Love, Maybe: A Poetry Prompt

IMG_0769Love is hard.

Well, maybe not at first.

At first it’s all excitement and intense desire.

Fantasies and bliss.

Surrendering to pheromones and hormones.

Buying into the cultural ideal of soul mates,

and quieting insecurities.

But the day always arrives in which we view our lover, and they us, through lenses of a less rosy hue.

A time when we must discern between commitment and attraction, choice and devotion, judgment and acceptance, cute Habits and OCD, jokes and insults, and many, many moments of doubt amid general feelings of certainty.

For today’s prompt, spend 10 minutes freewriting about the early stages of love. Capture all the nuances of bliss that characterize those early feelings that so often are compared to a kind of temporary insanity. Include vivid descriptions of romantic interludes, devotional thoughts, and lusty dreams. No one will see this, so really and truly write freely. Don’t reread your freewrite until you have completed the next step.

Next, spend 10 minutes freewriting about the realities of living in a committed relationship. Your focus might include such details as kissing your partner despite garlic breath, or maybe how they tolerate your morning breath. It should also include the more difficult aspects of co-habitation, like basic cultural differences, fundamental disagreements about the way the world works, plans forgone for the sake of the relationship, or resentments that arise as a result of choosing love over your dreams.

Finally, read through your freewriting and highlight lines or images that can support a compelling  poem then get to composing that compelling poem.

Remember, the difference between a journal entry (however compelling) and a poem is REVISION.IMG_0770

For an example of how one poet approaches this subject, take a look at “The Kama Sutra of Kindness, Position 3″ by Mary Mackey over at The Writers Almanac. 




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