Poem Tryouts: On This Day and That

14 Jan

8:20 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Wild World by Cat Stevens

Hello, everyone. Are you hanging in there? I hope so. How about a ramble through the books? This prompt turns up fairly regularly but in different forms. I’m going to mention several possibilities and there is always your possibility.

This day in history, whichever day you elect to research: you can pick randomly, or specifically. Randomly is with a ‘pin’; specific might be your birthday, April 1, the day something historical occurred, today… you can choose from many variables.

Once you have the day, you need to figure out a year. Again, it can be random, but we are going to throw a little twist in here and repeat the day over a span of years:

1] The span can be regular, say every five years [or every one hundred].

2] The span can be irregular, picking high-profile years, historically.

3] You might choose to look at what happens on the same date for several years in a row.

I would look at more years than you need, as you won’t know your thread until you see it, say ten. Jot notes about anything that strikes you, especially if you see a pattern developing. When you write the poem, the dates can play a part, but they don’t have to. You may pick up a truth you want to communicate that has nothing to do with dates. Go with it.

I’m going to give you a couple of links [after all, I am asking you to do some research!]:

1] Brainy History has a particularly easy and well-laid out page. They give links by months and by years to dates that are important.

2] The History Channel has a site that, while it’s not as user-friendly as the previous, is historically broad. Don’t be startled to hear a voice emerge. There is an ad/video at the top. When I visit, I automatically mute the thing.

3] The New York Times gives both a pick any date finder and a remarkable list of one event for each day of the year, for different years. Go look.

4] On This Day is more obviously U.S. directed, but divides by topic: music, sports, wars… so is worth a look if a thematic focus interests you.

Right, ready? Go to it and enjoy. I shall see you Friday for this week’s prompt roundups. Remember the names I gave you last week of returning sites? Well, we can add Donna to the list. She will once again grace the top of the board.

Happy writing, all.



Posted by on 14/01/2014 in exercises, poems, poetry


Tags: , , ,

14 responses to “Poem Tryouts: On This Day and That

  1. Carol Carlisle

    14/01/2014 at 3:01 pm

    I’m told there was a small earthquake near by and I almost did a ode to quakes and I still may. But for now here is a wandering in surreality

    • margo roby

      15/01/2014 at 12:32 pm

      I could use some surreality. I’m heading over. Ode to quakes welcome any time.

  2. Hannah Gosselin

    14/01/2014 at 9:52 pm

    Hi, Margo…I cheated a little but I don’t think you’ll mind. 🙂

  3. barbara_y

    15/01/2014 at 11:12 am

    I’m having trouble stringing lines between my points. May have to settle for a drop bead.

    • margo roby

      15/01/2014 at 12:31 pm

      I’m so enchanted by the phrase ‘drop bead’ that you may do as many or as few drop beads as your heart desires!

  4. barbara_y

    16/01/2014 at 10:23 am

    Beading was one of those serial hobbies I bought a lot of books on. Spent googobs of money on pretties. Most still gathering dust. A drop bead is a single, on its own little chain. A haiku would be a nice drop bead. Something small and delicate, or baroque and stunning. sigh.

    • margo roby

      16/01/2014 at 1:47 pm

      or one of each

      there seems to be a lot of sighing around the poetry-sphere — I might scale back to vocab words and pictures for a bit, maybe

  5. Misky

    16/01/2014 at 12:10 pm

    I found last week impossible, and this week nearly so. Here’s a daft attempt.

    • margo roby

      16/01/2014 at 1:46 pm

      I’ll do a vocab word next week. Everyone seems down.


    16/01/2014 at 2:41 pm

    Not a new one – I’m flagging on my first day up – but it seems to fit the prompt (apart from the date!)

    • margo roby

      16/01/2014 at 2:52 pm

      You’re up and giving us a poem?! Rare treat. Glad to hear you are up. Now, try and stay that way!


Join the discussion and feel free to critique, or suggest an idea for any poem I post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: