This week’s prompts arose from Giving Sorrow Words: Poems of Strength and Solace, edited by Karen vanMeenen and Charles Rossiter, with a preface from our own Kay Adams. It was compiled, produced, and distributed free of charge by the National Association for Poetry Therapy (Kay was president at the time) to first responders, victims’ family members, and many others in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Many thousands of copies have also been donated to communities around the US as tragedies strike. The prompts are associated with the linked poems.
How Bad News Comes by Debra Marquart – Monday & Tuesday
Grieving often involves reliving moments. Write about where you were and how you found out about 9/11.
Is there a best way to deliver bad news? Write about a personal experience where you appreciated the way bad news came to you or how you think it should have been delivered in a more empathetic way.
The Thing Is by Ellen Bass – Wednesday & Thursday
Even during life’s most difficult times, we can find something to be grateful for. Write about the last time you held “life like a face between your palms,” when things were going really badly for you.
Make a list of the things you value spending time doing. When is the last time you’ve done those life-affirming activities? Try and schedule one or two of those activities this week.
NEW BONES – Friday and Saturday
we will wear
new bones again
these rainy days,
break out through
into sun and honey time.
worlds buzz over us like bees
we be splendid in new bones.
other people think they know
how long life is
how strong life is
Some say grief lessens, but never truly ends. Write about your most recent grieving process. What “new bones” do you wear now?
What is the other side of grief look like? Write about your most recent “sun and honey” time.
What lessons did 9/11 teach you?