FWE ~ Using Your 5 Senses in Poetry
We had 12 excellent poems for 'FWE Something in the way'
They are all featured on the home page of Gather Writing Essentials.
Write any kind of poetry, prosetry or a prose poem, blank or free verse, or a known poetic form. Or slam poetry. I'm sticking to poetry rather than opening it up to prose (except prose poems), because what poetry teaches us applies to all writing: Poetry uses imagery, metaphor and rhythm, but in a more condensed form than prose.
Prompt: For the week of Nov 5th to Nov 11th ~ 'FWE Memories'
And below, Memories from Cats, the original, Tony-award winning Broadway cast.
I saw this group when they came to Boston, long ago.Still makes my eyes mist.
Based on T.S. Eliiot's Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.
The Naming of Cats:
"The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name."
And who can forget Eliot's Gus, Mister Mistoffelees, Mister Macavity? or the Jellicle cats? or the Ginger cat? Cat Morgan? Mungojerrie and Rumpleteazer? Growltiger and Rum Tum Tugger? and the Old Gumbie Cat?
Grizzelda is not in Eliot, but she might be a composite of various origins. Boccacio's Grizzelda was a long-suffering character in his novella; the word "grizzled" has Scottish origins, referring to grey hair.
Remember Eliot's advice when ad-dressing a Cat: A Cat is Not A Dog.
See the dew on the sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses whither away
Like the sunflower
I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day . . .
Not a sound from the pavement
Has the moon lost her memory?
She is smiling alone
In the lamplight
The withered leaves collect at my feet
And the wind begins to moan
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember the time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again
Seems to beat a fatalistic warning
And the streetlamp gutters
And soon it will be morning
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I musn't give in
When the dawn comes
Tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin
Burnt out ends of smoky days
The stale cold smell of morning
The streetlamp dies, another night is over
Another day is dawning
It's so easy to leave me
All alone with the memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me
You'll understand what happiness is
A new day has begun
* Sigh. *
November 11th is Veteran's Day, Remembrance Day in Canada and Armistice Day in the UK.
Your poem does not have to be about Veteran's Day, but you can make it so, if you like.
I am sure some of the other WE editors might also have prompts relating to Veteran's Day.
This does not have to be memoir. You can make it up.
Use your senses. Hearing, sight, olfactory, touch, taste.
Happy or sad memories;memories of - yes, CATS -- pets, flora, nature, children, parents, clothes, homes, towns, cars, books, taste memories, scent memories, memories of what you've heard; memories of touching, tasting. . . the possibilities are endless.
Make it subtle, make it real. Make me feel it – use your senses to make me feel your memory.
In prose, that's called 'showing'.
In poetry, the same dynamic works. Make the reader feel.
Deadline: (GMT-5) Thursday November 11th midnight, ET.
A little tough for those on PT, I realize, or for those on Alaska time. Or for those on International Time.
Put 'FWE Memories' in your title and tag.
I will use 'FWE Memories' as the search term.
Gather Writing Essentials, I won't find your poem.
If you want to include the prompt and its rules in your draft or submission (to help you remember) feel free to do so, but it's not a requirement.
Post to Gather Writing Essentials.