Today’s (optional) prompt is brought to us by the Emily Dickinson Museum. First, read this brief reminiscence of Emily Dickinson, written by her niece. And now, here is the prompt that the museum suggests:
Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s description of her aunt’s cozy room, scented with hyacinths and a crackling stove, warmly recalls the setting decades later. Describe a bedroom from your past in a series of descriptive paragraphs or a poem. It could be your childhood room, your grandmother’s room, a college dormitory or another significant space from your life.
I had written a poem on space for a previous NaPoWriMo The little corner room and I was tempted to use it this year too but today I feel different.
As I sit at home- going to be two years after leaving my job, I miss more than ever my office and the big window in my cabin.
Special to me
A glass separator, plush blue walls, I think in hind
Brown wooden cabinets, a white board behind
a desktop computer to which I had been wed
my very own printer resurrected from the dead
A brown leather pen-stand left behind by my predecessor
Kept close at hand- a reminder
of him and the errors he made
a lesson that wasn’t meant to fade
But none of that was what kept me there
Not the grand L-shaped table or the swivel chair
But was the window on the left , the saving grace
A speed-breaker to slow the pace
When late hours I sat and bent head I raised
I saw it watching untiring; unfazed
that window that covered the entire wall
It showed me sky, the sands, the date trees and all
It brought the birds to wish me in the morning
And the moon and the stars to remind me its evening
It showed me the rain
as rivulets on the pane
It showed me the wind lift the sand in a storm
and run along the open land making waves form
The gypsy chained to a chair, it helped her roam
And reminded her of things she loved and the road that led home
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Speaking of socially distancing, our poetry resource for the day this online archive of the manuscripts of the famously reclusive Emily Dickinson. Now one of the most-admired poets the United States has produced, Dickinson was little known in her lifetime. She left behind hundreds of poems, often drafted on scraps of paper, backs of envelopes, etc. And an especial point of interest is her amendments and edits. She often provided several different alternatives for given nouns or verbs in poems, as if she was continually revising or trying out new ones. When I am revising my own poems, and come across a dull or commonplace noun or verb that seems to drag down a line, I think of Dickinson, and try to come up with four or five alternatives, seeking a word that is a little bit wild, and will help to deepen the poem, or even turn it in a new direction.
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