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Where Were You in 1968?: Creative Prompt

If you were the poet David Shapiro, there was one day in which you posed for a photo that became symbolic and iconic and historic. The photo was first printed in Life and then ran in papers all over the world. It's in at least 2 of my books of famous photographs.


That's the poet in the chair of the then-president of Columbia University.


So besides the fact that David Shapiro, a poet of the New York School of poetry, died this week (and one of his poems is today's poem on my blog), we have been awash in protests the last few years, from Pussy Hats to BLM, anti-vax to anti-war, Stop the Pipeline to Stop Caging Immigrants.


For those of us old enough to remember . . . well, you know what? Just about every generation has had protests. Be they for something (civil rights, unions, safer working conditions) or against something (wars, discriminatory laws, foreign policies).


We had the news on every night during dinner for the Viertnam War, Women's Lib, and various Civil rights marches during the 1960s and 1970s. I participated in No-Nuke Rallies in the 1970s and 1980s (Pete Seeger sang at one!), Women's/Abortion Rights Protests in the 1980s (Helen Reddy sang at one!), and I have used the Power of the Pocketbook to not support certain businesses (none of my money for you, Chik-Fil-A, Nestles, and Hobby Lobby).


Today's prompt is to take something you have protested for or against and use that for your poem, painting, prose, etc.. This can be something huge and political or something you did privately. Maybe you have advice for the college students currently protesting. Maybe you protested--to no avail--having to attend your father's wedding so soon after your mother died. Maybe you are still running around, throwing paint on people wearing fur. Or maybe protesting is something feels completely foreign to you, or you are too afraid to speak up.

Maybe you have a poster of suffragettes in your home, or your grandfather's memories of marching in Selma in your heart. Maybe you just pitched a fit and stomped into your room to protest your parents trying to force you to eat something other than chicken fingers or pizza. Whatever your revolt, create something with it!


More on the 19th Amendment, and the site from which this photo resides, here







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