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Poetry Prompts & Pizza

Rachel, Priscilla, LeeAnn, and I got together Thursday night for some poetry and pizza. We gathered in Lynda's awesome First Period home living room, though unfortunately Lynda wasn't there to join us. Her cats Izzy and Luna kept us on our toes the whole evening, scratching and leaping and running around as we wrote and talked. 

We each wrote a poem based on exchanged prompts. My prompt was from Priscilla, and it was to write a poem about the feeling of the first day of school vs. the last day of school, and what changes in the middle. In 20 minutes I wound up with a rhyming quatrain that I liked, plus a whole lot of other ideas and rhymes to explore later. Other prompts included "Write about the fifth person in your phone's contact list." It was a fun activity, and I liked hearing what we all came up with. 

We spent most of the time talking about poetry and other topics, including the courting candle that LeeAnn brought for inspiration. I'd never heard of such a thing! A coil shape, it was used by Colonial fathers to set how long they'd like their daughters' suitors to stay at the house. We also talked about the practice of bundling, which I knew nothing about, and bundling boards -- a literal board attached to a bed to separate the two people sharing it. Those Colonial folks were into some odd courting rituals, I'll say. 

Other topics of discussion included:

  • Poetry forms and their uses -- I was particularly interested in pantoums, sestinas, and something called a Golden Shovel. After writing my first ghazal this month, I've become more interested in exploring various traditional poetry forms, and thanks to my friends' expertise, I came away inspired with ideas. 
  • Mental disorders in poetry, and whether or not a poem can accurately convey a disorder in a way that others can understand or relate. Super interesting
  • The "gay wedding cake" debate and Supreme Court ruling
  • Sports fanaticism as it relates to political fanaticism 
  • How the publishing process can potentially suck the soul out of a piece of writing

Being tied up in novel edits, I haven't been writing much poetry lately, so I appreciated the excuse to write and share ideas. Also, pizza (and pickles. Delicious pickles, thanks Rachel!).

Earlier Event: July 14
Thoreau Annual Gathering