Saturday, April 8, 2017

NaPoWriMo 2017 - Prompt #8 - Absence

In a field / I am the absence / of field.
In the poem "Keeping Things Whole" by Mark Strand, we encounter a unique treatment of the concept of absence.  A recognition that, just by being, we must create a space for ourselves within the larger environment.  We push ourselves into the air, the flowers, the wheat.  Where we are, those things are not.  Then we pass through, and the field remains nothing but a field once again.  Absence is so much more than a empty place.  In some Asian architecture and decorating, the lack of a item or piece of furniture is just as important as a piece placed elsewhere. (i.e. Feng Shui)  The nothingness has both form and function.

Prompt #8:  Write a poem that evokes absence.  Consider the concept in its broadest sense.  Write the poem that grapples with nothingness - its definition, its function, and the emotions around it.  Consider loss - the space once claimed by a person, animal, or place that used to be in your life.  Perhaps it is the loss of a function, a role, a job, or friends.  Write the poem that explores something that is not there.

For something more specific, try playing with the white space on the page.  Play with line lengths, word spacing, and paragraph breaks.

And of course I'll be considering the concept of absence as reflected in science fiction, horror, and 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: A Field in Belgium

By I, Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0,

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