An Unusual Pairing With Beautiful Results

NaPoWriMo Day 25: Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem that begins with a line from another poem (not necessarily the first one), but then goes elsewhere with it. This will work best if you just start with a line of poetry you remember, but without looking up the whole original poem. (Or, find a poem that you haven’t read before and then use a line that interests you). The idea is for the original to furnish a sort of backdrop for your work, but without influencing you so much that you feel stuck just rewriting the original. For example, you could begin, “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” or “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons,” or “I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster,” or “they persevere in swimming where they like.” Really, any poem will do to provide your starter line – just so long as it gives you the scope to explore. Happy writing!

Not anyone who says, “I’m going to be
careful and smart in matters of love,”
who says, “I’m going to choose slowly,” ever does.

For love is a beautiful mind trick — a shimmering invitation

We sincerely proclaim, “I’m just going to water
the love and only play around the edges,”
then we exclaim, “Let’s jump into the pool naked!”

The truth does not necessarily lie — exactly halfway between them.

~A Mary Oliver Twist by Just L (April 25, 2016)

“Not Anyone Who Says” by Mary Oliver (b. September 10, 1935)

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