Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Poets United Mid-Week Motif ~ Equality

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. 
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial National Memorial

A MOTIF is an important and usually repeating idea or theme in a work of art, a feature 
in a decoration or design <a flower motif in wallpaper>, and similar ideas in music and science.

Today’s Motif:  Equality

Write a narrative poem relating an experience that illustrates equality or inequality.  Some of us will show an event ruled by hatred and/or racial oppression ~ a story we have been reluctant to tell.  It may be as "small" as wishing we said a joke "isn't funny" to as large as turning a country around. Others may recall or imagine an event ruled by such equality that it is almost invisible. Feel free to take an historical subject if you wish. 

Today, January 15th, is the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Like Nelson Mandela in South Africa, MLK worked in the USA for a non-violent solution to the isolation and oppression of Black citizens.  His goal was huge: to heal the racial divide in the USA by guaranteeing to all citizens equal rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

In the comments below, please say what inspires you when you think about equal rights ~ a song, poem, story, artwork, event or person?  Here's one of my inspirations, a poem by Countee Cullen:
Locked arm in arm they cross the way
The black boy and the white,
The golden splendor of the day
The sable pride of night.

From lowered blinds the dark folk stare
And here the fair folk talk,
Indignant that these two should dare
In unison to walk.

Oblivious to look and word
They pass, and see no wonder
That lightning brilliant as a sword
Should blaze the path of thunder. 

And another, the first song about equal rights I ever heard:

1.     Post your narrative poem on your site and then link it here.
2.     Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
3.     Honor our community by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

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  1. Good morning, Poets! I am back from my dentist appointment that was at 7 this morning, and ready to enjoy your poems. I see a few more early people have already joined me. Bravo!

    1. susan, you nailed this with your response...
      def a must read.

    2. Thank you, Mr. Miller. Getting to the story is hard with such big ideas. But story grounds the ideas too.

  2. Perfect prompt for today. Thank you for this!

    1. Thank you, Sreejit. Thank you for this amazing poem.

  3. Lots of thoughtful writing so far. Thanks, Susan, for the excellent prompt.

  4. Because this is my personal story, I don't want to post it to my blog. But I will share it here.

    Poets United: Prompt: Today’s Motif: Equality: Write a narrative poem relating an experience that illustrates equality or inequality.

    A winter day
    Many years ago
    The wind blew
    Temperature low
    Holding hands
    With my heart
    Seeking security
    In my Mother’s home
    My weakness visible
    Sibling rivalry

    Kick her when
    She is down
    Strong against
    Beyond repair
    Sneak attack

    1. Thank you for sharing this poem, so visceral and full of violent action. As you show, bullying at home--extreme sibling rivalry--is shocking (however common a story), and burns way after the fire seems to be put out. Maybe you'll want this poem on your site after you've lived with it for a while, maybe never.

    2. harsh! bitter. now that you have spilled it out hope you are felling better to come to terms with it

  5. This morning I received a picture from a friend. Then I read this midweek motif ~ equality and suddenly the words just popped into my head. I mean all of them at once. But I don't have permission to post the photograph yet so I'll just post the words first and add the photo later if and when I get permission.

    1. Looking forward to the photo for this marvelous poem.

    2. Yup! It is a magical picture for this poem, which also works standing alone. Thank you, Stormcat.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. sorry the first link I posted is a "go nowhere" link

  8. Thanks for the prompt, a lot of angles and ideas, difficult to put together but a very interesting ideas. Regards

    1. Thank you, Alan. I like the poem you posted about equality in Christ.

  9. Thank you for the love! All poets like to know you have read their work, so use Mr. Linky to visit. Will you be back to post a poem of your own?

  10. Nice prompt...I took this in a different perspective...hope you all like it!

  11. I wonder why it is so hard to write down the witness we have of equality and inequality?
    Why is it hard to describe the ISM's or MIRACLES we have all witnessed? I would love to have a discussion! My poem took me days to write, and even then I kept asking myself "Should I give more detail? Less?"

    1. I think you gave just the right amount of detail. It was a WONDERFUL poem!!

  12. I have tried it a bit from a memory that lives with me. I read that naratives also adhere to a form of a meter. havent really stood upto that nevertheless....thank you Susan for such a wonderful prompt!


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