Formerly, when I would feel a desire to understand someone, or myself, I would take into consideration not actions, in which everything is relative, but wishes. Tell me what you want and I’ll tell you who you are.”
Many of us have dropped a coin into a fountain, captured an eyelash on our cheek, or blown dandelion seeds to the wind—and a wish was made. From shooting stars to blowing out birthday candles, humankind has been making wishes since time immemorial. What is the significance of making wishes?
Wishing can be considered one part of a cultural account, that people’s wishes usually model their feelings and position in society. Wishes are by no means a casual utterance. They are rooted in the condition of our present lives and in our unique temperaments. A wish can illuminate the literal and symbolic meaning of our inner world.
The wishes we make are a barometer of the heart.
Try It: Wish poetry
Think of a time when you made a wish. Did you blow out candles on a birthday cake, drop a coin into a well, or wish upon a star? Were you a child or all grown up? Try to remember the moment and recreate it with poetry.
Thanks to everyone who participated in last week’s poetry prompt. Here is a poem from Rick of astrophysics personified:
The Chandrasekhar limit, a theory advanced by Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, is ascribed to a star with the maximum mass a white dwarf star can be without eventually exploding
in the blinding flash of a super nova.
Perhaps I shine brightest now,
but my energy has changed;
what I know is difficult to know
in simple space and time;
passion is a system dying,
if not making new.
Precious is a luxury,
a jewel with maintenance.
I am a white dwarf, long in the truth
of life and death, weighted with mission
that follows me like a shadow,
a penumbra I must now leave behind.
This is the way of creation, nothing
begets nothing. Darkness moves me
into the light.
—by Rick Maxson
Photo by Hernán Piñera. 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