PROMPT #121 – SEED LINES

Many poems are remembered by their first lines rather than their titles, and often are indexed that way in poetry collections. Some examples include Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways;” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Listen, my children, and you shall hear;” Ernest Lawrence Thayer’s “The outlook wasn’t brilliant for the Mudville nine that day;” and Gellett Burgess’s “I never saw a purple cow.” And then there is the infamous purple prose line with which Edward Bulwer-Lytton began a novel (not a poem), “It was a dark and stormy night.” Write a poem that uses another poem’s first line as your own first line or your title. You can choose any poem, well known or not, but please tell us where the line came from.

MARIE ELENA’S ATTEMPT

VOWED

I whispered, “I am too young”
So softly, it escaped hearing
Understanding
Meaning.

So lightly, it drifted
Wafted
Vanished,

Exchanged with
“I do.”

First line from “Brown Penny” by William Butler Yeats

© copyright 2013, Marie Elena Good

WILLIAM’S ATTEMPT

WHICH WAY?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
Not having a road map, there I stood,
shivering and lost, freezing in the frost
and GPS utterly no good

because there was no wi-fi for miles
and cell service was moot in these isles.
To gain my reprieve I was forced to leave
via atrophied wits and dead wiles.

First line from Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”

© copyright 2013, William Preston

***

STRANGE VISITOR FROM ANOTHER PLANET’S ATTEMPT

LISTEN WITH YOUR HEART

When love speaks, it speaks softly.
Aspiring to lofty things, of how hearts sing
in harmony that warms and soothes.
It moves them to a pinnacle
that other cynical people cannot attain.

When love speaks, it speaks softly.
A language that needs not word,
nor intention. Or any mention of past
indiscretions. Love expresses in a way
that says all it ever needs in a breathless sigh.

When love speaks, it speaks softly,
o’er the expanse of time, o’er the length
of distant miles. O’er fathoms of seas and lakes
it takes a tender thought to conjoin two souls
across an eerie connection in poetic perfection.

When love speaks, it speaks softly,
When love speaks, it is heard loudly.
When love speaks, knowing hearts believe.
When love speaks, nothing else needs to be said
when love speaks.

© Copyright Walter J. Wojtanik – 2013

Taken from “Love Speaks” by Marie Elena Good