To Someone…:Tuesday Tryouts

22 Nov

8:17 a.m. — Atlanta

Elaine de Kooning

Hello everyone. I hope all is well, as we pull into the various parts of our year, depending on where we are. I am continuing the easier prompts with another image prompt, and may continue to do so until the new year is upon us. I may also return to some of the more popular prompts. You all sound frantically busy.

Epistolary prompts are the thing of the moment, what with We Write Poems‘ prompt for this week, and the ezine Poemeleon asking for epistolary poems. While many [most?] of us have gotten out of the habit of writing letters, for poetry, the form can be rewarding and fun. While the two resources above offer a general approach, I am going to give you some self-portraits to focus on.

Pick the self-portrait that speaks to you. You may approach the letter poem in several ways. You might write a poem to the person you see, based on what you read in their faces, or see them doing, or what is around them.


You can have the person in the portrait writing you a letter, or have the person writing to herself or himself. The contents of the letter are where your imagination comes into play, as well as your powers of deduction of what you see.

What should your poem look like? Anything you want. While the form is a letter poem, the only must I can see is that you address someone. This is when you can use the second person ‘you’. Oddly, when I look for examples, I have a hard time finding anything helpful. I must have my search terms wrong. Although it’s not a strong example, I will give you a link to a poem I wrote on Douglas Robertson’s The Net Mender. You can see the art which inspired the poem.




Write in free verse, or pick a more structured form you think suits the content of what you write. Above all, have fun with this.

I shall not see you Friday, but will calendar last week’s post, so that should your insatiable hunger for prompts require them [I know who you are], you have sources. I will update the ones from the last few days. Then I am heading to my daughter and brother and Thanksgiving, not a holiday I grew up with, but I do like turkey sandwiches. I shall see you Tuesday with another prompt to carry you gently into December. That’s right, we are that close.

Happy writing all.


Posted by on 22/11/2011 in exercises, poetry, writing


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11 responses to “To Someone…:Tuesday Tryouts

  1. Janet

    23/11/2011 at 12:57 am

    Margo, I stretched the prompt a little, but had a lot of fun with it. Thank-you

    • margo roby

      28/11/2011 at 8:15 am

      Janet, I love stretching. And, having read first and come back to this, you did just fine.


  2. wordsandthoughtspjs

    24/11/2011 at 10:31 am

    Hi Margo, I know you are away, but I wanted to wish you a happy Thanksgiving. Have fun with your family.


    • margo roby

      28/11/2011 at 8:16 am

      Thank you, Pamela. I hope you too had a wonderful Thanksgiving, however you celebrate [When we lived out of the States, it didn’t seem to happen very often].


  3. vivinfrance

    25/11/2011 at 3:01 am

    Margo, I hope you are having a happy visit. My response to your prompt is more prose than poem. I was hoping to write to Dali, but am not on the same wavelength.

    • margo roby

      28/11/2011 at 8:19 am

      I had a lovely visit, ViV. Getting on the same wavelength as Dali would be something, wouldn’t it? I think to write to him, and not to the portrait as it is, might require research to work. I’m looking forward to reading what you have.


  4. Linda H.

    25/11/2011 at 6:43 am

    Enjoy the time with your family.

    • margo roby

      28/11/2011 at 8:23 am

      Hello, Linda! Thank you. We had a lovely time, as I hope you did. I hope all is well with you and yours, and that you are staying healthy.


  5. Janet

    28/11/2011 at 8:18 am

    Margo, thank-you for the smiles. Oh the love/hate of technology…I understand! I hope you don’t have too much re-commenting to do. Thank-you for stopping by. When I posted last week I did not really expect a response because I knew/hoped you were enjoying a lovely Thanksgiving holiday.

    Thank-you so much for your continued encouragement…When I looked at all the pictures it was Goya’s eyes that immediately captured my imagination…

    • margo roby

      28/11/2011 at 8:22 am

      Thank you, Janet. The comment gods seem to have picked on you, so just one recomment! In order to keep my emails at a manageable level, I was reading them on my phone, so had the pleasure of reading your poem when it appeared in my inbox. I picked that portrait because of the eyes. They are quite something. They speak, as you know.



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