Today’s prompt:

Today’s prompt comes from Sarah J. Sloat:

I’m partial to the tried-and-true prompt that calls for starting a poem with a line written by another poet. For this go-round, it would be interesting to see what poets can launch using a line from Norman Dubie. In his poems, Dubie tells stories, sets scenes and paints landscape, sometimes lush and sometimes wretched. His writing is sure and vivid, and his language is beautiful. As you’ll see below, his similes are incomparable. If forced to compare him with anyone, I’d be more likely to pick a painter than another writer.

For this prompt, take a Dubie line to jump start a poem of your own. Your poem should be titled “Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie.”

Use one of the following as your first line:

  1. His chapel fell into flowers long ago.
  2. A kiss is like a dress falling off a tall building.
  3. Two houseflies are like two fiddles drying.
  4. My favorite pastime has become the imaginary destruction of flowers.
  5. In triplicate, he’s sent an application, listing grievances, to the stars.
  6. You wondered about skin wrinkled by looking at jewels.
  7. In the near field an idle, stylish horse raised one leg.
  8. Worlds are being told like beads.
  9. The pearl slapdash of the moon is on the water.

Be sure to use the title suggested and credit Norman Dubie in your post!

Post your poem to comments!

Read the NaPoWriMo page for details on how the challenge works and how you can participate this month, no matter what your personal writing challenge is for the month of April.

Please read How to Post during NaPoWriMo to find out how the prompt posts work. Remember that work shared this month is shared in precisely that spirit: sharing, as opposed to critiquing.


Posted on April 11, 2015, in NaPoWriMo. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. It’s a little morbid, to be honest. I’m not usually depressing like this. But when I read that starting line, I was like, “OMG! I have to do this!” Lol, well anyhow, enjoy! 🙂

    Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie

    My favorite pastime has become the imaginary destruction of flowers.
    Those vibrant, pretty, joyful beings.
    So bright, so delicate, so… infuriating.
    Those little petals, the way they caress the stigma,
    The way they flutter with a gust of wind,
    So freely, like a bird flapping its wings,

    And I hate them.

    They represent all that I despise.
    Joy, love, excitement, beauty,
    All horrific sentiments to take place in one’s heart.
    Why anyone would like flowers is beyond me.
    As I sit here in depression, in a deep melancholy,
    The only thing that heals me is destruction.
    Destroying these plants, these representatives of evil,
    That is what brings me to a better place.
    That is what alleviates my pain.

  2. “Poem Starting with a Line from Norman Dubie.”

    The pearl slapdash of the moon is on the water
    As the fawn peered into the pond,
    Hoping, wishing for some sort of sign,
    Needing a miracle

    The fawn licked the water,
    losing hope at last
    watching the reflection ripple,
    the moon’s shape danced and glided

    The fawn turned away,
    not noticing the pale splash,
    the fawn entered the forest,
    and a moonlight stag followed

  3. *I shifted this one from Norman Dubie to Edgar Allen Poe’s poem Tamperlane.
    I saw no heaven but in her eye
    Blue eyes
    Crystal eyes
    Heavenly eyes
    Her eyes that stared
    Eyes that showed me heaven
    Ice blue
    Clear as the ocean on a windless day
    Sharp as the blade of a samurai katana
    Her blade stared dug into my souls
    Blue eyes
    I looked but
    I saw no heaven but in her eyes

  4. A poem starting with a line from Norman Dubie.

    His chapel fell into flowers long ago.
    They enveloped the structure
    Peacefully tearing it down

    They left footprints
    In everyone’s hearts
    For they are a gift from God

    It was a sign
    to resign
    to move on with life
    as everything does

    The chapel
    not much anymore
    except the powerful messages
    that were sent from his Father.

    A coincidence?
    I think not!
    It was peaceful destruction
    showing movement
    strength and overcoming.

    His chapel fell into flowers long ago.

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