Monday, April 17, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #17 - Choices

Actual paths diverging in an actual wood.
With an actual copy of Frost's poem posted there.
In the book Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the wizard Dumbledore says succinctly, "It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are ..."  The importance of choice in shaping character, destiny, relationships and more has long been explored in literature.  A famous example in poetry is The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost:

     I shall be telling this with a sigh
     Somewhere ages and ages hence:
     Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
     I took the one less traveled by,
     And that has made all the difference.

A search for choices in poetry reveals many gems ... here are a couple of stanzas.

Choices by Tess Gallagher

     saw in hand, I see a nest clutched in
     the uppermost branches.
     I don’t cut that one.
     I don’t cut the others either.

Choice by Emily Dickinson

     When figures show their royal front
     And mists are carved away, --
     Behold the atom I preferred
     To all the lists of clay!

Prompt #17:  Write a poem that includes an important choice.  Is this a choice that defines a future fate?  Does this choice influence relationships with people, animals, or the Earth?  Or perhaps it is a choice that elucidates or reinforces some aspect of character?  Consider these questions as you craft your poem. 

For something more specific, make your poem very short.  Choose each word with great care, thinking not just about the words you are choosing, but the ones that are not being chosen, as well.

As as always I'll be using the prompt somehow in a sci-fi, horror, or fantasy context.

Did you use this or one of our other prompts?  You can post your poem in our comments, if you like.

Happy Writing!

Prompts crafted by:
J.A. Grier, Senior Scientist and Education Specialist, Planetary Science Institute
Amy Grier, Managing Editor, Solstice Literary Magazine
Image Credits:  Woodland paths Wikimedia Commons CC2.0 Tony Atkin

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