Popcorn, Turkey Legs, Spinning Teacups — Tuesday Tryouts

25 Oct

8:01 a.m. — Atlanta

Hello everyone! I am back from five days of rides and walking, down at Disney World. Epcot was having an Theme park by Ryan Lerchinternational food/wine/beer festival so we visited twice. Universal’s Hogwarts is all it should be, and the butterbeer, heaven. Now for a related prompt.

Think back to your earliest memory of participation in a circus, a fair, or a theme park, like Disney. By participation I mean a single act, a game, or a ride, something that can be isolated as a focus. You may have several memories jostling. Jot them all down in a list and as you jot make notes of details that pop into your head, especially sensory imagery.You want to put us in the moment.

Make notes until no more memories surface. Pick one moment of participation: playing a sideshow game; riding on a carousel; caught up in the suspense of a trapeze artist. Freewrite the story of that moment, everything you can pull from your memory bank.

That’s the easy part. I want to add a challenge. I want you to choose a form that matches what you are writing about. Does the unfolding movement of an etheree suit your choice? Or, the narrative + oblique comment of a haibun? Or, the rhythmic weaving of a ballad? Remember the ghazal? Okay, okay, I won’t push my luck.Consider the villanelle; consider any of the forms that use repetition.

When writing a poem, form is always a factor. If you find a form that matches, or equals, the content of the poem, your communication, or sharing, of the experience is that much stronger. And, yes, before you ask, free-verse might be what your poem calls for, in which case, write free-verse. But, the challenge is still there…

We have several new guests, so a reminder of how this works. You can write and post your poem[s] at any time. I never close the post. The later you are means you chance me being the only reader. If that doesn’t bother you, post whenever. I love reading your work. Post a link, or the poem, in comments. Readers: if you have the time, go back a week, or two, and check to see if there are poems to read, before you move on.

I shall see you Friday for the roundup of this week’s prompts; and, next Tuesday, for a poem with strict guidelines. Uh oh.

Happy writing, all.


Posted by on 25/10/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , ,

17 responses to “Popcorn, Turkey Legs, Spinning Teacups — Tuesday Tryouts

  1. wordsandthoughtspjs

    25/10/2011 at 12:59 pm

    Hi Margo! It good to see you back with us. I hope you had a great time. I haven’t visited Disney in about 15 years. I am not keen on roller coaster rides, Space Mountain, scared me to tears. I think I’ll write about that in a few days. It is something I will never forget. 🙂


    • margo roby

      27/10/2011 at 7:56 am

      Pamela, I wouldn’t go near a roller-coaster if my life depended on it, but Disney has a lot of non-coaster rides and the Florida one has Epcot, and Animal Kingdom!

      As roller-coasters terrify me, I look forward to seeing what you come up with.


  2. Ruth

    25/10/2011 at 6:37 pm

    hmm, not quite sure if this fills the bill of what you had in mind, Margo…

    • margo roby

      27/10/2011 at 7:58 am

      Truth be told, Ruth, I never have anything in mind. I lay out a possible path and am happy if writers find a way along, or from, it.


  3. Mike Patrick

    27/10/2011 at 1:01 am

    Sorry, Margo. I couldn’t come up with a poem, but this bit of prose turned out better than I originally though.

    • margo roby

      27/10/2011 at 7:59 am

      Hey, Mike! A bit of prose is better than no words, yes?


  4. pmwanken

    27/10/2011 at 11:49 pm

    Just from your heading, I thought about writing about the “teacups” (or the “Silly Silo” — the thing that spins you around so fast you stick to the wall when the floor is lowered) at Adventureland…an amusement park in Des Moines, Iowa. Apparently I had a fascination of spinning in circles when I was a kid. Now: I’m not so fond of it. Literally OR figuratively. But as I was about to put fingers to keyboard, an image popped into my head. And that was all it took. I had my subject matter. Here, an homage to my late Grandpa LeRoy….


    • margo roby

      28/10/2011 at 9:21 am

      I love when that happens, Paula. Can’t wait to read the poem.


  5. Janet

    28/10/2011 at 7:32 am

    Hi Margo, This prompt IMMEDIATELY evoked things I had forgotten long ago. I’m not sure if what I wrote is what you had in mind, but it is what I remember(oddly) and I hope the sensory imagery carries through.

    • margo roby

      28/10/2011 at 9:26 am

      Janet: I never have anything in mind other than that what I give you as a prompt works in some way for you. Can’t wait to see what you remember [oddly].


  6. Janet

    28/10/2011 at 7:34 am

  7. vivinfrance

    28/10/2011 at 4:42 pm

    Not sure is this fits the bill, and I haven’t yet had time to read other responses

    • margo roby

      01/11/2011 at 8:04 am

      I was beginning to worry about you again, ViV. Glad to see you and the fact you have something is what fits the bill.



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