August 23, 2010

This week’s prompt

We are going to start this week’s poems with our hands. Really. There is a — forgive me, ahem — “hands-on” portion of the prompt and a writing part. My hope is that if you attend (mindfully, of course) to a manual task it will influence the poem. Maybe it will provide the action. Maybe it will impact the pacing. Maybe it will suggest an image.

So here’s part one: Do something with your hands and really pay attention to the motion of your hands and arms and to the movement of other objects that may be involved. Open something: a dresser drawer, a bottle of wine, the garage door. Fold something: the laundry, a letter, a paper airplane. Scrub something. Touch something. Pack something up: a game, a suitcase, a box. Braid something. Plant something. Chop something up. Make shadow puppets.

Anything will do. As long as it is a manual task. As long as you really, really, really pay attention. It may also be wise not to read ahead to part two; it will make the first draft of the poem more spontaneous if you don’t plan too much or think too hard.

And here’s part two (and it’s brilliant): Write something.

OK. So maybe that wasn’t so brilliant. Unless part one was enough inspiration for you. If it was, get writing. If you need something more, however, hold the task you just completed in mind while you write about one of the following: a kiss, a dance, a swim, a burial, a sacred space or something that’s been injured physically.

How prompts work under the Big Tent

We post prompts on Mondays, and you have all week to write your poems, based on our fabulous prompt or any other inspiration. Come back on Friday when you will find a “Come One, Come All” post where you can use the comments section to 1) leave a link to your poem or 2) leave the poem in its entirety.

You’ll have all day Friday (and all weekend!) to post your work and read each others’ work. Take your time. Enjoy all the poems that are new to the world.

Some hints

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Circus etiquette

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Be nice. Have fun. Remember we aren’t a critique forum. We want to support each other as we bring more poetry into our lives. Only provide critique if someone specifically asks for it.

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5 Responses to “ MONDAY PROMPT/ August 23 ”

  1. Leo on August 23, 2010 at 11:22 pm

    hmm, so only if we’re not able to write about the action we have done do we write about the kiss, swim, burial etc? :)

    sounds interesting.. m off to write!

    • Carolee on August 24, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      Hi, Leo and everyone! You can absolutely write about the action. Mix it all up! Whatever works. :)

  2. ms pie on August 24, 2010 at 3:12 pm

    ohhhh, that’s a good one….. i shall ponder upon this prompt…. hands-on

  3. hands « lost in translation on August 26, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    [...] notes: Written in response to Carolee’s prompt over at Big Tent Poetry. We’re supposed to focus on one single task performed by hands, but my hands are too fidgety [...]

  4. My Garden - Uma Gowrishankar :: Soft Like The Inside Of My Mouth :: August :: 2010 on August 27, 2010 at 4:04 am

    [...] Big Tent Poetry [...]