Poetry Challenge #92: This Plum is Too Ripe . . .

All of us is sorry for or about something. (If you’re not, then lucky you!)

My All-Time Favorite Musical—if you’ve never seen it, you should be sorry.

Harvey Schmidt and Tom Jones drew on this uniquely human need* to apologize in a song about two neighbors who are great friends until they tear down a wall in the longest running Off-Broadway, sometimes on Broadway musicals of all times The Fantastiks. Here’s a snippet:

“This Plum is too Ripe!”

“Sorry.”

“You’re standing in MY Rose Garden!”

“Sorry.

And now, with no further apologies, on to our prompt:

Poetry Challenge #92

Who’s Sorry Now?

For this prompt, list things you are sorry for.  (Your list can be as long or as short as need be.) Select one or several items that are related from that list and write a poem about it.

Finish the poem with a positive spin by suggesting ways you can, or might apologize. Or do it better next time . . .

* “Uniquely” in that I don’t imagine whale apologize for combing up krill, or cheetah apologize for mowing down gazelle, but maybe they do . . . if so: Sorry!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

No Apologies, No excuses—Just do it!

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Song for Inspiration: Who’s Sorry Now as sung by Miss Patsy Cline—Of course!

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #91: Words! Words! Words!

Words! Words! Words!

I’m so sick of words!

I hear words all day through/first from him, now from you/is that all you blighters can do?*

YES, Eliza! The answer is unequivocally, unapologetically, YES!—so on to the Challenge:

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Poetry Challenge #91

A Few of My Favorite Words

Do you have favorite words?  If you do, pause right now and jot them down.  

I love to collect words I hear or read that are unfamiliar or that have an interesting sound. I try to remember to write them down to use another day. As you go through your day, pay attention to words that you like the sound or meaning of. Write them down! Save them! 

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A few I like are: Lilliputian, grommet, butterfly, whimsical, and gumption. 

Think of five of your favorite words and write a poem using them.

If you can’t think of words, open to a random page in the dictionary and find a word you like.

You can use some of my favorite words if you like.

Keep collecting words to use another day!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

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*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. (This one is Cindy’s; the “I” is her speaking. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #90: Like a YO-YO, Yo!

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“I used to be a swinger/Til you wrapped me round your finger . . .” Who can forget inspired lyrics like those by Joe South—or the singer who sang them to Hit status in 1971? (BTW: It was not Yo-Yo Ma.)

June 6th was National Yo-Yo Day. (Sorry for being tardy, I was so busy bopping to that oldie but goodie Donnie Osmond version, and twining vines around my backyard arbor, I completely forgot to post this prompt.) But, just like a Yo-Yo, I’m back!

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Take a moment to ponder YO-YO. Who could have ever imagined how, with the flick of a finger, one could make a disc roll up and down on a string* thus providing endless hours of entertainment, inspiring more than one hit song, and now, if you’re game, poetry!

Poetry Challenge #90

Like a YO-YO

Write a YO-YO poem. It can be about a YO-YO, playing with a YO-YO, feeling like a YO-YO—up and down about something? Or, sure, YoYo Ma. Roll the sounds of it around in your mouth for a while and see what comes of it, Yo!

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*According to the Museum of Yo-Yo History, “It is believed that the yo-yo most likely originated in China. The first historical mention of the yo-yo, however, was from Greece in the year 500 B.C. These ancient toys were made out of wood, metal, or painted terra cotta disks and called just that, a disc. It was customary, when a child turned of age, to offer toys of their youth to certain gods. “

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #89 Famous Last Words

Charles Schultz was onto something: Wah-wa-wah WAH. . . Halloween  Wah-wa-wah WAH . . . Great Pumpkin.

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So was Margaret Mitchell when she gave Rhett the best parting shot: “Frankly Scarlett I don’t give a damn.”

He’s whispering a famous first line here…a prompt for another time!

He’s whispering a famous first line here…a prompt for another time!

Shultz and Mitchell knew what my kick-butt senior English teacher, Miss Reedlinger (the finest 5-Paragrah Essay coach of all time) called the secret to the best Dagwood. The secret she said, was in the bread. Start every paragraph with the tastiest crunchiest, best tasting bread and finish with a slice that’s just as tasty—if not tastier—just keep stacking them one on top of another on top of another. They may not remember the fillings, but they’ll remember that Dagwood, er essay.

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Or, to quote an aptly named band of Reedlinger’s Second Period English era, BREAD, “How many came before it doesn’t matter just as long as you’re the last.”

Where are we going with this? You guess it:  

Poetry Challenge #89

Famous Last Words

For this prompt, let’s start at the bottom, with potentially famous last words, and work our way up. Try using one of prompts below as the last line of your poem. (Replace the blanks with whatever you choose.) Don’t forget to give your poem a title.

  •  I remember when ___________

  • You can’t be serious.

  •   I love the smell of ___________

  • Under my bed is ____ and ____.

  • I collect…

  • Wah-wa-wah Wah __________________

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge 1200-ish days ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #88-What They Said . . .

I am a shameless eavesdropper. So bad in fact, that I’ll often shush Curtis (who does not talk much anyway) so I can focus on other diner’s conversations. Yes, I’m that bad…

New Haven Train Sign

Which may be why an old sing-along-in-the-car song, called Humoresque aka Passengers Will Please Refrain, has long been one of my favorites. Set to the tune of Dvořák's Humoresque Number 7 it’s begins with a New Haven Railroad toilet sign ends with If Sherman’s horse can stand it so can you and in between are snippets of conversation.  

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and Yale law professor Thurman Arnold take full credit for the “Bawdy Song.”  In his autobiography, Go East, Young Man (pp. 171–72), Douglas notes, "Thurman and I got the idea of putting these memorable words to music, and Thurman quickly came up with the musical refrain from Humoresque."  Because I know you’re curious, here are the abridged lyrics:

Passengers will please refrain
From flushing toilets while the train
Is in the station. Darling, I love you!
We encourage constipation
While the train is in the station
Moonlight always makes me think of you.
If the woman’s room be taken,
Never feel the least forsaken,
Never show a sign of sad defeat.
Try the men’s room in the hall,
And if some man has had the call,
He’ll courteously relinquish you his seat.
If these efforts all are vain,
Then simply break a window pane-
This novel method used by very few.
We go strolling through the park
Goosing statues in the dark,
If Sherman’s horse can take it, why can’t you?
— https://lyricstranslate.com/en/oscar-brand-humoresque-passengers-will-please-refrain-lyrics.htm
Your Poem Could Be A Song, too!

Your Poem Could Be A Song, too!

Poetry Challenge #88

What They Said . . .

Go somewhere crowded (preferably public) with a pen and paper. Jot down snippets of conversations. Or. If you can’t do that, brainstorm greetings—all the ways/languages/terms we use to say hello, goodbye or thank you. Arrange and rearrange the terms to create a poem with a melodic, interesting—maybe surprising order. Title your poem “Conversations” with the location and date. For example: Conversations at Starbucks May 22.

Go Forth and Eavesdrop.

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

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Poetry Challenge #87-How's This for an Idea?

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Sometimes, my head is full of ideas. But sometimes . . . At those times a little prompting is in order.

Poetry Challenge #87

How’s This for an Idea?

Choose one of the prompts below as your first line and write as fast as you can. If you get stuck, try another prompt. Or: How’s this for an idea: Write a 4 line poem using each prompt for one of the lines.

  • No one knows I’m here…

  • Here’s a neat idea…

  • I’m scared of…

  • I wish I could remember…

Pick a Prompt

Set the timer for 7 minutes.

Start writing!

Don’t think about it too much; just do it.

*Cindy Faughnan and I began this 7-Minute Poetry Challenge more than 3 years ago. We now take turns creating our own prompts to share with you. If you join us in the 7-Minute Poetry Challenge let us know by posting the title, a note, or if you want, the whole poem in the comments.

Click on Fishbowl link below and sign up to receive email notifications from Kelly's blog (aka The Fishbowl):

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