Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Open / Openness

“. . . Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. 
Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything.” 
― Rainer Maria Rilke

“It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas.  

Midweek Motif ~ Open / Openness

According to Wikipedia: 

Openness is an overarching concept or philosophy that is characterized by an emphasis on transparency and free, unrestricted access to knowledge and information, as well as collaborative or cooperative management and decision-making rather than a central authority. Openness can be said to be the opposite of secrecy.

Whew!  That's a lot of information.  I love that the root of the word is "open," which means much more than transparency. 

What do the motifs of open and openness help you to think about?  What's the first thing that comes to mind?  

My first thought was of Whitman's "Song of the Open Road," excerpted below, which now seems like part of a past golden age, no longer possible.  And it was no golden age at all in the USA, with so many enslaved as if they were not equal.  I may "open" that idea further.

Your challenge: Make your new poem an ode to openness or to something which is open-able in some way. 

Afoot and light-hearted I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me leading wherever I choose.

Henceforth I ask not good-fortune, I myself am good-fortune,
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms,
Strong and content I travel the open road.

The earth, that is sufficient,
I do not want the constellations any nearer,
I know they are very well where they are,
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.
. . . . 
Read the rest HERE

:  Speak to me.          Take my hand.            What are you now?
   I will tell you all.          I will conceal nothing.
   When I was three, a little child read a story about a rabbit
   who died, in the story, and I crawled under a chair    :
   a pink rabbit    :    it was my birthday, and a candle
   burnt a sore spot on my finger, and I was told to be happy.

:  Oh, grow to know me.        I am not happy.        I will be open:
   Now I am thinking of white sails against a sky like music,
   like glad horns blowing, and birds tilting, and an arm about me.
   There was one I loved, who wanted to live, sailing.

:  Speak to me.        Take my hand.        What are you now?
   When I was nine, I was fruitily sentimental,
   fluid    :    and my widowed aunt played Chopin,
   and I bent my head on the painted woodwork, and wept.
   I want now to be close to you.        I would
   link the minutes of my days close, somehow, to your days.
. . . . 
Read the rest HERE

They turn the water off, so I live without water,
they build walls higher, so I live without treetops,
they paint the windows black, so I live without sunshine,
they lock my cage, so I live without going anywhere,
they take each last tear I have, I live without tears,
they take my heart and rip it open, I live without heart,
they take my life and crush it, so I live without a future,
they say I am beastly and fiendish, so I have no friends,
they stop up each hope, so I have no passage out of hell,
they give me pain, so I live with pain,
they give me hate, so I live with my hate,
they have changed me, and I am not the same man,
they give me no shower, so I live with my smell,
they separate me from my brothers, so I live without brothers,
who understands me when I say this is beautiful?
who understands me when I say I have found other freedoms?
. . . .
Read the rest HERE.


Please share your new poem(s) using Mr. Linky below and visit others 
in the spirit of the community

(Next week Susan's Midweek Motif will be Secrecy.)


  1. Thank you for another prompt and some inspiring quotes - particularly admire the Ursula le Guin quote.

    1. You're welcome. I also found that quote quite refreshing.

  2. Hey, Poets United! Happy Wednesday. My poem isn't ready yet, but the doors are open!

  3. How appropriate that the doors are open in a week dedicated to "openness", Susan ;-)
    Thanks for the prompt.

    1. I promise not to have them closed when closure is the prompt!

  4. Hello everyone,

    Hope you guys are having an amazing day so far, sharing my poem "Unbarred" hope you all like it.

    Thank you Susan for the lovely opportunity :D

    Lots of love,

    1. You're welcome, Sanaa. It is so grey here today that I have had a difficult time staying awake--trying to keep my eyes an options open.

  5. Interesting prompt, Susan, and such a variety of poetry is to be found among those I have read so far.

    1. I found it to be a very difficult prompt, but managed to eke out a haiku! ;)

    2. Truly, Mary, I see openness leads in many directions, Including leading to closing again, as in MM teacher's poem.

  6. LOL, I had fun with this prompt!!!!!

  7. Wonderful prompt Susan, posted mine, though a bit late. I'll visit everyone tomorrow as it's quite late now. Happy Wednesday friends :)

    1. You are never late, Sumana. The party begins when you arrive.

  8. Must warn those, who read my poem, it may be unsettling to you, given the topic matter, I have written about, death and suicide. I needed to share this, it's a topic that needs to aired out.

    1. Amen to the caution and to the need to air the issue. Poetry goes where many fear to tread.

  9. Thank you Susan--as usual, your prompt took me somewhere unexpected

    1. And your poem took me to the unexpected as well! Thank you.

  10. I managed to combine this with one of the April Poetry Month prompts from 'toads' – with both an open cupboard and an implied (I hope) open heart.

  11. Thank you Susan for this unusual prompt, a bit tricky though but I loved it:)

    1. Thank you, Amit. I thought your poem was a bit tricky too!

  12. Sorry, am very late this time, Susan. Thanks for the prompt. Wrote a short poem this time...enjoyed writing :)
    Happy Thursday everyone!

    1. Than you, Panchali. It is always good to see you, "on time" or not.

  13. Finally made it has been quite the last two weeks....I will get to everyone's blogs, it may take me a few days I missed a week of work due to flooding in our area, and I am behind at work, but I will make visit everyone as soon as I can. Just glad to be here. :-)

    1. Good to see you, Carrie, do what you can and don't worry. Even I have to space things out. I'm just delighted that the prompt spoke to you, and that you are ok despite the lousy weather.

    2. Thank you Susan you are sweet. It is wonderful to be here. :-)

  14. Thanks for this thought provoking prompt ... much appreciated! I've had a bad case of influenza, but hope to be back reading and writing soon. Bastet

  15. Very nice prompt,in many ways one can interpret it.


This community is not meant to be used in a negative manner. We ask that you be respectful of all the people on this site as each individual writer is entitled to their own opinion, style, and path to creativity.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Blog Archive