Monday, September 3, 2018

Influence & Inspiration

 "The music of my youth." This is how one of my friends described Aretha's body of work. So many of us -- Detroiters, Americans, and citizens of the world -- mourned the loss of "The Queen of Soul" these past two weeks. Fellow musicians and regular folks, all fans, she inspired, bolstered, and comforted paid tribute to her in words and song.

Though her music and voice always made me stop and listen or move to the beat, my favorite Aretha moment happened in 2015 at the Kennedy Center Honors where she celebrated Carole King by singing "Natural Woman." Tears rolled as I sang (off-key) and watched the communication between Aretha and Carole and between Aretha and the star-studded audience. President Barack Obama wiped a tear from his eyes along with me.

With her music, her leadership, her example to her family and community, the legendary Aretha Franklin defined an era in our history.

Today's Prompt:
By this time in our lives, we've all experienced a loss of someone whose presence or actions on a large platform have affected us. We may not know the individual personally, but he or she has inspired or comforted or taught us. We've also had family and personal friends whose lives have had an impact on our own. Write an ode to that person. Or, write a poem about how that person influenced or inspired you.

Word Bank:

Video Prompt:

We would love to read your work, so please share your poem or provide a link to your website or blog in the comments below. Thank you, and happy writing.

Annis Cassells is a writer, poet, life coach, and teacher.  She divides her time between Bakersfield, California and Coos Bay, Oregon, where she conducts memoir writing classes for senior adults. She is a member of Writers of Kern, a branch of the California Writers Club. See Annis’s blogs at and and her website at

No comments:

Post a Comment