Poem Tryouts: Abandon Ye!

12 Jan

9:30 a.m. — San Antonio

listening to… well, who else? Bowie, of course

Hello, everyone. Are we all bundled so we don’t freeze our patoots? Brrr. Enjoy your summer, southern hemisphere. To distract us from the cold, let’s play with a word. I decided I wanted to explore abandon several weeks ago when Mark Windham sent me a wonderful photograph he knew I’d like. You’ll see it for our image prompt in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the word. word book

Do you like my new word collecting book? My daughter gave it to me for Christmas. Hand bound with leather cover.

Abandon originally meant to put someone under bond, to put someone under someone else’s jurisdiction. Now, we use it to mean leave completely and utterly. I almost abandoned you this morning because of a video game the same daughter introduced me to at Christmas.

Then there is the phrase with gay abandon. Sounds more positive, you say? I always thought so until I pondered it this morning. Usually, if you have decided to throw yourself into something with gay abandon, you are abandoning morals, mores, possibly laws.

We haven’t played with a word, in a while. So, abandon whatever you are doing, gaily or not, and explore. There are many ways you can go with this.

1] Go to the page I have given you the link for. Write your poem using words and phrases from that page. If you choose this one, remember to credit the source.

2] Go to the page, but use it more as a spark for an idea.

3] Write about something you abandoned. Despite the general negative connotation of the word, this can be a comic story.

As the sun set
she abandoned him
to the wolves.

He was bigger
and brawnier
than she.

What do you mean you don’t see comedy?

4] Write about a time you felt abandoned or were abandoned. Seared forever, in my memory, is the time, in fourth grade, when, despite my parents’ warnings, I dawdled while getting ready for school. Fine, my mother said, we’ll leave without you, and they did. You should have seen me tearing down the stairs — we lived on the fourth floor, but our elevator was molasses —  screaming at the top of my lungs — the poor neighbours. Then my bag fell and everything spilled out…

That’s more comic, you say? You should have been me.

5] Write about a situation on a more worldly scale where the word abandoned works.

6] Go your own merry way.

I will see you Thursday where I will talk a bit about my day with Poets & Writers Live, in Austin and give you a couple of links; and, Tuesday for another prompt. I may do a borrowed one. Now, I am abandoning you and going back to my game.

Happy writing, all.




Posted by on 12/01/2016 in exercises, poems, poetry


Tags: , , , , ,

26 responses to “Poem Tryouts: Abandon Ye!

  1. b_y

    12/01/2016 at 11:19 am

    Seems like it might be the flip side of “entitled.”

    • margo roby

      12/01/2016 at 11:28 am

      Then there should be more abandoning… abandonment.

  2. julespaige

    12/01/2016 at 4:17 pm

    Vetr Gjenfødelse

    And gesundheit! 🙂

  3. Hannah Gosselin

    12/01/2016 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you, Margo! This worked out well for a draft I started yesterday!

  4. whimsygizmo

    12/01/2016 at 6:30 pm


    13/01/2016 at 2:10 am

    Please Margo, what is “patoots”?


      13/01/2016 at 7:16 am

      All those prompts I hadn’t words to use
      abandoned in the basement files.
      Writing now’s like drawing teeth –
      I think that I’ll just sit awhile.

    • margo roby

      14/01/2016 at 10:57 am

      The thing upon which you sit. Also known as ‘patootie’. You bet your sweet patootie I like chocolate.

  6. purplepeninportland

    13/01/2016 at 10:16 pm

    Love your new word collection book, Margo. Listening to Bowie as well.

  7. georgeplace2013

    14/01/2016 at 8:09 am

    Straggling in at the end… I read a quote today (author not cited) Nothing in nature blooms all year. Be patient with yourself.” I needed to hear that as my writing is coming to a trickle.


    • margo roby

      19/01/2016 at 9:46 am

      Debi, I haven’t had a trickle since we moved, this summer. My last drought was almost three years but I tried to do something poetry everyday, even just going back over poem drafts and making notes.

      • georgeplace2013

        19/01/2016 at 10:23 am

        Yes, I try not to let it worry me. It isn’t that I think my writing is all that (there are too many really terrific poets I read online every day to keep that in check) but I would be sad to lose my poetry. Waiting it out and keep on trying is okay for me.

        • margo roby

          19/01/2016 at 10:30 am

          I can promise you it’s still there. Even if all you do is check out something poetry online, do something that keeps you joined to the idea of poetry.

    • margo roby

      19/01/2016 at 10:12 am

      My comment on your poem will either appear six times, or not at all. It was playing silly buggers with me.

      In case it does not appear, I was saying I had been thinking of you and your poem arrived in my inbox.

      • rosross

        20/01/2016 at 8:42 pm

        It is nice to think you were thinking of me. It has been very, very busy since we arrived home with Christmas ahead, summer jobs on the farm, lots and lots of catchup jobs on the farm, grand-children on school holidays and sheds to be sorted to make space for the container arriving from Africa – tomorrow. I have not had much time for poetry but look forward to getting back to it before too long.


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