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Conceited Much?: Writing Prompt

Taking a little break from the villanelle form in my blog this week, to bring you a short poem by Linda Pastan, and from which we will take out weekly prompt.


Pastan uses a conceit--an extended metaphor. This device has been used by poets since poets started poet-ing. Even prose writers use it! Done well, as Pastan does, it gives a deeper meaning to the original image/message, and provides another avenue for the piece's reader to understand the point of the poem.


Your prompt for this week is to write a piece in which you use a conceit. Think of the main thing you wish to be the point of your piece, then play with a few different comparisons until you get one that you like and you think fits. Be sure that the two things you are saying are alike are not normally thought of as being alike. For example, an orange and an apple are not so dissimilar as to make for an interesting conceit, but an orange and a typewriter, or a stick of deodorant, or the movie Casablanca would definitely be surprising (and I'd love to see any of those done well!).


Other very famous examples of conceits in poetry include:


Emily Dickinson's "Hope Is the Thing with Feathers"

Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken"

Walt Whitman's "O Captain! My Captain!" (which is also an apostrophe! Whee!)

and the villanelle posted earlier this month, Dylan Thomas' "Do not go gentle . . . "


Have fun! Writers love to see the similarities in things that others do not see!



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