Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Request for Poems: Why You're Alive

TOPers, why are we here?

Over to Mike for the month of February! Unless someone else would like to host.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt: Why You're Alive

This week's prompt is a quote suggested by paisley:

"When you were called upon to speak, you were supposed to say why you think you're alive, why you were born, and why you're still around: What are your reasons? Everyone needs to come up with his or her own personal answer."

From a novel called Diary of a Heretic, by Kathleen Maher.

For an extra twist... try responding to this prompt without using the word "I" (me, my, mine). And remember, both the prompt and the twist are
Totally Optional

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Request for Poems: Sonnet

TOPers, what'd we come up with this week?

Of course you know I wrote a sonnet: I find them addictive.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt: Sonnet

Perhaps you associate sonnets with Shakespeare, or with love poetry. Perhaps you think they're obsolete, or difficult, or pointless. All of those things might be true, or they might not; it's all in how you look at it.

Take a look at some contemporary sonnets:

Susan Palnick: Room 9

David Gwilym Anthony
: Water Bearer

Margaret Menamin: Blue Collar Sonnets (pdf)

You can also find lots of good sonnets at Sonnet Central and Contemporary Sonnet.

If you need to review the form, there are good explanations with examples here.

As always, remember the prompt is
Totally Optional

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Request for Poems: The Magician

Check out the sidebar: sbpoet has added her collections to the TOP participant collections list!

Anyone else with a collection to advertise? (Sue? Rachel? Dale?)

Also remember: if you have an idea for a prompt-- or better yet, if you'd like to host TOP for a month-- leave us a comment.

Now a confession: I had no idea whatsoever where I was going to go with this prompt... it just came to me. I can't wait to see where everyone else went with it!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt: The Magician

"The Magician" from the Rider-Waite Tarot.

He represents the potential of a new adventure, chosen or thrust upon one. A journey undertaken in daylight, in the Enlightenment Tradition. He brings things out of the darkness into the light. He explores the world in order to master it. He is solar consciousness.

He embodies the lesson of “as above, so below.” The lesson that mastery in one realm may bring mastery in another. He also warns of the danger of applying lessons from one realm to another.

He transcends duality. He’s learned the fundamental elements of the universe, represented by emblems of the four suits of the tarot already broken apart and lying on the table before him.

--interpretation excerpted from Wikipedia

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Request for Poems: In the Ear

So, TOPers: what have we heard? Hopefully it wasn't in one ear and out the other.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Totally Optional Prompt: In the Ear

Most poetry (most writing in general) is visually oriented. The flash of color as a bird crosses your line of sight: maybe the sound of its song as an afterthought. The brilliance of a rainbow or a rose. Sounds tend to be neglected.

Yet we're surrounded by a vast and rich universe of sound at all times. These four poems are attempts to open the door inside the ear and let in some sounds.

Alicante Lullaby - Sylvia Plath
Reapers - Jean Toomer
What the Ear Said - Oliver de la Paz
A White Turtle under a Waterfall - Wang Wei

What do you hear?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Request for Poems, Poem to the Editor

Well, TOPers, what'd we have to say to our local papers this week? If you actually sent a letter, let us know in the comments. (I didn't, mine was just too silly.)