Poem Tryouts: Foggy Went a Courting

13 Jan

8:53 a.m. — Atlanta

listening to Restless sung by Audrey Assad

Hello, duckies. How is everyone? We are surrounded by a fog so thick, I can only see the next building. Rather fun if one doesn’t have to go out. Also fun because when I looked out the window and saw it, I tossed the prompt I had and decided we’d be foggy, instead.

The word fog derives from the Old Norse fjuk, a ‘drifting snow storm’. When I think about it, it makes sense, if the word elves were carrying across the meaning of not being able to see because of the weather phenomenon.

There are a couple of directions you can go:

1] Recall a time of fog you remember — see if you can remember more than one; that gives you more material to work with in crafting a poem.

2] Go all metaphorical with it.

3] Go to the Wikipedia page I am giving you and write a found poem, either a blackout poem [but don’t worry about showing the blackout — use it to obtain the poem], or a remix. There are some lovely possibilities. If you go this route, remember to credit the source.

4] Use one of fog’s other meanings. Some differences are slight, but can make a shift in what you choose to write about.

5] Freewrite your response to seeing the word fog, or seeing fog, and then find a poem within your freewrite.

I look forward to your poems. I think fog, as a topic, can be interesting on many levels. I shall see you on Thursday for links and such; Friday for the week’s roundup of prompts; and next Tuesday for another of my prompts.

Although I stopped writing it, remembering the new people we have, I want to remind you that any and all questions and suggestions regarding any of my posts, are welcome.

Happy writing, everyone.


Posted by on 13/01/2015 in exercises, links, poetry


Tags: , ,

35 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Foggy Went a Courting


    13/01/2015 at 10:06 am

    Here you are: an old one, but I’m busy putting together a memoir collection, and this is one of them!


    Back in my dim and distant youth
    homes were heated with smokey coal fires.
    Dirty brown fog was known as smog –
    killer of the elderly, the sick and the lost.
    I was the lost, along with my friends,
    as we made our way through filthy air
    towards home at midnight,
    from the school Christmas dance,
    hugging the railings, then making a chain
    of hands to cross each void.

    Every known landmark disappeared,
    disguised as something sinister.
    Footsteps behind caused concerted panic
    amid recollections of Jack the Ripper.
    Stumbling by accident onto a porch we knew,
    relief on every side.
    On the floor, laid out in rows,
    we passed the night
    giggling our decontraction.

    No mobile ‘phones
    for us to contact home
    No way to prevent poor fathers
    setting out in vain search.
    So came the dawn,
    still muffled in brown fog,
    we shuffled home.
    Exhausted fathers found their beds
    to sleep away their
    living nightmare night,
    knowing that we were safe.

    • margo roby

      13/01/2015 at 10:11 am

      This was fun, reliving the differences another time makes. I like the rhythm, ViV. It’s a lovely read.

    • georgeplace2013

      13/01/2015 at 12:31 pm

      decontraction… I want to remember that, perfect. I can sympathize with your dad. What a long, awful night for him. At least you girls knew you were safe and together. Wonderful memory, wonderfully executed.

    • Hannah Gosselin

      18/01/2015 at 9:01 pm

      Wow…what an all-consuming fog you’ve expressed so richly here, Viv. Well written and happy memoir creating to you!

  2. Misky

    13/01/2015 at 11:08 am

  3. georgeplace2013

    13/01/2015 at 12:24 pm

    Foggy yesterday-foggy today… it is enough to get ya down. Thank goodness for a Tuesday prompt!

    • margo roby

      13/01/2015 at 12:40 pm

      Live in my neighbourhood, do you? It does appear to be a rather extensive system. I am on my way. Thank goodness for no fog in cyberspace, at least, at the moment.

    • georgeplace2013

      13/01/2015 at 2:07 pm

      Revised the ending (just for Margo). I welcome all suggestions.

  4. Hannah Gosselin

    13/01/2015 at 12:44 pm

    Hello Margo!! I love fog! So inspiring, thank you!

    • margo roby

      13/01/2015 at 12:47 pm

      I do, too, Hannah! I’m on my way.

  5. barbcrary

    13/01/2015 at 10:36 pm

    Well, good grief. Thank you for the urging to try some found poetry. I now know that I totally agree with your comment to Barbara last week that black out is HARD. Even going back to my default position and attempting a 5-7-5 proved to be more daunting than expected. I’ve got get into better shape than this before April rolls around!

    Anyway –

    • margo roby

      14/01/2015 at 8:43 am

      I have found it does get easier with practice, Barb. Also, I like the challenge of using as few words as possible. I get antsy when I see a lot of the original words still in place. To me, that’s the original author still doing the heavy work. Remix is different in that we are usually choosing words and phrases from a larger source.

  6. purplepeninportland

    13/01/2015 at 11:09 pm

    Foggy weather is inspiring and romantic.
    Mine is up at:

    • margo roby

      15/01/2015 at 8:01 am

      Good to see you again, Michael. I’m on my way, although, if my maths is right, you’ll be tucked up in bed.

  7. Sasha A. Palmer

    15/01/2015 at 5:59 pm

    Hi Margo,
    here’s mine:

    Thank you.

  8. Janet

    16/01/2015 at 12:58 am

    hi Margo, Sasha steered me in your direction:)

    • margo roby

      16/01/2015 at 9:42 am

      Hello, Janet. So good to see you. Come back!

  9. rosross

    16/01/2015 at 7:26 am

    It is nice to return to the world of words after the Christmas/New Year break.

  10. julespaige

    16/01/2015 at 7:29 am

    My brain saw ‘Froggy went a courting…”
    Anyway I was at Sasha’s and did a Wikem for her and it fits here:


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