Sunday, April 23, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #23 - Silence

Poster encouraging people to refrain
from talking about war specifics.
Silence here is equated with security.
Silence is a multi-dimensional and powerful concept.  It brings forth impressions both positive and negative.  Silence is something often desired when someone is trying to sleep, but at other times people want noise and music.  It is canonical in genre fiction that when someplace is "quiet ... too quiet" that something bad is about to happen.  In silence, one's internal voice is easier to hear.  For some this is a blessing and for others it is a trial.  In meditation, people sit with those voices and try to "quiet the mind."  Libraries are places in which silence is enforced, like the "quiet car" in a train.  Here is a stanza from the poem "Silence" by Billy Collins:

The silence of the falling vase
before it strikes the floor,
the silence of the belt when it is not striking the child.

Prompt #22:  Write a poem that includes some aspect of the concept of silence.  Consider how it is that people "confront" or "deal" with silence.  Think about silence as signs of both power and of weakness.  In what cases is complete silence an achievable ideal?  What are the implications of "being silenced" or as a child, not permitted to make noise?

Image from the Women's March
2017.  Personal sign equating
silence with violence.
For something more specific, can you write a poem that feels quiet, or gives the impression of silence?

As usual, I'll be exploring this topic through sci-fi, horror, or fantasy.

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:  Women's March, Wikimedia Commons, CC 2.0; WAAC Securiity, Wikimedia Commons, National Archives Cooperation Project

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