that small smudge of hope (a poem)

The November 6th prompt in The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice, by Kelli Russell Agodon & Martha Silano, is to pick a particular line from a particular page of the nearest book, then use that line as the title of the poem—and within the poem, if possible. I started by using my copy of The Daily Poet, which yielded the intriguing line ‘and they began selling steamed seawater’. Unfortunately, what I was getting from that was unsatisfying.

Then I got e-mail notifying me that HoneLife’s new poetry group had posted its first exercise. I followed the link to find that the prompt was very similar. The main difference was that the prompt called for turning to a random page, and pointing to a line without looking. Then it called for using that line as the first in a 3- to 5-line poem. I ended up going with a line from Franz Wright’s Kindertotenwald as reproduced in the deluxe edition of David Sylvian’s new release, there’s a light that enters houses with no other house in sight. Since I normally do not use lengthy lines, I broke up the line into three, then added four stanzas of three lines each to complete the poem.

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