Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Poetry Prompt Day 16: The Last Word (or Things Left Unsaid)

We've all had those moments when we have something on our mind, but for some reason we hold back. We're overcome with emotion and can't think clearly, but an hour or a day later we suddenly think of the perfect witty retort. Some of us have had friendships/romances that ended without the needed closure. And I'm sure some of us have lost someone close and we wish we could say one more thing to them. This is the basis for today's prompt.

A friend of mine that writes poetry shared the video below on Facebook recently. She added that it inspired her to write her own version that she called "Love Letters that I'll Never Send." (She's also participating in OctPoWriMo with us, so she'll be really surprised to see this!)

What about you? Is there someone you would like to write a love letter to? Perhaps there are ex-boyfriends/girlfriends with whom you'd like to have a last word. Maybe there's someone who, for whatever reason, is no longer in your life and there's something you left unsaid. Here's your opportunity to express, to vent, or to share something you wish you'd said before. To quote Sara Bareilles from her song "Brave":

You can be amazing
You can turn a phrase into a weapon or a drug
You can be the outcast
Or be the backlash of somebody’s lack of love
Or you can start speaking up
Nothing’s gonna hurt you the way that words do
When they settle ‘neath your skin
Kept on the inside and no sunlight
Sometimes a shadow wins
But I wonder what would happen if you

Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave

The Prompt: Free-write beginning with "Dear _______" and say all those things that you never said, but wish you had. String a series of them together as the performer does in the video or write it to a single individual. Use this as the starting place for a poem. Maybe it's a happy poem about a secret love. Or perhaps it's the "Dear John" letter you want to write. Give yourself permission to say everything that comes to mind. You can always edit later, but say it now. TODAY. Note: If you base your poem on real people or events, you may want to change the names to protect the innocent (or guilty, as the case may be.)

Suggested Form: Villanelle (This is COMPLETELY optional. It's just an additional suggestion if you really want to challenge yourself. Click the form name to view an explanation on Shadow Poetry.)

~ Amy McGrath

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