Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Prompt: Family

I have a body of work inspired by the lives of people I care about--there are, of course, the typical love poems, the poems about childhood (angry or not), the poems exploring relationships with exes.

There are two people who surface in my poetry the most--a close girl friend of mine, who happens to be incredibly bright, a scientist, and full of personality. Her life explodes, making nature as metaphor easy.

I also have been working a series of poems that focus much on Alzheimer's. My grandfather, a professor of Education, has recently been institutionalized, and I have been a distant witness to the progressive movement toward dementia. These poems also drawn in the devotion of my grandmother, his wife of sixty three years and her own experiences in trying to maintain that love and dignity at the ends of their lives.

This is my prompt for you this Thursday: Write about your family, but don't go for the easy poem, the one about a parent or a sibling. Try to find someone in your tree, maybe branching even farther out from grandparent, to someone who has a story to tell--maybe write it as a persona poem, maybe as someone discovering a story, maybe simply a narrative. But tell a story from the annals of your own family history.

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