William Shakespeare was a prolific writer who introduced thousands of words and phrases into the English language. Some suggest, however, that perhaps Shakespeare didn’t invent these words and phrases but rather it was the first time these words were written down. The scholarly argument is that the words attributed to the works of Shakespeare were most likely spoken first. Regardless, Shakespeare is considered a master of the English language who continually demonstrated great wit.
One that first appeared in a Shakespearean play was the word “promising.” He featured it in the somewhat serious comedy “All’s Well That Ends Well.”
…and we, Great in our hope, lay our best love and credence
Upon thy promising fortune.”
—Act III, Scene 3
Try It: Upon Thy Promising Fortune
Shakespeare used the word “promising” to mean “likely to turn out well.” Have you had an experience that you felt sure would turn out well? What was it? How did it turn out? Have you had the privilege of seeing someone work toward a goal that you felt was full of promise? Did you lay your best love and credence upon their promising fortune? Write a poem that reveals your confidence, your well wishes, and your hopes.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here is a poem from Donna we enjoyed:
Five words formed
where light lived.
like a threadsnake,
slithering upward through
slicing a new path
through tangled, raw nerves.
Five words clearing a
sliding over tongue and teeth,
bursting into the dark-as-pitch-day.
I will never hit you.
—by Donna Falcone
Photo by Mike Powell. 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