In Aesop’s tale, “The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, “ a sophisticated city mouse visits his cousin in the country. Feeling out of place and uncomfortable with what he believes are meager surroundings, the town mouse invites his country cousin to experience the opulence and the fine life of his fast-paced home. The country mouse agrees and they head to the home of the town mouse. After feasting like kings, they are interrupted by a couple of fierce dogs and the country mouse decides that perhaps big city living is not for him. The two mice part with a better appreciation of the city and country.
What about you? Where are you most comfortable? The city offers sights, sounds, and lots of cultural experiences. The country offers a whole different set of sights, sounds, and cultural experiences. The city seems to have a bustling energy about it, reminding us to “go, go, go!” While the country seems to offer a quieter way, reminding us to slow down a bit.
Do you consider yourself to be a city mouse or a country mouse? What makes the city the best place for a mouse to live? What draws a mouse to the country instead? Write a poem about the area you like best, from the perspective of you, a mouse.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here’s a poem from Andrew we enjoyed:
I can see valleys of a far off land
Though now the waves between us lie-
A place of granite, scree and sand
Blessed by the over arching sky.
It bred fierce men who churned forth froth
From furrows ploughed by oar;
Plied waters with a fearsome wroth
So common in their heathen lore.
And now, so soft, so shy, we modern men
Invade their native lands. And here
We see the lines of nature, like a pen
That writes of water on the weir.
And how we flush to think of them
Who stood where we now stand
And how they’d frown at us, our silly
Phones arrayed, like us, in a thin band.
But the mountains look down, indifferent
To them as well as us. They take our breath
In streams of cloud, and use it in their folds
To make the silver-sewn and gleaming mists.
At last, we are as one in admiration of the green
That sweeps into a grey-faced frown,
Of lakes below with boats, and all the fogs
That billow on the heights as solid as a crown.
Photo by Stuart Seeger. Creative Commons via Flickr.
Browse dream poems
Browse more writing prompts
Browse poetry teaching resources
How to Write a Poem uses images like the buzz, the switch, the wave—from the Billy Collins poem “Introduction to Poetry”—to guide writers into new ways of writing poems. Excellent teaching tool. Anthology and prompts included.
“How to Write a Poem is a classroom must-have.”
—Callie Feyen, English Teacher, Maryland
- Poetry Prompt: Misunderstood Lion - March 19, 2018
- Animate: Lions & Lambs Poetry Prompt - March 12, 2018
- Poetry Prompt: Behind the Velvet Rope - February 26, 2018
Megan Willome says
Town and country mean something different out here
where most people would look at my zip code
say, “You’re country.”
“But I live in town,” I say.
“Country,” they say. “Google tells me your nearest Target is
60 miles away.”
But they didn’t hear when that boy—
the one who brings homemade cornbread
and his Opa’s venison jerky for lunch—
called my child a “townie.”
This is great, Megan. Isn’t it interesting how the lines are interpreted?
Bethany R. says
Love how the label depends upon the giver. And what great details: the cornbread, venison jerky, and distant Target.
Rick Maxson says
I hear you, Megan. You write it well. We live in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, a town, but go one mile in any direction and you’re in the mountains. My wife made me find where the nearest TJ Maxx was before we moved here. It’s an hour away and sh’e was OK with that.
Andrew H says
I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t chosen my one this week, haha.
Thank you for showing it nonetheless!
Stillness. A lake enshrined by reeds.
The slow buzz of a road beside, but
It is small. A drone that blends with
Insect hums. The sun falls on the water
And reveals the diamond-hue within.
Somewhere, in steel and chrome, the same
Happens on beams stretched out to heaven.
No one sees. Nobody cares to stop, to slow;
Appreciate the glint of sun as it strikes just so.
How lonely. Sad, disjointed and alone.
In cities, grass grows greenly in its squares
Appointed by a chain-weighed man of town
Whose job involves the management of life,
And whose reward seems nothing but a frown.
And there it gleams as fresh as in the wild
But no one sees. Here in the country, I can sit
And see the world go by in increments.
Not in a rush, for life is meant to savour
And not for souring with your haste. We see,
Back here, the beauty in the water.
I love this line Andrew…’Not in a rush, for life is meant to savour
And not for souring with your haste.’ You really hit the nail on the head!
“Stillness. A lake enshrined by reeds.” Love that line, Andrew. Congratulations on your featured poem. 🙂