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.
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