Definition

One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Friday, April 21, 2017

“I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”

I’m not exactly sure how old I was the first time I read “I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream”,  by Harlan Ellison. But I will never forget the way in which my hand reached for my mouth, how aware I became of the gift that is my free tongue, how the title made me cringe and shudder.

Can you imagine yourself being full of ideas and words and feelings and wants and urges and needs… and not being able to communicate them? Have you ever pictured yourself living in a world where you are not allowed to speak? For the purpose of this prompt, not being allowed to speak refers to being kept from speaking our minds without fear of punishment.

For today’s prompt, my dear Toads, I invite you to create a new poem inspired by the title of Ellison’s short story (the title of this post). Let your poetry explore the feelings that might lurk in a mind that must scream, but has no mouth. What would such mind poetize?

detail from “Taking the Plunge”, by Shelle Kennedy

Add the direct link to your poem to Mr. Linky. Visit other Toads. Speak your thoughts.

19 comments:

Magaly Guerrero said...

Speak to me, dear Toads. ;-)

Kim Russell said...

Morning Magaly! This is a great prompt as I don't know the story, so I have no preconceptions. I'll have to write my poem later as I have a few things to do this morning. But I will be back with one! Kim xx

paulscribbles said...

wrote s usual off the bat...Haiku thoughts on the matter.May revisit with something else perhaps.

Fireblossom said...

An unforgettable story, that one.

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Powerful prompt, Magaly ❤️ sharing my poem Untitled (when words crumble and fade) Day 21! Woo hooo!❤️

Magaly Guerrero said...

@Kim, One of the things I really like about the actual story is that the title alone says so much. I love your contribution, by the way.

@Paul, your haiku trio has teeth.

@Fireblossom, indeed!

@Sanaa, your poem is yummy... and breathtaking (literally).

Sanaa Rizvi said...

Aww!❤️ thanks Magaly!❤️

estherbernstein said...

I love the prompt (you know I do!) I have at least three poems from the past few years that are exactly this. Glad to have a chance to write another!

angieinspired said...

combining prompts today, so it is what it is...

Susie Clevenger said...

Great prompt! Not sure I captured the meaning. I went with the problem of my own silence.

Jim said...

Good Morning Magaly!! (It is still morning here in Texas and I'm retired, so ... But still will have a busy day, catching up. I never catch up and I am counting down now, not up.)
This is a neat prompt. I fudged a little on my reason for sealed lips. You might, well, ...
..

De said...

Loved this, Magaly. Thank you! Around later today to read everybody. Happy writing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Good prompt, Magaly. I didnt have to look far for my poem. My daughter cares for severely disabled non-verbal adults. She does it with grace and humour and she sees the people locked inside their bodies. Slowly, she has transformed the atmosphere in the care home, so other staff now understand these clients are more than their failing bodies. I am so proud of her. She has the gift of compassion. Likely because she has suffered much herself.

Marian said...

Nice prompt, Magaly! Not sure I wrote what you expected but I figure "inspired by" is a loose directive. And now I am off to read that story, with which I am unfamiliar. Thank you!

Martin Kloess said...

Happy Earth Day everyone

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Glad I haven't read that story; the title alone is scary. But the prompt fed very well into some stuff I have been reading.

Outlawyer said...

Hi Magaly--mine is more of a story than poem, really--but what came up. Thanks for great prompt! k.

Magaly Guerrero said...

Thanks so much for all the yummy (and very interesting) reads, everyone.

erbiage said...

speak to me. i see what you did there. all these poems are mime.