grocery shopping has turned into all-day riddle of trying to sort through organic, free range, non-GMO labels when all I want is some delicious cereal!
So I think this poem makes for a great writing prompt because it can stir up so many ideas. Here are a couple of writing starts to you can choose from:
1. Steal the line “Because you asked about the line between and _.” Write (any genre) about the line between two elements that are sometimes hard to explain.
2. Imitate the poem in style and use imagery to create a vivid explanation of the line between two elements of your choosing.
Now give this prompt a try and #JustWrite about the line that is teasing your imagination or keeping you up at night!