“This prompt challenges you to find a poem, and then write a new poem that has the shape of the original, and in which every line starts with the first letter of the corresponding line in the original poem. If I used Roethke’s poem as my model, for example, the first line would start with “I,” the second line with “W,” and the third line with “A.” And I would try to make all my lines neither super-short nor overlong, but have about ten syllables. I would also have my poem take the form of four, seven-line stanzas. I have found this prompt particularly inspiring when I use a base poem that mixes long and short lines, or stanzas of different lengths. Any poem will do as a jumping-off point, but if you’re having trouble finding one, perhaps you might consider Mary Szybist’s “We Think We Do Not Have Medieval Eyes” or for something shorter, Natalie Shapero’s “Pennsylvania.”
I chose the poem it-is-enough-to-enter by Todd Boss from the Poetry Foundation website. I could have gone so many ways with this poem. Choosing which way was the toughest choice. I hope you enjoy the path I took.
My poem is titled –
It is NOT necessary
to be smart or popular to
have a kind heart and a listening
ear. There’s no need
to experience poverty to do charity
and there’s no need to die to understand the dying as there’s
no need to lose to understand what losing feels like
Thank God! He did not chose you to experience such agony but
remember that He may have chosen you to be the
One to reach out to someone
who needs someone. You don’t
have to know the intricacies of the human
understand the workings of
the human heart. You don’t have to be a doctor or a psychic
to understand humanity and
it is not necessary that you have a solution.
It is enough
that you’re willing to be there and all
you have to do is show you care
not by talking. You need
to pay attention to the words said
and listen to the words left unsaid.
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