This is a poetry prompt that appeared in the May/June 2016 Issue of Poets&Writers.
“Drawing upon your own experiences with parents, guardians, mother or father figures–or your personal history as a parent yourself–compile a short list of specific memories and observations divided into three categories: love, judgment, and forgiveness……Write a three-part poem that explores the many nuances of a parent-child relationship as it evolves with age.”
This is an exercise I learned from Allen Ginsberg at a conference entitled Writing Inside Out held in Santa Monica in 1994. He told us this is how he came up with the juxtaposed nouns angel-headed hipsters. Take a sheet of paper and fold it lengthwise down the middle to make two columns. In each column write twenty nouns. Then start pairing up those nouns to create unusual and unique word combos.
This is a follow up to a previous writing prompt regarding writing a poem in which an object represents something about the person, or the poem revolves around the object in question associated with that person. Here is the first stanza of one of mine (newly revised)
One Last Shirt
I search for remnants of him,
some thing he might have left.
At the back of the closet I find
one last shirt this “holy” man left behind.
I hang it on a nail on the wall
and each time I pass by
my fingers find the fibers once clung to in desperation,
for the entire poem in an earlier version look for Reruns by D. Marie Fitzgerald on Amazon