Friday, October 4, 2013

Poetry Prompt Day 4: Poet: Be Gentle with Yourself

First – I wanted to give you another hearty "Welcome!" to OctPoWriMo2013. It is a delight to be writing alongside you for this unique poetic event in October 2013. Remember, you and your friends may join us at any time. Just hop in and begin writing… and then link up to your daily poem.

Second – I wrote a Poetry Writing Tip early in September that was titled "The Poetry Tip I Never Got (But Oh I Wish I Had)" with a theme that went something like this: “Be gentle with your poetic self and forgive yourself now for any perceived short comings lurking in the hallways of your poetry yet to be written.”

My hope is you will remember this – as I hope I remember this – during those moments of doubt which may pop up for some of us during October.

This brings me to our first opportunity to write together on the same theme: Be Gentle. Even more focused is Be Gentle with Myself (or you may use Be Gentle with Yourself.)

Some thought questions to get you started:

What does it mean to you to be gentle?

Who are some gentle people?

What animal is the most gentle?

How do you feel when you encounter someone who is gentle toward you?

Coupling with “I remember….”

I remember my gentle teacher…..
I remember my gentle heroine…..
I remember being gentle with….
Your personalized 'I remember'....
Sometimes I wish someone would show me gentleness by…..

Some of you will immediately begin to write a poem – this is fine.

Some of you will start with some free writing – this is also fine.

Some of you will sit back in your chair and look out the window, pondering – this is another example of a fine way to go about birthing a poem.

I encourage you simply to begin. Perhaps carve out fifteen minutes to read the poems others have posted (if it isn’t early in the day!) and then allow your gentle spirit to coax your pen, pencil or fingers on the keyboard to flow along with the words that want to be sculpted into your poetic take on Being Gentle.
 Some additional inspiration for you:

Quotes: “All those writers who write about their childhood! Gentle God, if I wrote about mine you wouldn't sit in the same room with me.”          
                                     Dorothy Parker

“Life is like the river, sometimes it sweeps you gently along and sometimes the rapids come out of nowhere.”
                                             Emma Smith

Word Prompt: Gentle or Being or Being Gentle

Sentence Starter: The gentleness of touch reminds me…..

I look forward to reading your poetry, whatever theme you choose!  

                               -- Julie Jordan Scott


  1. Now this is something I might have a tough time writing for I am most often quite harsh to my work. Maybe because I come from a place where most in family are good writers and its tough to match up.

    1. That's how I feel about painting. There are some amazing artists in my Dad's side of the family and it takes simply realizing and accepting that it's not a competition. Your writing (my paintings) is your own, your voice being heard.

  2. Might as well ask here: since it is day 4, those who have read my poems know that I am not using the prompts and instead have a theme to my poems. Is that okay? I hope so because I am enjoying this. First crack at seriously trying to write poems.

    1. Write what moves you, Lance. The prompts are always just a suggestion or a possibility. It is so beyond words great that you are using October to write poetry. That is exactly what its about to me: poetry and community. Thank you for asking AND continuing to write some great stuff!

  3. There is a poem for this prompt. It has a beginning and an end but the bridge from one to the other is still trying to build itself. I am sure we'll get there some time this month.