Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Poets United Midweek Motif ~ Greatness (in honor of Nelson Mandela International Day 7/18/2018)

“Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve 
greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” 

Image result for Nelson Mandela quotes

"Nelson Mandela International Day 2018 marks 100 years since the birth of Nelson Mandela. The Centenary is an occasion to reflect on his life and legacy, and to follow his call to 'make of the world a better place.'. . . The Nelson Mandela Foundation is dedicating this year's Mandela Day to Action Against Poverty, honouring Nelson Mandela's leadership and devotion to fighting poverty and promoting social justice for all."
It is said that no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails. A nation should not be judged by how it treats its highest citizens, but its lowest ones.
- Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Midweek Motif ~ Greatness 

Synonyms for "greatness" fall into two categories that may have little to do with each other:
➤eminence, distinction, illustriousness, repute, high standing; importance, significance; celebrity, fame, prominence, renown ~ "a child destined for greatness"
➤genius, prowess, talent, expertise, mastery, artistry, virtuosity, skill, proficiency; flair, finesse; caliber, distinction ~ "her greatness as a writer"
I think Mandela had greatness in both senses.  
Do you agree?

Your Challenge: In your one new poem, use greatness as a theme.  You could reflect on the elimination of poverty, on Nelson Mandela, or on some other revelation of  greatness.

A poem about resilience - "The rose that grew from concrete" by Tupac
Song of the Builders by Mary Oliver
On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God - 
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket; 
it was moving the grains of the hillside 
this way and that way.
How great was its energy, 
how humble its effort.
Let us hope 
it will always be like this, 
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.

Out of the night that covers me, 
      Black as the pit from pole to pole, 
I thank whatever gods may be 
      For my unconquerable soul. 

In the fell clutch of circumstance 
      I have not winced nor cried aloud. 
Under the bludgeonings of chance 
      My head is bloody, but unbowed. 

Beyond this place of wrath and tears 
      Looms but the Horror of the shade, 
And yet the menace of the years 
      Finds and shall find me unafraid. 

It matters not how strait the gate, 
      How charged with punishments the scroll, 
I am the master of my fate, 
      I am the captain of my soul. 
Please share your new poem using Mr. Linky below and visit others in the spirit of the community—

(Next week Sumana’s Midweek Motif will be ~ wilderness.)


  1. Done a mistake. Please remove the third link, Susan.

  2. Hello everyone. Susan, your selection of this week's motif is appropriate, given the past week reality of President Trump. My first two poems deal with matters that are very personal to me. Whereas, the third poems is a satirical take on President Trump.

    1. And yes, even with spell check, I can't spell.

    2. Darn fingers. Can the first therisa-golden voices be removed? It's a hollow shell. Thank you.

    3. Done. But, Therisa, if you were to pick only one or two of these poems to post, which would you choose? You could refer us to the third ...

  3. Dear Susan! This is too important of a prompt not to respond. When I saw your prompt, I knew I had to make a brief appearance from my "non-writing" break. Thank you. :-)

  4. Fabulous prompt. Happy Nelson Mandela Day to all

    much love...

  5. Writing a poem about Nelson Mandela brought back so many memories; it's amazing the links that exist!


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