Ethical ELA Prompt Responses

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Last month I experimented in my notebook with a couple of  Ethical ELA prompts.  The first was from Margaret Simon who, within her prompt, asked “Are you a marcher or a leaper?” I didn’t manage to meet all the guidelines of the prompt (like the use an echo line), but enjoyed playing around with some of my favorite words.

No Clear Destination

I’m neither a marcher
nor a leaper,
rather a rambler,
a perambulator,
one who coddiwomples
or stravaigs,
meandering along,
no clear destination in sight,
the journey the reward.

©Molly Hogan

Another Ethical ELA prompt last month came from Melanie Crowder. She suggested identifying your emotional state then brainstorming things in the physical world that are illustrative of it. She encouraged writers to look beyond the obvious and then write a poem that reveals one’s emotional state through a description of that chosen object.  I did initially have an emotional state in mind, but I think the poem wandered a bit.

Mica

Beneath earth’s surface,
silted and soiled,
layers of mica rest.
Light, soft, flexible,
it cleaves
into glittering sheets,
transparent to opaque,
reflective and insulating,
resistant to heat.
Mica shields
and reveals.

Above ground,
when struck
by the whirring blades
of a mower,
mica shatters,
exploding briefly
into a dazzling constellation
of shimmering slivers
of light.

©Molly Hogan

This week’s Poetry Friday Roundup is  hosted by the ever-ready-for-a-challenge Linda Mitchell. She’s written an “In One Word” poem, a form newly created by April Halprin Wayland. Check out her post for an explanation of the form and a powerful original poem.

 

 

17 thoughts on “Ethical ELA Prompt Responses

  1. Where in God’s good green earth did you learn the words coddywomples and straivaigs? Wow. Are we talking 750+ English SATS! Look forward to you straivaig south sometime this summer. Is coddywomples with a Y the old English spelling? coddiwomples is Google’s proferred spelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Dan, it was generous of you to assume I knew some old English spelling for coddiwomples, instead of just having misspelled it! lol Thanks for pointing that out so tactfully. (now corrected!) Are you familiar with Robert Macfarlane? I’m pretty sure I learned both of these words by following him on Twitter. If you don’t know him, you should check him out — I suspect you’re kindred spirits.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda Mitchell says:

    ooooh! ‘Mica’ is marvelous….that cleaving and heat resistance showing the strength of the author. Well done. I couldn’t choose marcher or leader, either. I always fall in the middle of extremes. I try to think of it as a special talent ;). Love these poems, Molly.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. margaretsmn says:

    I love all your lost words in your response to Jericho Brown’s poem. Mica is amazing, with all the tactile words and then the unexpected lawn mower and shower of shimmering slivers.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. maryleehahn says:

    Love that you pushed back on the prompt and said, Neither. Love the fun words (YAY for Robert Macfarlane!). And mica. Another of Earth’s miracle substances.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I hadn’t heard of these prompts, but now must investigate further. I am SO impressed you worked “coddiwomples or straivaigs” into your thought process let alone a poem! Brava! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      I do hope you check out the Ethical ELA prompts, Bridget. I’m a regular lurker there. The prompts inspire me to write, but I haven’t quite moved into the level of sharing my responses there yet. Maybe someday…

      Like

  6. Molly, your mica poem is stunning. I grew up in Florida, and while meandering and digging around, I would often find mica. A treasure!

    Liked by 1 person

    • mbhmaine says:

      Thanks, Laura. We have mica all over our property. It’s fascinating, isn’t it!? I really did hit a large piece with the mower recently and it was a stunning light show.

      Like

  7. Well, I love coddiwomple, it’s sound and meaning, thanks for introducing us. I had a bit of a challenge finding straivaig–I found it eventually spelled stravaig or stravage. I think your straviging has brought you fruitful results! And what a 180 degree turn you made with Mica–gorgeous poem, thanks Molly!

    Liked by 1 person

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