Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Poets United Midweek Motif: Social Good

“And just when you’d think [humans] were more malignant than ever Hell could be, they occasionally showed more grace than Heaven ever dreamed of.” 
― Terry Pratchett

“The truth isn't always beauty, but the hunger for it is.” 

According to Mahatma Gandhi, there are Seven Deadly Sins that could destroy society:
  • Politics without principle.
  • Wealth without work.
  • Commerce without morality.
  • Pleasure without conscience.
  • Education without character.
  • Science without humility.
  • Worship without sacrifice. 

Do you agree?

With the important ingredient, 
is each of these a social blessing?

Your Poetry Challenge:  
  • Let one of Gandhi's social evils inspire you to illustrate one of your own social goods.  
  • 160-word limit--the length of Whitman's poem about work below.

Poetic Inspiration:

I Hear America Singing

Walt Whitman1819 - 1892
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
     and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the
     deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing
     as he stands,
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the
     morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at
     work, or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young
     fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

1.    Post your Social-Good poem on your site, and then link it here. Does it come under the 160-word limit? 
2.    If you use a picture include its link.  
3.    Share only original and new work written for this challenge. 
4.    Leave a comment here.
5.    Honor  us by visiting and commenting on others' poems.

(Next week's Midweek Motif will be An Evening Out.)

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  1. interesting prompt susan...using the evils to inform the goods...glad i waited on this one and did not just go with your hint last week, because i think it will be quite interesting to see how people play with that...will work on it today....

    1. Me too, Brian, I still have to work at mine. I was out last night at a play reading in a park, one of my pleasures with conscience. The story was of A. Philip Randolph organizing the Pullman Porters Union, the concerns and conflicts in putting out that amazing paper, The Messenger.

  2. No Coca-Cola ads in his day :-)

  3. Thank you for the prompt - i think for once i got the word count right! Apologies to all if i take a while getting around to replies and comments etc..slight medical problems but lovely to be back at Midweek Motif this week.

    1. Well, Jae Rose, it is a rather generous word count! I am very glad you are here for this prompt. Your poem is powerful.

  4. Oh Susan...this one's difficult but scribbled nonetheless & not sure if I did it correctly.. ...sigh

    1. What a desperate poem, what a noble social good--maybe two as I think about it.

  5. Respected Dr Susan, A motif which can embroider the world of poetry and brighten it like a gilded chariot made of bejeweled didactic words -as a Teacher a few lines I would like to share

    1. Thank you, thank you for using this motif to brighten our worlds.

    2. welcome -offering gratitude to the Almighty to Poets United and to You for keeping alive the great literary genre -If I may say-I do look forward to something related to the Fifth language Art-The Drama

    3. Sorry to disappoint, today. You got me thinking about teachers and students and character...

  6. Finally. I came in at 180 words if you do not count the title and inscription. I am still combing the lines, trying to reduce repetitation and to--gosh--say something quotable. But this is my first gushing forth, so if I add nothing new to the world of truths, please forgive me. Gratitude for Walt Whitman.

    1. Just read my prompt. I'm 20 words over! Revision!

    2. Just read my prompt. I'm 20 words over! Revision!

  7. Thank you for the motif, Susan. I'm playing now with a choice...with different possibilities we choose to follow/find our truth...
    To healthy, peaceful alternative! :)x

    1. This also has to do with education, I think. And another we could add to Gandhi's list: Trust without transparency.

  8. I will leave another comment (looks like the other one went into the ether). This was an excellent prompt Susan. Gandhi helped train my thoughts in a less random rant. I am grateful for this community of poets.

    1. Didn't find the other comment. I am so very glad you came to post and brought your cousin with you.

  9. Hi kids, Gandhi was my inspiration, too........good prompt, Susan! I am still struggling with vertigo - and with feeling Over-Loaded. What a summer. On the other side of it, hopefully I will regain my land legs and my inspiration. I am barely hanging in online and my apologies for not being as present as I would like to be. This will improve.

    1. I pray so. Your Gandhi-inspired poem is splendid.

  10. Another beautiful post and prompt. Thank you Susan. Gandhi is such inspiration for us all. I hope his message gets stronger and stronger through us.

    1. You are very welcome, Myrna. His list is insightful. I second your hope!

  11. SO late to the party, but had to join in!

    1. I'm happy you did! I love how you spoke to the value of work. Know that I keep checking back here through noon on Saturday, so you're not late to the party.


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