So many purple poetry prompts, so little time.
Throughout February, we’ve been issuing poetry prompts centered around the themes purple, plum, and indigo. It’s provided a deep inkwell for us, and as February draws to a close, many here at Tweetspeak are lamenting the waning hues as the sun sets on our monthly theme. But as King Solomon and the Byrds said, “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.”
As I considered material for our last purple poetry prompt, visions of Barney–that short-armed, purple, sing-songy dinosaur–haunted me. He, dancing in my mind’s eye, musing that classic children’s standard, “I love you, you love me, we’re a happy family.”
“Shut up, Barney!” I thought. “There are serious poets that visit these parts and they want serious prompts.”
He was unrelenting, kept singing his song, like a drill bit boring into skull.
Determined to write a prompt involving something more substantive than a dancing dinosaur, I wracked my brain for purple material, settling, finally on exploring the historical context of the nursery rhyme of Little Jack Horner. Remember Mr. Horner, that precocious boy with a knack for extracting whole plums from a pie using nothing but his thumb? The oft-forgotten back-story of the nursery rhyme finds its roots in bribery, treachery, and King Henry VIII’s quest to subvert the Catholic Church and take its gold. And just as I was beginning to tease out the nuances of this plum poetry prompt…
“I love you, you love me….” Barney usurped the story with his own utopistic notions.
Taking it as a sign that Barney would not approve of the drawn-and-quartered ending to the Jack Horner story, I endeavored to take a more artistic angle, exploring that ground-breaking record released by Prince in 1984–Purple Rain. The album, pop-natured by all accounts, dabbled in psychedelic shades, set the synth standards for music of the 80s. Rightfully, the album was awarded two Grammy awards, the artistry of songs like “Purple Rain,” “When the Doves Cry,” and “Let’s Go Crazy,” contributing to its critical success. And speaking of “Let’s Go Crazy…”
“I love you; you love me…” That plum-brained reptile was unrelenting, interrupting, forever-endeavoring to dance his way into this poetry. And that’s precisely the moment in which I had my own purple epiphany.
There are things to which all good writers must resign themselves. Take the inspiration as it comes, write what hounds you. And unfortunately, it seems, as we draw to the close of the purple poetry prompt, it is Barney who has occupied my creative spaces. And so, I say to you: “I love you; you love me. We’re a happy family.”
Poetry Prompt: As you can see, today’s prompt is a potpourri of sorts. The frivolity of children’s characters, the metaphor and symbolic nature of Jack Horner’s plum, and the poetic artistry of a musical genius–we run the gamut. This is our way of saying, write what you hear this week. Don’t hold back. And if the mood strikes you, paint in shades of purple, plum, and indigo.
Let’s get writing! Who’s first?
Tweetspeak’s February Purple, Plum, and Indigo Poetry Prompt:
This month’s poetry theme at Tweetspeak is Purple, Plum, and Indigo, and we’re composing poems that play with the theme. Perhaps you can gain a bit of inspiration from this month’s playlist, from a particular piece of artwork, or from your local purveyor of plums, eggplant, or purple-hulled peas. How do you participate?
1. Think about the colors purple, plum, or indigo. Do the colors remind you of a particular place, a type of food, an experience, or a certain mood?
2. Compose a poem inspired by the theme.
3. Tweet your poems to us. Add a #PurplePoetry hashtag so we can find it and maybe share it with the world.
4. If you aren’t a twitter user, leave your poem here in the comment box.
5. At the end of the month, we’ll choose a winning poem and feature it in one of our upcoming Weekly Top 10 Poetic Picks.
I loved the poems last week, but my nod for the feature piece goes to (the envelope please)… Lexanne Leonard. Using color as a sort of anchor for the piece, she writes:
There were purple grapes and green leafed vines
printed on the fabric of the first dress
I made with my mom’s Singer sewing machine.
“It looks like it.” My best friend commented on my handiwork.
There were lilacs of purple scenting the air
as though the day had just been laundered.
The bush hanging so heavy with blooms
I thought a cloud had come to rest in Annie’s backyard.
And then there was the purple couch.
“Who would ever buy a purple couch?” muttered my mother.
With its deep, thick pillows and velveteen touch
it cradled me when she was taken, too soon,
without anyone ever asking my permission.
I enjoyed this poem, especially the pace of it. Thanks for sharing, Lexanne!
Now, let’s get to down to working out some purple symbolism. Who’s first?